So last night, it happened.
I was in bed when I discovered her for the first time. 3 hours later (at 2:30 am – WAAAAY passed my bed time – as if you needed to know that), I forced myself to stop watching, rolled over and fell right to sleep.
Obviously that’s not the end of this story. Oh no, I’m going to be talking about my feelings. (Oh yes, it’s one of THOSE blog posts.) Specifically, I’m talking about the feeling of inadequacy.
In my social circle of minions – I mean, friends – I’m known as the witty, punny, “girl next door” known for adding humor in my marketing. And here was this cute (as she calls herself) “little brown girl” Liza Koshy. She’s witty. She’s punny, known for her trips to IKEA and Target for HILARIOUS puns – the best is the grocery store puns. Definitely leaves you something to taco ’bout.
But she’s a lot more famous than me, and probably making much more money than me – which isn’t bacon my heart. HOWEVER, I was feeling a bit inadequate because I felt like I needed to step up my own game. I want to make more people laugh. I mean, after all, I’ve been doing it all my life. I grew up watching Jerry Lewis and Danny Kaye on Turner Classic Movies. My cartoon of choice were any cartoons made my Chuck Jones or Tex Avery.
When I was just a weeeee lass I excused myself from the dinner table because I had to go potty, only to come out with a comb wrapped around my wrist held by hair-tie asking my family, “What time is it? Comb-o-clock!” They absolutely loved it! Not just for the cornyness of the pun but it’s all in how you deliver the joke.
Anyways, there I was lying on my back, the room was dark, my cat had already given up on getting any sort of attention from me and as I was watching Liza do her amazing thing, I felt I was yet again reminded that maybe I should conciser getting into a new career. Maybe this was the calling!
I started to calculate and form a plan on how I could start my own – what else would you call it – comedy show on YouTube. I would need a better camera, a better microphone, finding material for my show would be easy, learn how to pick the right sponsorship, and I suppose I would have to start learning how to put on makeup because damn it Jim, I’m a tomboy, not a makeup expert!
But was this where I’m really suppose to do? Wait a minute! What am I thinking???
Seriously, we spent our first twenty years of our lives wondering what the fook we were suppose to do on this planet, with our ONE BIG PRECIOUS LIFE that every other motivational poster keeps reminding us about, only to spend the next twenty years wondering if we did it right.
I started to question everything.
Because, did you? Was this what life was suppose to look like? Did you do it right? Did you pass the test, check every box, score the A? Like, is your life actually a good one? Do you even know? Can you even decide? I mean, what does good even mean these days? And how do you know when everything is, in fact, exactly that? Will it ever be that? WHAT IF IT ISN’T? Does this mean it’s all been a waste? What have you done with yourself, Margaret? How dare you throw your life down the drain. You had potential, you know. Potential, Margaret.
Now that I think about it, looking back at the 31 jobs I had in 17 years kinda clarifies for my behavior last night.
And then they show up. I’m talking about that person (or persons) in your life who basically back-hands you across the left cheek to remind you that you already spent the last 4 years building such an amazing career with some amazing people. That person for me was Niamh (pronounced Nee-v).
This is how the hand went across thy face: the next morning I log into Facebook (pfff wait, what am I talking about? I never log OUT of Facebook) and there was Niamh talking about – guess what – how she felt a bit inadequate.
She tells about her experience of getting on YouTube for some marketing research to learn what people are asking about video marketing. And just like me she got sucked into the rabbit hole of learning how to make better videos by these fancy light set and use this particular fancy camera and upload this fancy software for better editing.
And maybe you’re just like me and Niamh, we don’t know anything about how to make the PERFECT video. We only know how to get our message out there and teach others how to get their message out there without having to worry about having the PERFECT lighting or camera or background.
What I do know how to do is teach people how to turn on their recording device and speak to their target audience in a compelling way.
What has happened to Niamh is exactly what happened to me: I was comparing myself to someone else. When we are in any kind of entertaining, teaching or leadership roll we feel this pressure – to APPEAR perfect – to only SHOW the good things – to show how much we KNOW… and the pressure comes from us moving towards this perfection.
This pressure of becoming perfect comes from the leaders or mentors we follow. We want to be perfect like them! They are perfect so that would mean someday we will look perfect too. Enter in the inadequacy. Because we tend to beat ourselves up by saying, “I could never be as perfect or as awesome as they are.”
Here are the truth-facts: If I continue to APPEAR that I always have my shit together, my minions – I mean followers – will feel inadequate too. And I Don’t Want That!
My passion is teaching people how to connect with their audience by being themselves by adding my humor. What I do is unique. What Niamh does is unique. What Liza does is unique. What YOU do is unique. And because of that it’s impossible to make one-to-one comparisons – otherwise we are just devaluing ourselves and others who are just doing their own unique thing.
We compare only ourselves with ourselves.
Each of us are on our own journey, we all have our own talents, skills, and struggles. Then we can compare ourselves to ourselves from a couple months ago and say, “Gosh, would you look at that. I’ve come a long way, training on new and interesting things.”
Anytime your feel-goods are being hurt by compare-itous, just notice how you unique and different you really are because each of us has a unique way of doing things.
Because as more and more time passes, we are becoming less and less defined by our professional titles and more defined by who we actually are in our spare time, as the internet has allowed us to express that more. Maybe you’ve got a Pinterest board dedicated to herbs. Maybe you tweet about politics. Maybe you’ve got a Tumblr for sharing interior design inspo. Or maybe you’ve got your blog titled Get Unstuck where you help people find their VOICE and experience #TrueFreedom.
Whoever you are, don’t spend the next twenty years of your life wondering.
And whoever you are?
You’re doing it right.
I hope this post has helped you. Please, scroll down and leave me a comment and tell me what it is you do when you suffer from compare-itous.