07 Apr We do judge books by their covers…and it doesn’t help!
by Dr. Happy (aka Prof. Tim Sharp)
Did I tell you the one about the super-successful lawyer who's one of the most respected and highest earning partners in his area, in this country…but who's miserable and who derives very little if any satisfaction from his life?
Did I tell you about the beautiful and famous celebrity who's recognised everywhere she goes, amired and respected by so many in so many ways…but who constantly worries about how little she's achieving and how much more she should do?
Did I tell you the one about the CEO of a regional division of a multi-million dollar business, who's considered a rising star and flagged to take over the international business…but who lacks the confidence to challenge his colleagues when they're not performing?
These are all clients of mine (in my role as an Executive Coach/Therapist) and these are all people who most of us would consider highly successful and assume to be very happy (why wouldn't they be happy when they have fame and/or wealth and/or beauty and/or all of these!?!?).
But as you can see, the reality is that they all suffer the sorts of insecurities and uncertainties, they're all haunted by the sorts of issues we all face.
Am I good enough?
Have I achieved enough?
Will people one day guess that I'm really incompetent and incapable (what I call "imposter syndrome")?
Yet we don't see all this because it occurs "inside"…inside their thoughts and beliefs, within their feelings and emotions. These are also things that many of us are very good at hiding so when others look at us we appear to be completely together and coping and happy and confident.
But we're not…or ceratinly not all the time.
And we feel even worse when we look at others and compare our inner turmoil to their (apparent) outer calm. Which leads to the message for today…
…don't compare your inners with their outers. In fact don't compare at all; especially if/when it's only going to make you feel bad.
If you want or need to focus on those aspects of your life that are in need of improvement then go ahead; do it. Work on these issues, either by yourself or like my clients, with a professional BUT don't then assume that everyone else is perfect. They're not; none of us are. We all struggle at times which means we're all pretty much in the same boat. Acknowledging this can take a lot of pressure off and reduce the need many of us have to live up to others' (usually unrealistic) expectations.