Falling into comparison traps will blind you to your truth. If you begin to think the grass is greener on the other side, begin ignoring everybody.
“Anything real begins with the fiction of what could be.
Imagination is therefore the most potent force in the universe,
and a skill you can get better at. It’s the one skill in life
that benefits from ignoring what everyone else knows.”
~ Kevin Kelly
As she spoke, my image of her was one of her floating high above her body, staring down in judgment, fierce and unrelenting. Pain hung onto her heart like fat drops on deciduous leaves after a spring rain.
“I watch them, you know,” she said. “The 7-figure entrepreneurs. How they are running their businesses. What kind of lifestyles they have.”
“Yeah?” I asked. “What is it exactly that comprises the gap between where they are and where you are? Let’s break it down.”
I already knew the answers. I waited to hear the words echo from the phone speaker:
The over-the-shoulder view of someone with a core belief that who she is, what she values, what she loves, what she dreams of, and how she has chosen to build her business and life are somehow not right. Off. Wrong. Not enough.
How she feels inept. Not doing the right things. Not focused on the right audience. How her life is dull and lackluster in comparison.
The grass is greener on the other side?
She has created stunning and impactful content that most of those “7-figure entrepreneurs” would give their right arms to have. She has organically grown her list and has a majority of repeat business and strong referral deal flow.
Clients trust her. Surrender to her.
She has a certain way of helping her clients find a way to reach within and discover the buoyant fingerprint of their soul, amplify it, and make it a shoreline of refuge for others who are unable to see through the fog generated by their own overly-critical minds.
She is the perfect sherpa through hell fire because she has lived it. Survived it. And is determined to let all other wayward travelers in on the secrets.
And the kicker is that from any vantage point, her business, her life are carpeted in the greenest of grass.
How do we dislodge ourselves from the claustrophobic squeeze of the boulders on either side of our shoulders? How do we wriggle out of stuck, out of the mire of mind swamp, and shake off the debris of our painful, habitual thinking?
The Freedom of Imagination
We can start by imagining what freedom feels like. Looks like. Sounds like.
We can imagine the old worries evaporating. What would that require? What would we have to change and/or begin/stop doing?
We can imagine the return of our happy-go-lucky, adventurous soul. Where is she and what is she doing? To whom does she want to be a heroine?
We can imagine the Ideal Day we want to live. Our Ideal Clients. Our Ideal Vision of how we’d serve and how often.
Is there a year-long sabbatical calling you? A year spent living overseas or traveling? Is your vision a high-volume enterprise with an expansive team or a tight ship, lean and light?
Review what you believe to be a limit to your life and to your work. Test it to see if it is really true. Prove yourself wrong.
What is the idea of you? The puzzle pieces that reveal a certain image projected onto the world? What is it about the idea of you that you want to change? What is it about the idea of your life or your business that is asking for a fresh start?
We can imagine and then live the fiction of what could be.
The way we create and build and work are as unique as our own reflections. Leaning into someone else’s frame to check our image against theirs sets up a comparison that assumes there is a race to be won, rather than a voice to be honed and heard. It assumes the grass is greener on the other side, or that it could be, and that thought is nothing more than a distraction.
Get clear on what is the best of all possible worlds for you. Sketch it, no matter how rough, in color on journal pages. Cut out…paste down…your desired feeling states, ways of working, your highly-defined client base, and how you would spend your days.
Because that, as Annie Dillard would say, is how you spend your life.
Imagine it all. Don’t hold anything back for later. Give it, live it now.