One of the biggest hurdles we all face these days is overcoming the comparison trap. With constant reminders of how others are living their lives or running their businesses, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of comparing ourselves to others. The further we fall, the further we stray from our true selves and essentially, our own story.
Sometimes, without even realizing it, you become so influenced by others that you make the mistake of trying to tell their story or possibly a combination of multiple stories. You’ve compared yourself to others so much that even though you’ve changed a sentence here or there, or perhaps even a chapter or two, the core of your story is still someone else’s.
For a while, the story will excite you and you’ll be fully committed to reaching the end. You may even have grand plans for the follow up book. Eventually though, the eagerness to write the next page and figure out what happens next will lessen. You’ll lose your spark. You’ll disconnect from the storyline and characters that once had your full attention and it’s likely you’ll go on the hunt for another story to fire you up again.
Guess what? You’re about to slip further down the rabbit hole of comparison.
All the time you spend comparing your story to others can easily make you question, and ultimately lose confidence, in your own. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have a similar story to someone else, but there will be twists and turns that make it uniquely yours. And while great things can happen when you allow others to help define your story, if their influence changes it so much that you no longer recognize or feel connected to it, you’re back standing on the edge of the rabbit hole. You’re back searching for the “hook” that will be the core of your story. But guess what?
That “hook” you’re searching for to define your story is you and the influence your story can have on others.
How do I know this? Because I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of comparison myself. Repeatedly. But now I’m learning to silence the noise and all the influences that make me question whether my story is good enough. Of course, I still stand on the edge of the rabbit hole once in a while, but I also remind myself that jumping down it is optional.
Trust me, there’s a story within you just screaming to be written. That story will naturally fuel you and light you up. Don’t worry if you don’t have the full outline just yet, it’ll come. Once you just start writing and figuring out your own twists and turns, you’ll discover a voice that you can’t ignore. That’s the voice that will help you write your own unique story that needs to be shared with others. Sure, there might be edits (huge ones) along the way but your story will eventually surface so just keep fucking writing.
So tell me, whose story are you really telling? Someone else’s or your own? Just something to think about.
Artwork copyright Jane Mount.