I was in a local retailer recently, picking up a suit that had been altered. While waiting for the sales associate to find it, I saw a familiar face that I couldn’t immediately place. After a few seconds of the standard “you look familiar” banter, I realized I recognized him as a reporter and guest on The News Hour, one of my favorite shows. “You watch The News Hour?” the reporter rhetorically inquired. “You probably lower the average age of their viewers by about twenty years.”
Sitting in the fitting area of the dressing room, I might as well have been talking to the News Hour reporter like I was talking to a new co-worker or neighbor. I was in my outward element – confidence. To say this is my outward element is not to imply that inwardly I do not feel confident. I do, but, I admit, I have periods of self-doubt. Or, I should say, periods of self-frustration and criticism. Periods in which my internal dialogue, boiled down, goes something like, “What are you doing? Why are you still at A instead of C?” Periods in which I ask myself, “Are all of these experiences really going to culminate in something bigger than what you’re doing now?” And, worst of all, times I compare my success, or perceived lack thereof, to those of others and allow myself to view their success as better.
Mothers are right when they say you are wasting time comparing yourself to others. There is always going to be someone out there more successful than you – success, of course, being a matter of perception.