I hate this thought. Hate it.
You know why?
Not because it’s paralyzing. Because it is.
Not because it makes me want to back out of every project I’ve ever put my hands too. Because it does.
Not because it calls my creative ideas stupid and second-rate. Because it does that too.
But here’s the real reason I hate it when this phrase pops into my mind- someone else is doing it better– because it’s true.
I don’t even have grounds to kick it out my head because it’s not lying to me.
It’s 100% telling me the hard to swallow, ego bursting truth.
Somehow, in some way, we will be exposed to their successful, beautiful, ingenious work. We don’t have to go looking for it either. We can try our best to shield our eyes and plug our ears. We can commit to focusing only on our lane and still…
This someone else will inevitably find their way to our doorstep. Always.
Maybe you find yourself about to embark on a special venture or try out a new hobby or take a daring risk. Perhaps your working on your relationship with your children, putting time and energy towards becoming hospitable and caring towards your neighbors, undertaking a personal dream of yours, or attempting to organize and decorate your home.
Your excitement is palpable. You feel proud of yourself. You are finally getting some momentum.
And then BAM! without any warning, a certain person will come into view who is doing much the same thing as we are, but better. We slouch back into our seat.
Clearly shaken with the reality, we want to give up right then and there. And many of us do. I know I have on multiple occasions. Heck, I nearly threw in the towel today on something I’m working on because of this very fact.
But, if we are to do anything beautiful and worthwhile with this short life of ours, we must face this truth without flinching- someone else will always be doing it better than us.
The next time you cross paths with this better than you person, take a second to slump because it is so disheartening.
But then see how these words fit inside your spirit: I am not doing this to win. Or as Richard Rohr writes, “you have have nothing to prove, to promote or to protect.
Chances are when you first started out, winning, becoming a best-seller, a big name, or a raging success was never your intention anyways.
Could we settle for never being “discovered,” and could we take up our obscure place beside our fellow humans, sinking into the endless sea of faces just like ours? This might be the only way we can consistently and joyfully contribute our distinctive presence, creativity, and our love as we travel through this often harsh and competitive world.