I grew up with the “compare and contrast” syndrome. It’s the equivalent of putting out a measuring tape and saying, “Hmmm, I”m a little short here. Might need to be longer here. How I am isn’t right.”
What I’ve learned…
In the work world, I cringe when I come up against this syndrome in its many guises. If I am having an off day, I will fall prey to it and wallow in insecurity, or I will want to jump in the game and compete. Until now.
I finally saw and recognized the syndrome and realized, Hey, this is stupid! Kinda like, the Emperor has no clothes! Can’t you see that?
The advertising world gets off on this syndrome. If I think this celebrity is fabulous, I will want to have her haircut, wear her fancy designer clothes. Or, I will feel inadequate in some way because I don’t look just like her and then I will want to buy her haircare products, join a gym and spend lots of money trying to improve and make me “better.”
When I’ve been exposed to this syndrome, it is the quickest route to depression for me and to be knocked off balance for days. Sure, there’s lots of intuitives out there, sensitive teachers, animal communicators, fairy people, whimsical artists, etc. and I could fall lost in the sea of sameness. I met one lady recently who does all that I do, supposedly– teach the same kind of classes, even creating cards…omg, I am not special anymore! I have to prove I’m different, more special, more something?! But that is such a false impression. Do dentists say, “Wow. What I do isn’t special and I shouldn’t do it anymore. There’s lots of people in town pulling teeth and fixing molars.” Healers, do you hear this?
There’s a new voice in my head now that says, “WTF? Do you hear yourself with this nonsense?” Yes, my head even curses a lot too.
You see, we are like little snowflakes. All different, and our own little patterns of light and shiny that’s a mix match of special in itself. (Does that mean we are all mutts? Yes, in a way.) I could teach the same animal communication class but I guarantee I have my own particular spin on it with of course, stories and humor, because that is how I roll. (There will also have to be some cute little drawings in there, naturally.) Another person may be really good at teaching the same class but in a very organized, left-brain way with lots of exercises. Who comes to my class, hopefully, matches my energy and my particular snowflake energy offering. They need exactly that combination I offer. I forget that in the “compare and contrast” moment.
Many times the perfect students for me will write that learning with fun is exactly what worked for them taking my classes. That will feel so good to hear–like two puzzle pieces coming together in that CLICK.
Where does this awful syndrome start? I think it was created from a general feeling of unacceptance of self and our limitations. Either we came in with that to learn acceptance, and we arranged this life before we came in and were high on crack in heaven so we landed into a family that looked at us like we had three horns on our heads and gave us the message continually, “why can’t you just have one horn like us?” Or, maybe, we had a great family but we ventured into the world and the world wanted us to be a whole different animal, so we tried to change. Whatever its origins, the key is to see it now, because we can change that shaming line of thinking. You were born the way you are because maybe the world needs someone with 3 horns!
I feel that empathic undercurrent many times in social networking. It’s like one huge family trying to compete for mom and dad’s attention. Hey, look at me! I can make you $1000 in 3 days! No, I can solve all your problems in one day! MY program is super super special. Look at my amazing spiritual quote of wisdom. Aren’t I smart? I’m like a god.
The antidote to all of this nonsense is simple in solution but may be a challenge to do. Be as authentic as you can possibly be and stay true to that. Just be you. Spend most of your energy finding that authentic you that’s been buried under tons of layers of other messed-up beliefs. And the best marketing technique is to create a good product that is true to your story, or do the best work you can. Know what you are really good at and what you love to do. Know your strengths and take advantage of them. Then let people know you exist who need what you offer. What you offer is more than enough. There. You now all owe me thousands of dollars for the Ronni Marketing Program. I do accept Paypal. :)
ps. if you continually find yourself offering your stuff in environments that you feel you need to jump up and down and prove your worth, it’s just the wrong puzzle piece for you. Don’t keep re-creating your childhood environment. Take your energy elsewhere. See Puzzle Piece post.