I learned this lesson in early recovery, but it’s really applicable for people at any stage in life. This is my experience with it.
When I first entered recovery, I had lost just about everything. If I hadn’t lost it, I progressively did while in recovery simply because the consequences hadn’t quite caught up with me yet. It was hard for me to see how I was going to pull myself out of the hole I had found myself in. I watched and listened to people who had been in my place and saw everything they had accomplished since getting clean, but for me it was hard to see myself there someday.
My reaction was one of two emotions — jealousy or resignation.
Either I was jealous of what they had (because I didn’t) or I resigned myself to the fact that it would just be too much work and I would never get there. It’s always easier to choose either of these because it means I don’t have to take responsibility, I don’t have to actually try and do work, and I don’t have to be afraid to fail.
It also means that I stay in the same place and fail to grow.
When I decided to become certified as a personal trainer, I only knew that I knew about exercise. I knew about anatomy and what workouts were effective for what, but I had no idea how to run it as a business. I didn’t know anything about the paperwork people should fill out, the most effective way to gather information from a potential client, and a list of other things you really only learn through experience.
So rather than take a test, get a piece of paper, and immediately start training people, I asked other trainers I knew if I could tag along to some of their sessions. I wanted to see how they interacted with clients and how they structured workouts. I asked questions along the way and even thought of new ones as we went along. It was something I wanted to do, so I learned how to do it.
I learned how to run this blog and turn it into a business by asking for help. Some of that help was free, some was paid, but all of it was helpful. If I didn’t know the answer to a question I had, I asked a person or the internet (there’s LOTS of info on the internet in case you didn’t know 🙂 ).
I found role models in the areas I wanted to improve and reached out to see if they would be willing to give me some time; I found someone who had what I wanted and did what they did.
Before this, as I mentioned, I would sit and compare. I would ask myself why I wasn’t doing as well as someone else. I would waste my time with negative emotions that didn’t move me forward at all.
Comparison is something that happens all the time. We compare finances, status, clothes, appearance, and the list goes on and on. One of my earliest posts was about the danger of comparison, yet it’s something almost second nature to many of us.
If someone has what you want, ask them how they got it. Follow those steps. Open your mind to doing things differently than you’ve been doing to get different results.
If someone has a larger blog following than you, ask them what they’ve been doing to get there.
If someone actually knows how to manage their finances and your accounts are a mess, ask them to teach you. (This is why I hired an accountant).
If you want to run a marathon but have trouble running a mile, find someone who has run one and ask them for help.
If you don’t know something, just ask.
Rather than stew in jealousy or believe you’ll never be able to get something or somewhere, simply figure out the path to get there.