While every writer should learn from others and should be personally confident in his/her own abilities, once we give in to the scarcity mentality, we distract ourselves, discourage ourselves from doing our best work, and make our success about what others are did yesterday than what we can do today. There are plenty of opportunities for all of us to grow and succeed.
The best cure I’ve found for envy is to focus on my own gifts, calling, and readers. In fact, it’s quite an insult to my readers if I spend all of my time envying someone else’s success. I’m essentially telling readers that they’re following the wrong writer!
When I focus on serving my own readers and give up on the soul-sucking envy that is fed by unhealthy comparison, I can direct my energy toward my own calling and audience.”
We have the rather obvious and basic task of accepting that we can only move forward from where we’re at instead of wishing we were further along or had made different choices. In addition, we can only go so far as our gifts and personal callings.
The good news is that we can often do more and go further than we expect. The bad news is that we often focus on the wrong things and the wrong direction.
We see someone else’s accomplishments and begin to desire them for ourselves. Another person’s calling may be the worst thing for us since we may not have the capacity to handle what others have. That is a humbling and freeing lesson!
We each have to figure out our own paths, even if we can learn a lot from those who have been more successful in different capacities and callings.
As I’ve let go of my hopes to duplicate the success of others, I’ve found a greater sense of peace with who I am and what I’m called to do. That has made me a calmer, gentler, kinder person.
I don’t resent writers who have been more successful, and when the successful complain about the challenges they face, I’m at least aware of when I start to resent them.
Today’s post was adapted from my new book, Write without Crushing Your Soul: Sustainable Publishing and Freelancing.
The eBook version is on sale for just $3.99: