I was talking with my dear friend the other day, Susan Kay Wyatt (@raisethequeen on Twitter). She has this fabulous life—great husband, great daughter, she’s über-talented and so darn pretty, funny and smart—one of those women who you just love unless you are insecure and catty! You have to check out her music at Susan Kay Wyatt music on Facebook or CD Baby. It is so uplifting and fun. It’s all about the love darling! If you haven’t heard of her yet, you soon will. My friend is going places.
So SK and I are talking about all the projects she has on her plate and she is talking about the challenge of trying to keep everything going and still be the great mom and wife she wants to be (and is by the way!). Anyone out there relate to SK’s challenge?
I had stayed up till 4 in the morning the night before working on my book and was talking about all the things that I needed to get done too. She said to me, “I look at my single friends like you and I think, ‘Wow I used to be able to stay up late at night working on my projects before I had my daughter but now I have to be up to get her to school.’ It was easier to get things done when it was just me or just me and my husband.” You’d have to know how great a mom SK is to know that she wasn’t at all wishing her daughter away. In fact, the real question for her was, “Could she push forward with her career in the way she wanted and be the mother and wife she wanted to be?” Comparing herself to me—no husband, no kids, only a great dog—doesn’t help her much does it?
And believe me as a single person, I catch myself in that trap. I look at all the things SK has going in her life—really physically fit, great husband who supports her, amazing daughter, musical talent and I say yeah I can stay up late working on my book but I don’t have the support or life she’s got either. I’ve taken the road less traveled and have the freedom to stay up late but sometimes feel like I’m really out on the limb by myself—with no back up.
We laugh because we know we’ve fallen into one of those bad habits that will stop your progress faster than anything–COMPARISON.
Seriously, how helpful is it when we look across the fence and focus on how great or how much easier someone else’s life looks? I remember years ago, Oprah talking with Dr. Phil and saying, “I wish I were one of those people who didn’t have to work so hard to maintain my weight. There are other people who can eat what they want and barely exercise.” Dr. Phil looked at her and said in the way that only Dr. Phil could say, “Get over it. You aren’t one of those people!”
Our friends can inspire us but when we think, “I can’t do what I want to do with my life because I don’t have what they have”, that comparison is dis-empowering. It doesn’t help us to pull up our big girl panties and do what has to be done. I see this so often when I’m working with clients. Rather than focus on what shifts they can make with their lives right now, they look at others like Oprah was doing and say, “Other people have it easier than I do.”
We don’t know what is really going on completely in someone else’s lives. Maybe they do have it easier. Maybe there’s a whole world of drama going on in their lives that we don’t see. Maybe their lives actually suck! Regardless, it doesn’t help us to think others have it easier than we do. As Dr. Phil told Oprah so many years ago, “You aren’t those people!” We have to focus on what we can do to make the shifts we want to make in our lives.
The great thing about SK and my friendship is we call each other on our stuff. So we both had to refocus and ask, “What are the best things for me to do next to move my dreams forward,” and we set up a mastermind date to support each other to do just that. That’s girl/woman power–collaboration and support, not comparison and competition.
Comparisons are dream killers. And neither one of us is giving up on our dreams!
Where do you lose your own power by comparing your life to others? Do you need to take a note from Dr. Phil, and remember, “You aren’t one of those people,” stop comparing yourself and do what is front of you to do right now?