Yesterday I was walking with some friends and one of them shared that our neighboring community, Bentonville, Arkansas, was just named as one of the best walking cities in Conde Naste Traveler and wondered why our town wasn’t also named.
First, congratulations to Bentonville for the recognition of the work they have done to build tremendous trail systems. Eureka Springs, our town, is a walkable city. It is built on a series of in town trails, staircases, and paths. It is awesome and there is even a book about that aspect of our city. I am proud of the work that our current trails committee is doing to create even more in town trails. Awesome stuff.
So, here’s the thing: Bentonville winning recognition for the work they have done does not take away from how amazing our town is. There is enough awesome to go around.
Let’s Talk About Scarcity
If another business is doing really well, that doesn’t take away from what you could do really well. There is enough to go around.
If someone wins an award and you don’t win that award that doesn’t mean that you are worthless. It just means that they were chosen at that moment and you should continue doing the great work that you do.
If a friend gets a promotion and you were passed up it might just mean that they were a better fit.
If your sister seems to be getting everything she wants in life and you aren’t it probably is just a reflection that she is working towards her goals and getting stuff done.
See what I’m doing here? I’m showing you that someone getting something doesn’t mean that your work or life is worthless. If you are doing work, running a business, or living in such a way that an award or gift is how you find your value you might just be doing it wrong. It is in the working and living that we should be finding value not from external sources.
There Is Enough
There is enough money. There is enough accolades. There is enough awesome. There is enough stuff to go to everyone who is working towards it. What makes it harder is when you focus on their gain as a lack in your life.
The Remedy for Scarcity
Congratulate Them. Really. At first you might not mean it, but that is ok. Once the habit is ingrained you will be able to actually feel joy in their bounty. This probably will take tremendous practice, but once it starts to take root the celebration for others becomes real.
Make Gratitude a Practice. Write down, each night, something that you were grateful in your day. Some days this might be hard and you are only grateful for the air you breathe. That is ok. The idea is to start focusing on what is working and not worrying so much about what isn’t working.
Stop Looking on Social Media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn have created a view into the shiny part of people’s lives – you only see the good stuff. It is great for connecting, but the more time you spend looking at how great someone else has it you start to forget how great you have it. Comparing yourself to someone else’s online image (remember, they usually only show you the good stuff) is worse than how my mom felt in the 60’s trying to keep up with the neighbors. Limit your time on social media and you will start to relax a little.
Learn From Them. Look at what the folks you think have more than you are doing and learn from them. Obviously, they are doing something right and perhaps a little look into what that is might make you start to see what you could be doing in your business, work or life.
Work on Your Own Stuff. Finally, just start focusing on your own stuff. If you put your head down and start paying attention to your own work you will move forward. You may never win that coveted award, but you will win in so many other places it doesn’t matter.