I have never found motivation in comparing myself to someone else.
And I am really good at comparing– I seem to do it a lot, especially when I’m feeling insecure or when work is slow. Maybe it’s a product of society, my own insecurities and doubts, my own judgment. My own hopes and dreams and the ways I’ve realized them, or the ways I haven’t.
There are still moments when I am diluted by the trap of comparing my struggle to someone else’s success.
One day in college, I was sitting in this loop of comparison and judgment. I already knew I had a long way to go, I just didn’t really know where I was trying to get to. I wrote down this question:
Who is the woman I want to be? What is she like?
I made a list of things about the person I wanted to be– the things I wanted to be defined by.
The woman I want to be is gentle. She does not judge others for their demons. She does not judge herself for her failures.
The woman I want to be is graceful and confident. She doesn’t wait for new cards, but plays big with the ones she already has.
She knows her greatness, and doesn’t waste time on those who undervalue her. She is tall, so she wears heels. She sings in the car and the shower and the grocery store.
She is humble. She seeks feedback and listens. She wants to be better and knows that self-improvement does not always flow easily.
She gives graciously even when she does not have much to give.
The woman I want to be wakes up and is thankful before she is anything else. She makes her coffee before the sun rises. And at midnight, she drives up to the lookout above town, just to be closer to the stars.
She is a firecracker, but she is tactful when it matters. The room feels different when she walks in.
She has strong boundaries. She understands her needs and makes them known. She does not settle.
The woman I want to be asks questions. She asks them well and she asks them often. She listens to the experiences of those who are different than she is, and she takes no answers personally.
She is thoughtful with her friendships and with her love. She gives neither away without consideration. She invests deeply, but is not afraid to walk away.
She is willing to be wrong. She is willing to sound stupid. She knows that she isn’t right all the time and that she never will be. She finds strength in vulnerability.
The woman I want to be says no when she is overextended and asks for help when she needs it.
She stands up and speaks out for what she believes in, even when it is tiring, because it is the right thing to do.
She chases her dreams, every day, without apology or restraint. She looks doubt in the face and declares, “I see you, and I’m moving past you.”
She is a powerhouse; a warrior for her truth. And I will work to be more like her every day.
You are living in the space between the person you are and the person you want to be. The only one worth comparing yourself to is past versions of you. Who are you today? Who do you want to be? Who will you be tomorrow?