The Three Toxic C’s
In my memoir Manifesting Me, I bring up the three toxic C’s which is Comparing, Competing, and Complaining. We all do this naturally at some time in our lives. But it really will be the demise of our success, if this excessive pattern doesn’t leave our thoughts. Although, some competition can be healthy when it’s with ourselves. And some comparison can be useful when used to gauge ourselves in an unfamiliar area. Other than that, they can spiral us into a dark place. Complaining is never good and no one wants to hear it.
Comparing is all Ego
I went to an event where I was surrounded by many authors. Immediately I felt awkward and out of place. I felt less than everyone else. I had never been to a women’s literature event in my entire life. I perceived that everyone had been to an event like this one and I felt like I was in over my head.
My ego and insecurity had completely taken over my brain. I wondered How many people there were authors? How well were their books received. Would my book be well received? Would I be well received?
Luckily, I relaxed and eased up as I listened to Leila Slimani, a world-wide famous author, being interviewed by Brooke Warner of She Writes Press; both whom I admire for their contribution to the literature world. Leila reminded all of us not to let critics and reviews dictate how we craft our art.
Logically I know I shouldn’t be comparing myself because it’s like competing, but occasionally it happens. It’s like when you go to the gym, but you haven’t been for some time. You get on the treadmill next to someone who’s running fast and you happen to glance at their setting, and think you should be doing what they’re doing. You set your speed and start to die.
Why on God’s green Earth would you think you’d be able to keep up? You don’t know how long they’ve been going to the gym. It’s okay to push yourself and compete against yourself, but do not compete or compare yourself to some stranger or someone that is so far out of your league. It’s negative and no good will come of it. It sends you on a downward spiral which usually involves complaining.
Complaining, Plainly Sucks
When you’ve compared yourself to someone, and/or secretly/blatantly competed with someone, it usually involves complaining in some sort of way. Again, we’ve all done it. And it’s normal to a degree. However, no one wants to hear it. It spirals your thoughts into negative oblivion. How productive is that? Complaining not only sucks, it drains the life out of you and everyone listening.
Not to mention when someone is complaining about someone else, they probably are going to, or have, complained about you. Like I said before, some complaining is normal. But if you are so focused on what’s going wrong in your life, you’ll more than likely get more of something to complain about.
How Does 3 Toxic C’s Affect Success?
The three toxic C’s can hinder your success. Success is all about learning from others that are more experienced, exploring whatever your new venture is, and having fun along the way. Focus on the prize not the obstacles. You will have bumps along the way, but that is part of the process.
Don’t compare or compete with someone in your venture. Assuming you know what they’ve done or not done, is only a distraction. It’s an excuse for you not to move forward. Just because someone’s book does better, or someone gets an offer first, doesn’t mean it won’t happen for you. Your time will come as long as you continue to do the work and not worry about everyone else.
You will have anxiety at times. That is normal in your journey to success. Walt Disney was turned down a ridiculous amount of times before Disney Land came to fruition. What if he had stopped going for his dream after the third rejection? Led Zeppelin had food thrown at them at one of their first concerts. What if they quit after that experience? Failure is a part of success.
Lastly, the non-toxic C, is compassion. Don’t be hard on yourself if you get a intimidated or anxious when your trying something new. It’s pretty normal. You don’t yell at a baby as they fall, when they’re learning how to walk for the first time.
You have to start somewhere. Everybody starts at a different point. Don’t get jealous over other’s successes. Have compassion on where you are in your process. Rejoice in the little steps in your progress. Little steps add up to big strides. I’ve said it before, it’s more about the journey, than the destination.
My Hope For Everyone Reading This
My hope for everyone reading this is, to not let fear stand in the way of a dream that needs to come into fruition; that your comparison with others, doesn’t hinder your growth or desire to move forward. I hope you only have a friendly competition with yourself in order to drive you closer to your goals. No one else’s goals are your business. There’s no need to complain about the circumstances you are in today. The contrast you feel, guides you towards that which you crave. What dream are you ready to fulfill?
When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. – Lao Tzu