I’m a chronic comparer.
Every time I see someone with a desirable form or amount of success, I compare myself to them. I’ve been told that this is unhealthy, but I don’t think it has to be.
Success is not finite, which means that seeing someone else’s success should elicit excitement and possibility, not disappointment. It means that you should be genuinely happy to realize that what you seek in the world truly exists. But when I compare myself, especially with people who are much farther along than I am, I get an initial negative gut feeling of urgency.
This is not a bad thing. It would be bad if I suppressed it.
That gut feeling highlights the disparity between you and your goals. This is valuable information! It is good to be aware of where you truly are so you can make steps towards where you want to be. This feeling of urgency can be harnessed and used to help you achieve your goals.
Let that feeling sink in for a few seconds, but move on fast. Understand the reality of the situation, don’t hide from it. It may be true that you’re not where you want to be. Embrace that fact, sit with it, and accept it. Don’t fight it. Then, determine why you feel that way. What does this person have that caught your eye and made you feel that way? How do you create your own version of that? Does that match up with the goals you’ve decided to achieve? Why or why not?
Don’t suppress your feelings. Use them to your advantage.
I was filming some b-roll footage in a coffee shop today and I wanted to get a shot of someone pouring coffee. The barista I recruited to help me had never done this before.
Neither had I — but she didn’t know that.
I could tell she was nervous about all the little details. She didn’t know where to put her hands, if she was supposed to do anything in particular, when to start, when to stop, etc. I didn’t do a good job explaining everything up front because this was my first time capturing this type of shot too. I had a good idea of how I wanted it to look, but I was figuring it out as I went and I was less prepared than she expected me to be.
In that moment, I realized something. Here were two people trying to create something. Neither of them were acting naturally and confidently, and that would probably show in the end product. If I wanted to get a good shot, one of those people would have to step up.
So I did.
I put the camera down and explained exactly how I wanted the shot to look. I told her where my camera would be focused and that I wanted to capture the steam coming up as the coffee fills up the cup. I explained that it would be just a few seconds and she shouldn’t worry about anything other than pouring the coffee naturally.
As soon as she heard my decisive voice telling her what to expect, her body language changed instantly from nervous and unsure to playful and content. I picked my camera back up, knowing we were both on the same page, and let the magic happen. The shot came out perfectly.
When anything is getting done with multiple people, somebody has to step up and be the leader. People are always searching for a voice of confidence to follow. Be that voice even if you have to do some self-convincing first.