I’m currently reading a book by Lysa TerKeurst called Uninvited, which is essentially about dealing with rejection from a Christian perspective. In one of her chapters she discusses the abundance mentality (originally [I think] from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). This mentality really just focuses on the fact that there is not a limited amount of success in the world.
For example, I am a writer. I enjoy writing MG and YA novels. There will always be readers for these age groups. Someone else getting published before me does not take away a reader from my future book. To convince ourselves that our level of success is defined by the failures of others ensures our own failure. Why would that make us fail? Because it would let thoughts into our minds that disconnect us from each other.
I’m not saying this is easy. There’s not a simple switch you flick to make you instantly happy when someone else achieves their dream before you. It’s hard, let’s be real. There might be a flicker of jealousy there. It’s what you do with that tiny spark of negative nature that defines who you are.
If you’re feeling the heat from this post, know that you’re not alone. I recently had to remind myself of these truths when I heard about a friend getting published. Now here’s the kicker, I’ve already been published (or at least, I have the promise of publication from a lit magazine, and I’m still kind of waiting for it to happen). And yet, I see someone I know achieving success, and for one ugly moment I think, but what about me? What about me, though? Really.
In her book, Lysa (and she may have gotten this from someone else, I don’t know) stresses that instead of focuses on the why’s we should focus on the what’s, such as What have I learned from this experience?
Why’s lead you down that dark rabbit hole called self pity, whereas what’s bring you up to the light of self discovery. (Yea, feel free to quote me on that one.) It seems so elementary, and honestly, it is. But it’s something that not many of us are inherently good at. Actually, I’d like to meet someone who is good at this off the cuff. It’s a reminder we all need that doesn’t hurt to have. Okay, maybe it hurts just a little. My pride does feel a smidge bruised.
So before you start typing at the speed of light to get your story out before that other person sitting next to you at Starbucks, remember, it’s not a race. There’s enough room in the world for all of our stories.
Peace out cub scouts.