Do you ever compare yourself with someone else? And attribute a higher grade or extra credit to those whom you perceive as better, faster, or more successful than you?
I do. All the time.
That’s why I was so relieved when I spoke to my coach (after a long hiatus) who calmed me down, brought me back to my square 1, and reminded me that I’m not in a race. “Your urge has become an urgency,” she said, which led to a greatly needed exhalation.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
In my office developing a retreat, working on my memoir or coaching a client, I’m at peace and feeling blissful. Then, I’ll get an email, see a Facebook post or read an article that puts me into a tailspin. That I’m not there yet. My memoir is not on the New York Times Bestseller List. Funny that I should concern myself with that since it’s not even written yet.
Seeing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s segment on CBS Sunday Morning helped me to identify and also to relax. He had randomly picked up Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton several years ago and devoured all 700+ pages of it. Midway through his reading he wondered why no one had yet made a musical out of this man’s story. Not just a musical, but a hip-hop musical, then busied himself for the next six years to create one. Hamilton opened to rave reviews at the Public Theatre and is moving to Broadway in July. Miranda is not even rushing its opening to try to get into the Tony race for Best Musical. He’s taking his time.
I call this genius. Not only coming up with the idea, but more important, bringing it to fruition and not being blindsided by urgency. Sticking with your urge is one of the hardest aspects of soul proprietorship. I believe that our urges, our inspirations and the coincidences in our lives/businesses are divinely given. They feel different. At least mine do. I feel a sensation in my body, like a spark. Energy.
What often happens is that the energy is sapped by things like, oh, comparing oneself to the competition or anyone I perceive of as ahead of you.
The solution? Stay in action. Our gremlins–those voices that say very loudly, “You’re not enough!”–get very quiet when we’re busily engaged. Mine are particularly adept at coming out when I think I’m engaged with…social media.
My main job, your main job, is to remind yourself to stick with your urges. Bring them to fruition. Resist the temptation of “oohh, shiny!” and stay with the everyday work of respecting your inner wisdom. I have many people in place, like my coach especially, to remind me of that biblical adage:
The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.
Make the most of your time and chance. They will come.