I decided to have a different conversation with myself today after I saw this posted on Instagram –
“Don’t compare your Chapter 1 with someone else’s Chapter 20”
I absolutely agree — I say, and have said this, to clients, to myself and in speaking events…..
Then I had a thought. What if their chapter 1 is so much better than my chapter 20? Does this mean I am writing — reading — or compiling my life with the wrong books, documents, resources, and philosophies.
Possibly…..I mean, think about it. We often have to decide if it is time to switch tracks, take a break, reeducate, reach out, or let go.
I am definitely not an advocate of comparing ourselves to others….but as of this weekend I caught myself in the throes of a fever- pitch. So today — when I saw this — I reflected on my feelings. I met a woman my age that was almost the most badass 46 year old I have seen. Upon finding out we would be competing against each other nationally I retreated to the nearest corner. I know — not my usual style.
Her Chapter 1 is definitely gaining on my chapter 20 and fast. After a few self-loathing conversations with myself and some close friends I snapped out of it. But the question is still legit. Don’t you think?
There is a fine line between never giving up and beating your head against a wall.
I believe that this may help us all figure it out.
- We all have our own unique definition of success and we cannot forget that. You may enjoy beating your head against the wall — the endorphin rush heading to the wall, and the party after may be exactly what full-fills you — quite possibly it is never your full intent to get over or even through the wall… and…this is ok.
- Here is the flip side of this — If you are bruised, bleeding, crying — wrapped in bandages and needing pain-meds- there may be a problem. If you dread the approach to the wall, and feel like a failure at every non-successful attempt — then perhaps you are reading the wrong book and you need to find a new Chapter 1. This is also ok — and can be quit a refreshing revelation.
Personally, I have decided that I enjoy the approach to the wall and although frustrated with the occasional wound and need for pain meds, I look forward to the after-party that comes due to the effort, regardless of result. So for now — I am reading the right book for me.
My Chapter 20 may not be as fantastic as someone else’s Chapter 1, but — I am completely fulfilled and content with my own first 19 Chapters and am prepared to complete my novel — in the matter of my choosing. Bleeding, bandaged, and eventually partying, as I climb up and OVER that wall.