Have you ever experienced a time where you had a moment of beautiful success and wanted to share that excitement with your family and friends? Did you also experience your tribe of people congratulating you with genuine joy that validated your achievement and created even more excitement?
I just returned from hosting one of my boot camps: PitchPERFECT. It was wild and wonderful! And it was uniquely special.
A small group of powerful women authors gathered in a cabin with an inspiring view of the mountains cascading into gorgeous fall colors. We worked on their book pitches for two days before they pitched to some amazingly talented, high-level NY agents, editors, and impressive best-selling authors on their third day.
At the very beginning of our journey, however, we discussed how “comparison is the thief of joy”. This concept is important because, as writers and authors, it can be extremely easy to compare ourselves with other folks, and our books with other works. Our egos can easily tell us that another person's book has super-rich content, or so-and-so has a better title, etc. Unfortunately, I have seen how the bitter poison of comparison can take away from opportunities and connections in my own life and in that of other authors.
Recently, I taught at an international event where I saw this happen. During another instructor’s small group activity, I couldn’t help but witness two people who sadly let comparison and ego take from their experience. It was painful to watch. One person refused to be vulnerable enough to share his pitch, because he was afraid of the critical feedback he would receive.
I’ve been there. Have you? It’s a powerless place to come from.
Another boldly expressed she had nothing to gain from sharing her pitch with others because she “already had everything figured out”. Then she didn’t bother to share any feedback with her group mates, either. Both these people lost out that day. They lost opportunities to grow, to connect, and to better themselves as authors. This is where comparison becomes such a thief of joy.
Here’s the cool thing. None of us have to reside with the robber longer than we need to. We can make a choice.
Yes, comparison is the greatest source of pain on the planet, but on the flip side. . . when we celebrate, we gain greater discoveries of ourselves and more opportunities to see what is possible. Celebration is the opposite of comparison, and it is miraculous and extraordinary! I have not only seen shifts in my own self, but in many others when they turn their hearts toward that great celebration of others’ successes, like the women who were such great examples at the PitchPERFECT Boot Camp.
Of course, on Pitch Day, each of these ladies were extremely nervous as they pitched to professionals. However, I saw the energy in that cabin quickly shift as the others quietly cheered them on in the background.
Now, when I say quiet, I mean soundless. And yet they were jumping up and down for one another, slamming silent high fives, and brimming with joy! By the end, each author remarked on how beautiful their experience was. The best part about that is that their experience had nothing to do with me and everything to do with them choosing to celebrate each other. It was glorious!
When we exchange that energy in our body from competition to collaboration, our world opens exponentially. It also makes the journey so much more fun and fulfilling . . . to the point where you can suddenly see joy around every corner.
In my view, whenever you see someone doing something you’d like to do, it’s like the universe has laid out a feast before you to see what’s possible to create in your own life.
I invite you to take some time this week and see where you can celebrate more. Look for those moments where you can give your business partner a giant high five, send a fun text to a friend, or dance with your kid in celebration of their success. Our author friend, Jeanie Cisco-Meth does Snoopy dances with her kids, and they’re now grown up.
As a fellow author, you can also take it a step further and celebrate with other authors in their launches on social media, or give sweet shout-outs to those you know working hard on their own books. As often as possible, praise people’s stories and books that have made a profound impact on you. This energy of celebration is so powerful that I double-dog dare you to engage in this and see how it changes your life.