In the Middle

When I was in high school, I once told my closest friends that I was going to find new friends.  Not because they were mean or bad friends, but because I was tired of being around people so much prettier.  They weren’t just pretty- they were talented and intelligent and caring.  I was all those things on a much less scale- not ugly, not dumb, not without talent, but being in the middle bothered me.   I was {mostly} joking about finding new friends, but the feelings remained.

As an adult, I don’t usually consider dropping friends over their awesomeness, but I do still struggle with the feeling of never quite measuring up.  I feel like I’m really good at a lot of things, but great at none, and spend way too much time being discouraged by the people around me instead of encouraged.  Instead of focusing on what I’m doing, I judge my success on those around me and how they’re doing- and I just keep falling into the middle.

That warped way of thinking was stronger than ever the past few weeks.  I’m

part of a group of terribly talented people, all working on pursuing a dream.  The dreams and talents are different, but it’s a group of people really making things happen.  But I’m so busy looking around at all they are accomplishing, and letting myself get down over what I’m not.

It took me a few weeks of wallowing in my ‘not measuring up’ to see the reality.  My path is not the same as theirs- my challenges and goals are not the same- my successes won’t be the same.  I’ve been cheering for them all along- never anything but thrilled for them- but busy being sad for me.    But I’m back.  Redefining goals and success based on what God has planned for me- not by what God has planned for those around me.

Am I the only one who needs to refocus back on God wants for me?  How are you doing at measuring success by what you’re meant to be and do, not by the world around you?  I’d love to hear.

I’m not in the middle of anything but my own story.

In the Middle of My Story

In the Middle of My Story

Comments

  1. Anita, You are beautiful, talented and awesome. You’re just looking at yourself in a clouded mirror.
    Jill @ Made with Moxie recently posted…Just Say No! A Free Selfish Sewing Embroidery Pattern.My Profile

  2. Anita,

    I am so glad you posted on UBC and I found you :) My post today mirrors somewhat on your subject matter. It is so easy to get caught up with what the world says is success, and putting you in a box.

    Thanks so much for sharing and have a blessed remainder of the week! :)

  3. I struggle with this on both ends – watching people who are doing “better” than me and watching people who are facing bigger battles and hardships. So much comparision and questioning really gets in my way of living my life and my story. I constantly feel like I’m struggling to refocus, recenter and remember that I don’t know anyone else’s full story, and I shouldn’t spend my energy fretting over the comparisons and gaps.
    Becca recently posted…Growing and Daring GreatlyMy Profile

    • Ah yes, it can go both ways- sometimes looking at those with more hardships helps pull me out of the funk, but even then it’s risky to keep looking around.

  4. Wow! You must be pretty awesome yourself! And I can see that you are pretty.

    You DO know don’t you that you are most like the people you spend the most time with.

    It is Law!

    So you must be totally as great as all of your friends (back in school) and now, or else they wouldn’t be your friends, most likely.

    That being said, I liked your post about the not comparing yourself to others.

    It is true we are all on our own paths. The only person you ever need to compare yourself to is who you were before. :-) (That is if you want to improve.)

    I believe that we all have free will and that God wants for us what we want for us and that is to be happy however that may look to each of us.

    And that each of us is unique, wonderful and worthy of all good things.

    Be your own inner cheerleader!

    Kathy

    P.S. And if you need or want and exterior cheerleader, contact me. I’ve been blessed by the ability to always see what is best in others and through my eyes, help them begin to see how great they are, too.
    Kathy Hadley recently posted…The Universe Likes SpeedMy Profile

  5. Nope, I’ve discovered just this week how crap I am at refocusing and looking at what needs to be done and what I’m doing and what I’m capable of. I’m glad you’ve figured it out :) Keep doing that – it’s the most peaceful way.
    Considerer recently posted…Don’t call me preciousMy Profile

    • Oh, I haven’t figured out exactly how to do it, except to keep reminding myself over and over and over and stop and start again when neccesary!

  6. Dearest Anita,

    Comparison is the thief of joy. No matter where we are in our journey, there will always be someone farther along. As we move along, there will be new people where we were yesterday.

    As a white belt with two white stripes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I can honestly tell you that if I start comparing myself to those who have been practicing longer, I immediately set myself up for gloom and doom. However, if I evaluate my performance on the mat today with me on the mat two days ago, that’s where the miracles start to happen.

    You are unfolding exactly as you should.

    Peggy (from UBC)
    ***
    Peggy Nolan
    The Stepmom’s Toolbox
    Peggy Nolan recently posted…10 Reasons Why I Practice Brazilian Jiu-JitsuMy Profile

  7. “I’m not in the middle of anything but my own story.” LOVE that line…yes, I can feel just like you do in the Startexp…but we have to remember what our “leader” says “you can’t compare your start to someone else’s middle” i know I can feel like giving up if I can’t do IT ALL right now, and I need to just stop. breathe. and do one thing at a time

    yea for new perspectives!!!!
    april recently posted…Contemplation; Being Found Out…My Profile

  8. My friend, I can’t tell you how much this resonates with me. In fact, I read it yesterday and had to let it sit in my thoughts and my heart for awhile. Round 1 of Start came and went an I was feeling SO good about the way things were going and Round 2 came and even though I started off good, I quickly began to lose sight of my first goal and that was simply to write.

    I can’t even tell you how many hours I’ve spent in the last week looking at and lusting over other’s blogs and reading about growing my audience and building a brand and monetizing and……. forgetting what my goal was.

    I’ve always felt like God had called me to write and to share with others but I let all that other stuff get in the way of that. I want to have a big, lovely blog with a huge audience and advertisers who are begging me for a spot on my blog and a mailbox full of products because companies can’t wait to see how I will promote their items.

    But I don’t need any of those things. I need to write.

    And you need to write. You need to share your story because people NEED to hear it. You have a message of hope that people are literally dying to hear.

    Front of the line, back of the pack or right in the middle, the world NEEDS you. And so do we!

    xoxox

  9. Angie Burns says:

    I get you on both sides of the comparison coin… the temptation to do it that leads to self-destruction as well as the commitment to kick it to the curb! Unfortunately as long as we’re human, we’ll keep flipping that coin! But thankfully we find friends along the way that keep us give us the ‘heads up’ and keep us off our ‘tales.’

    I may have taken that metaphor one step too far. LOL!

    Seriously though. LOVE that photo of you. No one can hold a candle to beauty and determination!

    Hope you are feeling well…
    Love,
    Angie

  10. Anita, it’s amazing how just about everyone in our little gang of Starters feels this way about the other dreamers in our band of misfits. The fact is that you are not idly watching others live their dream but you are deciding to live your own dream. Thanks for your constant support over at my blog. I have been remiss on reading the posts of others, but since my daughter did the heavy lifting for today’s post, I gained some valuable time back. Thanks again for sharing.

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