​”To compare is to despair”


These words of wisdom are from my own coaches this year.

How often have you found yourself thinking “I can’t do that. Jane/Bob/Joe is already doing it, and doing it so well.”?

I think those thoughts all the time.

I’m sure Jane, Bob, and Joe are wonderful people who have a lot to offer the world.

But here’s the thing. They can’t offer what you have. Only you can do that. And there will always be people and/or organizations that need what only you can offer.

The comparisons also make it SOOO tempting to change the way you bring your gifts to the world.

We all do it – consciously or not, we try to emulate those who seem like they’re knocking it out of the park, by looking, or sounding, or acting more like them than like ourselves.

I recently read some Napoleon Hill wisdom about the things that go into having a charismatic personality. (He actually called it a “pleasing personality,” but I can’t make myself even say that. As a woman of a certain age, it conjures nauseating images of Miss Manner’s advice for young girls! After reading his definition, I think “charismatic personality” is a better fit anyway.)

The list of traits he identified gave me pause (and supported my choice of “charismatic”), because nestled in among things you’d expect – positive mental attitude, courtesy, and humor, for example – is a trait Hill called “showmanship” and one of his protegés dubbed “pizzazz.” (And I’m certain THAT wasn’t on Miss Manners’ list!)

I’ve always thought of myself as lacking that particular factor. But in the same week I read about the importance of pizzazz I had this experience…

Fridays this summer were “Grandma’s Summer Camp” days, spent with my 3 oldest granddaughters (soon to be 7, 5 and 3) and we had all kinds of fun together. (Summer Fridays “off” – one of many blessings I’m enjoying with this new lifestyle!)

That week, a teenager approached me on the playground equipment where I was trying to stay a step ahead of the daredevil 2-year old, and said “I saw you go down that slide – and I said to myself, I’m gonna be THAT WOMAN!”

In truth, my first thought was “Geez, I must look really old today.”

My second thought was, “Lorri, when a teenager gives you a compliment, you just take it!” I responded with a smile and something like, “I doubt that will be my biggest adventure today!”

It wasn’t until much later that the 3rd thought popped into my head.

It occurred to me that all my life I’ve been looking at the whole pizzazz thing with my comparison glasses on.

Because isn’t pizzazz just being YOU…with flair?

That’s my wish for you. Stop comparing yourself with everyone else and feeling like you come up short. Just be YOU…with flair. The world needs you!

Lorri Anderson

Lorri Anderson

Lorri Anderson is an expert consultant to businesses and a powerful coach to individuals. After a long and rich career as a strategic HR executive, she is driven to give back by changing the Human Experience in today’s workplaces, one business or human at a time.

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