“And we talked for hours!” a close friend of mine gushed to me over the phone.
She continued to tell me how she felt herself beginning to fall for him and all sounded good until she shared,
“But the thing is Willda… He’s just so successful. He has his shit together. He’s running his own business and then there’s me…”
I continued to listen as she expressed her stress about how he was doing so well in his own career compared to her. Of course, she didn’t want this person to not be succeeding, but at the same time she couldn’t help but feel like in her own life was nothing in comparison.
It’s only human to feel somewhat intimidated if the person you’re dating is doing very well for themselves. This can feel emphasized especially when you’re just starting your career.
However the ‘danger point’ begins when you begin to pity your own success in comparison to theirs.
If you find yourself having difficulty in taking inspiration from their success or worse, if you find yourself fixated — maybe even afraid, that he’ll find out about how ‘shitty your life is’, then the person you should be building a relationship with most is with you.
While you don’t necessarily need to stop talking to the person you’re dating, you should be spending the majority of your time investing in a stronger relationship with yourself.
Nobody Completely has Their Shit Together
I don’t care how ‘perfect’ their life may seem on at first glance. I guarantee you the person you’re dating doesn’t have their life as ‘figured out’ as you think. Even if their career is soaring, it doesn’t mean that other areas in their life are just as impressive.
It’s key to remember, especially when you’re first getting to know someone, nobody puts their worse foot forward. Of course their life seems great!
No one tells the person they’ve started dating, “So I just wanted you to know that despite what you may see, my life is complete shit and I have no idea what I’m doing.”
You yourself probably don’t want them to know about certain things about your life until later on, so take comfort that it’s human nature to hide the less than ideal parts of our lives.
Don’t compare your reality with the ‘book cover’ of what their life looks like. Maybe they are as successful as you think they are, but remember that this also may not be the case. Looks can be deceiving after all.
Identify the Root Cause of Your Insecurity
If ‘the gap’ in their success versus yours causes you so much internal stress there is a reason behind it. You need to figure out why or forever be haunted by your inner demons.
A great question to ask yourself, what does my heightened insecurity say about my own career?
The 3 Possible Reasons Behind Your insecurity
Reason #1: You’re deeply unfulfilled with your own career.
1 solution to this is to take the time to reflect on what you really want and then make an actionable plan to change direction.
This could mean a complete change in career. Or perhaps you’ve just plateaued and simply need to find more mountains to climb (within your career) to give that sense of fulfillment.
Reason #2: You are heading in the right direction in your career, but you’re comparing your chapter 1 with their chapter 20.
Often when someone is a success we forgot that it was a journey for them to be where they are today. Don’t downplay all that you’ve accomplished in your life. You probably are doing better in life than you give yourself credit for.
Remind yourself that they too were once a beginner figuring things out. If you’re in that stage now, know that there’s nothing shameful about that.
Besides, where you are in your career is no one else’s business but yours. You owe no one answers or an explanation for why you are where you are in your career. If anyone ever tries to make you feel bad about this you don’t need them.
Reason #3: You’re a little lost in your own career direction
Sometimes you’re right in the middle. Maybe you’re not sure if your path is right for you. You may be in a period of your life where you’re not really sure of anything and have a lot of questions.
In this case, empathy towards yourself is key.
Getting mad at yourself for not having all the answers does you no favors. We’ve all felt a little lost in life or will all go through a period — multiple periods even, where we lack a solid sense of direction.
While some people have ‘always known’ what they’ve wanted out of their careers, for others the answer is something they need to discover. Maybe you’re the person who is in their exciting phase of first experiencing all of what life has to offer before narrowing down what you really want.
Don’t mentally beat yourself up enjoying the ‘appetizer section’ at the ‘Buffet of Life’ before you decide on your main course.
When you’re in the early stages of your career, know that it’s normal to feel intimidated when you’re dating someone who has seems to have theirs ‘all figured out’. If your career feels like a ‘taboo topic’ then that’s a sign from ourselves that we have bigger issues within to resolve.
While working through our own issues, let us show empathy towards ourselves and remember that we’re all on our own individual paths in figuring what we want out of our careers. Instead of focusing on how far we have to go, let’s instead strive to take inspiration from people ‘ahead’ to bring our own lives to greater heights.
Lastly, if this person is as great as you perceive them to be, then they should be supportive of where you are in your career today. Life is challenging enough. If they can’t show support towards your journey then they’re definitely not “too good for you”.
Previously published on medium
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