How do you cope with other people’s dreams getting more attention than yours?

The trap of comparison

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Success doesn’t have a line.

There’s no democracy, there’s no rational system of advancement and there’s no standard set of rules that determines when it’s our time to shine.

That’s why it can be so infuriating to watch somebody else having their moment. We see their dream getting more attention than ours, and we feel diminished. Like our chances for success are being all used up. Like our work is going unsung, unseen and unsupported.

And so, instead of responding with wonder, we react with bitterness and resentment. Instead of asking ourselves what we can learn from their success, we get trapped in our own personal soap operas, preoccupied with the drama of winning and losing. Instead treating their moment as a glowing source of inspiration for our own ideas, we get hostile and territorial and envious.

A healthier approach is to ask ourselves the following question.

How can I find a way to translate all these feelings that are exploding inside of me into something else?

I have a cartoonist friend who invented a fabulous exercise for this very issue. Anytime we get together for a brainstorming session, we spend ten minutes apiece complaining about other people in our industry that we irrationally hate. No judgments. No justifications. No interruptions. Just an all out bitch fest.

It’s not only hilarious, but it’s also profoundly cleansing. Releasing those feelings in safe space of mutual trust is a cathartic, connected experience. What’s more, irrationally hating people never fails to inspire us to reflect on our work and how we can execute it more effectively.

How do you cope with other people’s dreams getting more attention than yours?

For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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