Ever heard anyone say:
- ‘I could get my baby weight off as fast as those celebs if I had a chef and personal trainer.’
- ‘I could get keynote fees for speaking like that if someone would offer ME a book contract.’
- ‘I would get more done if my spouse were more supportive and helpful (or made more money or _____)’
- ‘My business would be more successful if I had HER email list or HIS twitter followers or _____’
- ‘I could be happy and positive all the time if my life were perfect, like hers.’
- ‘I could ______ if ______’
We are quick to see the social media snapshot, the book cover, the CNN spot and dismiss everything that came before. We believe that online celebs (or offline, for that matter) never deal with confidence blows, insecurity, financial trouble, marriage problems (except that for movie stars this is in the job description), kids that misbehave, traffic accidents, plumbing malfunctions or illness.
- Maybe we want to believe everything is ideal for ‘them’ so we can let ourselves off the hook for the effort to get better results.
- Maybe we fuel our discontent with jealousy, anger and resentment and we’ve fooled ourselves into believing ‘they’ have ‘magic.’
- Maybe it’s just easier to chalk ‘their’ success up to ‘luck & good connections’ than to blood, sweat, tears, time in the gym, acting classes, business missteps and more.
- Maybe we’re not willing to give up who we are for who we want to be and we need someone to blame for that. ‘They’ are handy for that.
I can’t speak for all of ‘them’ – the folks that ‘have it easy’ – you know, those ‘overnight success stories.’ — I can only speak for me. So let me take you back a few years…let’s strip down to some truth.
This is me. At my heaviest weight. That shirt was a size 26 and those pants were begging to be retired. My shoes were stretched out on all sides from my fat feet and lack of ankles and the day of walking on this tour wore me out. My husband kept having to stop to let me rest. (no, that is not him in the photo.)
Not a pretty truth. But truth. I am 5’2″ — that is a lot of weight. Oh, and I was just 29 here. I look a lot older and felt absolutely ancient.
Furthermore, while doing fair in a part time business, I mismanaged my funds to a degree where I dug us into a crippling six figures of debt, not counting our house & car.
- I tried shortcuts for weight. I failed.
- I tried shortcuts for debt. I failed.
- I tried shortcuts for happiness. I failed.
- I tried shortcuts for business growth. I failed.
I am just like you. I am successful when I do the right things, with the right consistency at the right times. (psssst, I suspect ‘THEY’ are too!)
- The inconvenient truth is that we dug out of debt one day at a time, one dollar at a time, one choice at a time. No bankruptcy or bailouts.
- I dug out of my weight the same way. It’s still a battle…I yo-yo like everyone else. When I quit paying attention or make unhealthy choices, the weight comes back with a vengeance. I am working on that diligently now.
- I still struggle with discouragement and confidence issues, like you. It helps when you string baby steps and small successes together.
- My ‘overnight’ success online came as a result of studying people doing it right and then taking action, quickly. It came as a result of 13 years of overnights. As a result of listening to my market, putting in the hours, sacrificing TV shows and some hobbies. It came as a result of me be willing to mess up and fall on my face.
- I didn’t ‘luck’ into my spouse. I chose him and he chose me back. We work DAILY on our marriage. We choose to stay.
The naked truth is that the ‘successful and highly visible’ people struggle, fail and fall…like you and like me.
- Maybe they string their failures closer together.
- Maybe they choose to fail bigger and fall faster.
- Maybe they put in more hours, take more classes, hang around with positive people.
- Maybe they consider gym time their ‘job time’ if image is part of their paycheck.
- Maybe they write 12 books to every 1 best-seller you hear of.
- Maybe they cry in the shower, so no one sees.
- Maybe they’re looking at you and thinking…I could sparkle & shine like her, if I only ________
It saddens me…to see anyone limit their amazing-ness because they continue comparing themselves to ‘them’ and falling short.
Don’t let that be you. I won’t let it be me.
I’m asking that you SHARE this on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and anywhere you know folks need to hear it. Let them know they’re not alone.