I'm afraid of criticism. Terrified of being found out for the fraud I am. And oh, dear God I hope nobody notices how I'm burying my deepest insecurities...and yet, you and I face these moments daily.
Someone is going to criticize you.
Everybody knows you're not exactly as you seem or say you are.
And it probably doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes type of arrogant diatribe to unearth what you've buried.
It's alright. You're alright. We can in fact help each other more than hurt each other through these experiences as long as everyone is able to recognize WE'RE ALL NEW AT THIS.
I'm 34 years old and I certainly have not figured out how to live this life to the fullest. I still stay up too late and want to sleep in every day, I crave attention, acceptance, and praise from people I know and people I don't know or care about, I'm trying to care more about people, I compare myself to just about every person I see in some small way, I'm a husband of 13 years, a dad to three kids and I have a part-time job while trying to step into building a business and doing what I'm made for. And the scariest part about my life is that I'm totally new at this.
Won't somebody please help me.
We need each other. We need to learn from each other. We desperately need to not base our lives off some subtle tendency to compete in every little way. Whether you're parenting small kids - or big kids for that matter - or you're starting a business or getting married or buying a house or creating art or feeding others or any number of other noble efforts you might be up to today, you're new at it, and so are we.
So stop comparing your life to the snapshot you see of others while thinking they have reached some pinnacle that you never will. They're new at this too.
Give yourself a healthy dose of grace and get to doing what YOU are supposed to be doing.
Lean in to your family, your home, your job, your self-betterment and if you get lost somewhere along the way ask for help. We expect you to, because we know you're new at this.
Take a breath and remind yourself, 'this is my first time living through this very day. It's never been done before and (thankfully?) it'll never happen again.'
You're a newbie at today. So am I. Look around you, those people are new at this too.
So instead of building stronger defenses against critique, invite the wisdom. We have a lot to learn from each other. It won't all be helpful but much of it will be if we're willing to listen and learn.
And my friend, instead of competing and comparing, next time you catch yourself wanting the life of somebody else because of its perceived perfection, remind yourself they are new at this and need as much help as anyone else.
Congratulations! It's your first day. Have fun with it.