Confessions of a Rejection and Comparison Guru

Do you know how to beat comparison and rejection? 

Honestly, I’m still working on it myself. 

The nagging feeling comes when I see a post well-written by a peer. It fills my spirit when I see someone else chosen over me. It permeates outward when I see someone doing something I’ve only ever dreamed of doing. It even happens when I see a coworker who has a similar caliber as me doing the same work alongside me. 

It doesn’t matter what it is: work, speaking, singing, writing, sharing, etc.. Comparison quite literally has the capacity to drain me down to my worst. It’s so easy to get clouded in my head that I lose sight of the road I am on. I forget to look around at the beauty all around me in the people who are also on their own journey. 

Despite knowing in my head that there is room for both of us, on my worst day, I will take rejection and comparison to the next level and want to be seen as your next best — and then stay first forever.

The other night I sat with a friend who told me some hard things regarding my work. She told me that many people love it, but that it’s so long and compact that they tend to lose interest by sentence five. She encouraged me to reach out to someone who may know some tips. 

My head was quite literally throbbing in comparison with all the people I ever compare my work  with.  The person my friend encouraged me to reach out to happened to be someone I really look up to as a fellow creative (and also compare my work with).

I cried like a pansy sitting in that truth. The questions in my head were going through my head like a film reel: What does reaching out for tips and tricks do to me? How does it make the other person view me? What if they stop respecting me? What if they do the worst and ignore me all together?

Selfish fear. Scoffing. My friend asked me “what’s the worst that could happen?”

I was sweating and tears were uncontrollably falling from my eyes. My internal response had to do with my biggest fear: Rejection. 

A little word: No. 

This has happened before.

My deepest desire is to be respected. I want to be remembered by my words. My dream is to one day make this my full time income and I genuinely want to learn. I want to know what I can do to improve and change. Realistically, though, it wasn’t until my friend bravely and graciously called me out — telling me what needed to change — that I realized anything did. 

I take every piece of feedback in. I will try my best to execute something someone has told me needs to change immediately. While I might initially respond through tears, ignorance, and fear, I take all feedback seriously and implement it right away. How else am I going to beat my own fear of rejection and rise against comparison if I don’t?

I reached out. The worst I thought could happen didn’t. 

By resisting my inner feelings of rejection, I opened myself up to more critical feedback in my work. This debunked my irrational fears and leveled out my comparison issue on that specific day, ultimately helping me improve and see the residency shared between every one of us who has and ever will have the courage to create.