"It's alright for them, but..."
Updated: Sep 16
It's so easy to argue for our limitations. "Yes, but he is really good at ...", "Yes, but she doesn't have to ...", "Yes, but he has ...", "Yes, but she grew up in ...".
Comparing ourselves with others might just be preventing us from doing great things.
Walt Disney was fired from his first animation job because he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas" (Connors & Smith, 2014).
Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, twice (Kipman, 2021).
Stephen King's first novel was rejected by publishers 30 times. His wife retrieved it from the bin where he had thrown it after the 30th attempt (Develop Good Habits, 2021).
There are countless similar stories (see the links below). These people persevered because:
They loved what they did and would be doing it anyway.
They had the need to express themselves creatively or share their ideas.
They knew that they had something worth sharing.
There is room in the world for all of our contributions, great or small. It's quite possible that we're letting comparison with others prevent us from pursing even the smallest of dreams or passions.
I've heard people expressing things like:
"She is so good. What's the point of me doing it?" or "I'll never be as good as that" or "He is just so talented".
Well, unless we're the best in the world at something (and there is only room for one 'best'), there will always be someone who is better than us. We shouldn't miss out on the joy of creative expression, and also, the world deserves our contribution.
Marie Forleo says that "Clarity comes from engagement, not thought" (2020). There is so much value in this. Sometimes, we need to just do it!
Start a business!
Have a hobby!
Write that book!
Paint / draw / sculpt / craft / create!
Clarity comes from engagement, and I'm assuming that the only thing that comes from lack of engagement is regret.
Maybe it's for the world, and maybe it's just for us, but maybe it's part of the reason we're here.
If we feel called to do something, it is part of our purpose. This includes the big things, the little things, the things for the world, and the things that are just for us.
Even when conditions are not completely favourable, we can start.
We can explore.
We can take small steps.
Business Insider. (2021). 23 Incredibly successful people who failed at first. https://www.businessinsider.in/23-Incredibly-Successful-People-Who-Failed-At-First/Oprah-Winfrey-was-fired-from-her-first-television-job-as-an-anchor-in-Baltimore-where-she-said-she-faced-sexism-and-harassment-/slideshow/31624817.cms#:~:text=Oprah%20Winfrey%20was%20fired%20from%20her%20first%20television,worth%20an%20estimated%20$2.9%20billion,%20according%20to%20Forbes.
Connors, R., & Smith, S. (2014). The wisdom of Oz: Using personal accountability to succeed in everything you do.
Develop Good Habits. (2021). 45 famous failures who became successful people. https://www.developgoodhabits.com/successful-people-failed/
Forleo, M. (2020). 4 simple mantras to help you overcome any challenge. https://www.marieforleo.com/2020/11/overcome-challenges/
Kipman, S. (2021). 15 highly successful people who failed on their way to success. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/15-highly-successful-people-who-failed-their-way-success.html