(Artwork courtesy of @itstracyG and soundcloud.com/shesbeautyandthebeast)
I can remember it like it was yesterday, the words came out of my supervisor’s voice yet they didn’t register. I couldn’t possibly have lost the job I worked so hard to get. When I was let go from my mainstream writing gig six years ago I thought my world had come to an end. I constantly blamed myself and went into a major depression. As I came out of my funk I begin to see my peers reaching heights I thought I should have hit also. I had one peer on a popular reality show, two more producing for major networks and an ex co worker making appearances on prime time TV as a entertainment analyst. It seemed like everyone around me who once looked to me for advice on how to get put on had been put on. Then there was me. Unemployed, broke, single and miserable. I began to constantly compare my journey to that of others. It begin to turn me into a jealous envious and bitter person.
As time moved forward and I begin working a regular job outside my field I found myself asking why not me? Why was it that every person in my life was excelling and I was stagnant? It turned into a constant battle that wounded my heart and soul every day. I had to realize that my discontent wasn’t because everyone around me was excelling but more so because I lost my purpose in life. I was simply using the success of others as a bandage to cover my own misconception of life. The tricky thing about envy is that the things we are envious of are things God may see as temptations which we are too driven to acknowledge. As I begin to re-channel my focus on my purpose I found my happiness. While I was financially happy with writing celebrity gossip I was unhappy with the image and person it was turning me into. Yet I continued to spiral into a dark place simply to save the humiliation of not being on the scene.
Shortly after coming out of depression I begin to focus on writing for purpose instead of writing for a salary. I wrote on subjects that came from my heart instead of headline stories that helped attract views. I tuned out what everyone else was doing and carved my own lane. When I begin to do that I begin to find peace. Although I didn’t have the fame or notoriety that my peers received I was creatively at my best. The biggest lesson I learned was that nobody has it all. Comparing your life to others will always be an unbalanced proposition. The reason for this is because you will always compare the worst parts of your life to the best assumptions you make about others lives. Have a grateful heart that accepts your trials as opportunities to show what you are made of. Use the negative energy from your jealousy as the push you need to achieve your own goals. Use it as a confirmation that if they can do it you DAMN sure can do it.
My life stands as a testament that life does move on, and if you don’t hop on the ride it will move on without you. Remember to celebrate the success of others. It will allow you to experience happiness in the joyful outcomes of others. That is a release that will bring you one step closer to your own personal success. Successful people like to surround themselves around positive thinking people, if you aren’t a joy to be around then how can you network with those that are successful? Keep in mind that your race can’t be run if you are too busy tracking your opponents steps. Envy and jealousy is based on survival of fear, it keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. Remember that true success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful. Be happy in your own race knowing that when the finish line is behind you, your true success will lie ahead of you!
From the heart of Ebony S. Garris
For more on curbing your comparison go no further than the amazing @itsTracyG who recently shared her latest installment of #ShesBeautyandtheBeast:
Volume Three: Compariholics Anonymous