I hate professional networking sites. I really do and it’s not because I have some personal vendetta against the lovely folks that encourage broadcasting your job history for others to see, but rather my hatred stems from this overwhelming sense of losing in the world when I compare my LinkedIn profile to someone else. Have you actually taken the time to measure up your professional accomplishments with another? It’s pretty exhausting and it really takes all of the energy out of an individual…trust me I should know. I’ve always felt like I did not accomplish as much as my Furman counterparts, my classmates from my university are running things in the world and I am just now starting to really figure out my life. Like seriously… I just now have a plan and my former classmates have written books, cured cancer and are probably going to receive a Nobel Peace Prize by time I come up in the world. Okay so I’m exaggerating a little bit … but still when I compare my life to those around me I’m like why can’t I accomplish big things too, you know? It’s that evil comparison trap again, waiting to swallow up my confidence and remind me where I do not measure up to those around me.
LinkedIn makes this self confidence process worse with questions such as “Do you have any certifications?” “Have you won any awards?” “Have you made any publications, written any articles, changed the literary face of the world?” “What about a Pulitzer?” “Pulled a Grammy yet???” And I sit in front of my computer screen, thinking to myself – “Does this blog count???” Oh man… the sigh of defeat when it recommends a connection that you just happen to know and that individual have written three books and just happened to have time to save a child from an orphanage last weekend. Why me??? I don’t have the accolades that some of my peers have, nor have I started my path when I thought I should have – but I am on my way. This is the piece of encouragement I whisper to myself, as I realize that I’m not “there” yet I am on my way.
There – a noun: that place we all seek to make one day, even though we have no idea where that place of contentment/satisfaction is.
I just want to make it “there” and in order to really love where I am and who I am, I am banning LinkedIn from my life for a little while. Who cares that I am just now going to law school at 23 (leave for school in August – yay!!)? Who cares that I have not published anything super grand yet – who cares??? I am great in my own right. I have touched many lives with compassion, created a brand for myself with no one’s help but God’s, and I learned that the value of life is not in the opinions of others but is in what we think of ourselves.
So… I am writing this LinkedIn rant so that we together can overcome the comparison trap; those triggers in our lives that lie to us and tell us that we will never measure up to the goodness of another. It is a stupid trap that comes when another friend is getting married and you realize you are still single; that trap that comes when your peer gets into the graduate school you was denied admission; that trap that comes when even with your accomplishments it is hard to find a job. The comparison trap comes to kill our confidence and tell us all that we are and will never be – that god-awful trap.
I feel a sense of revolution as we seek to love ourselves, encourage ourselves and learn to live confident within our own skin. I remember placing my blog on LinkedIn with such a sense of pride. When I started writing and heard all of the wonderful response from each and every one of you – I felt like I saw a glimpse of my special place, I finally made it “there.” Why should I allow the accomplishments of another steal that pure joy away from me?
Every one of us is destined for a different journey, some are destined for fame and fortune others not so much but it does not discount the adventure we all will fulfill . My journey started later than most in my opinion but it’s uniquely mine. No one will have a life like mine. No one will experience my God-created adventure and that is what makes my life special. God created my journey, He knew every twist and turn in the road and He anticipated this reaction to my LinkedIn profile today- He knew that would spark the inspiration for this post. God is cool with who I am and He loves me for me and not for everything I have done. His love is unconditional regardless of whether or not I make it “there.” This is the confidence we can rest in – God loves me regardless of our accomplishments.
So I will leave you with one final thought – If God loves us regardless of our paths, why can’t we love ourselves?
Comparison is the death of joy – Mark Twain
©Simone Holloway, 2016