Just stop! I know how it feels. I know how you feel! Because, I was guilty of this (and still am, at times) so often over the years. Comparing myself to where I perceived others to be in life. Sadly, this last time, it came about right in the middle of a serious battle with depression. I had just gone through a terribly tough transition financially and professionally with the winding down of a business that I’d poured my heart and soul into, and fought tooth and nail to prove to everyone that it would work. Unfortunately, it did not and with a baby a month away, I was burning through my cash and savings in a frantic attempt to salvage what I could. Eventually, I was upside down, facing eviction, losing a car, with no income and a newborn son to take care of. I remember being on social media, lying to myself about my real intent, and feeling as if I were a complete and utter failure compared to my friends and colleagues who were flying fighter jets, directing huge music videos, excelling creatively, and building amazingly scalable businesses. “What is wrong with me,” I thought? What’s my fatal [character] flaw? Would I ever become successful and experience what it was like to create something prosperous out of nothing? The short answer is ‘yes,’ but at the time it seemed entirely far off. Instead, I was facing this ever present reality that I was completely broke, without any prospects, and two days away from living in a tent somewhere in Echo Park with my wife and son.
Social media can be so dangerous for people dealing with serious life issues. Naturally, we as human beings, compare ourselves to each other no matter the occasion or magnitude. For me, the insecurity sprung about as a result of having a promising career as a military pilot, in addition to my entire family expecting me to achieve that milestone without fail. I’ve always been hard on myself in regards to high achievement, merit, and accomplishments and this caused me to get used to people (family/friends) lauding me for my outstanding achievements at such a young age. I was used to having everything work out smoothly for me with a little sweat and elbow grease and felt the same way about pursing my entrepreneurial ventures as a young adult. Learning to fly airplanes at a young age, excelling academically, being the oldest of 15, getting into the school of my choice with a full-ride, being guaranteed a Marine Corps pilot slot. All of these events in my life led to a false sense of invincibility and a belief that everything would always, always work in my favor. I’ve found the latter to remain true, just not in the sense that things will work out according to your/my plan, despite the fact that they eventually end up working in my favor when they are supposed to (if that makes any sense).
Just to tag on a bit more in reference to the social media comparison, etc., I’ve had to learn to admit to myself that I was dealing with issues of doubt and insecurity which resulted in envy and jealousy towards those that I perceived to being thriving or doing better than me. I’m not even going to try and cover it up, guys. I was envious. I felt like I’d never amount to anything because I decided to pursue something other than what everyone expected of me. Expectation (especially other peoples’) is an automatic setup for frustration and disappointment. I’m so thankful that we’re living in times where mistakes and failure are an accepted part of the process and journey for entrepreneurship and freedom. The moment that I let go and realized that I was uniquely designed and gifted for a specific purpose is the moment that I was able to spread my wings, reacquire my swag, and gain the confidence needed to persevere through my next business (ad)venture. I’ll more than likely expound on my personal experiences with comparison and insecurities I’ve faced, along with how to properly and effectively deal with them later. Until then, always a pleasure connecting with my Superpreneur(.me) family and I sincerely hope that these brief thoughts connected with you in some way. Have an extraordinary day gals and guys!