Don’t expect to bask in someone else’s reflected glory!
How’s it going? I wanted to touch on something today that I think applies to a lot of people, or at the very least; is something most of us are acutely aware of, in the age of the “insta-star”.
That is: waiting for someone else’s glory to shine on you, rather than focussing on your own!
Let me back up for a second, and tell you where this is coming from. I have a modest following on Instagram (just over 21k at the time of writing) and I was recently tagged in a social media post by one of my mentors, who has 500K plus followers.
Now I like to tag people’s work and try and get the word out to my followers, so that they can maybe grow the size of their audience at a faster rate. The assumption is though, that when a ‘bigger fish’ tags you in something, their audience will see it and you can expect to inherit a proportion (at least) of that audience.
What happened when said mentor tagged me, however, was that I didn’t see any appreciable uptick in my followers. I wasn’t necessarily expecting to (though that would have been nice) but in retrospect, I guess I was a bit disappointed. But then it struck me:
His light can’t be my light. I have to be my own! And so do you!
We get so caught up in this, especially in Western society, but it’s true in other parts of the world as well; we expect people who attain a degree of fame to use that to give us a leg up. To bask in their reflected glory. But this is just yet another way in which we externalise our issues.
What are we really saying, when we do this?
Well firstly it is grossly entitled. Place yourself in the shoes of someone who has “made it” (whatever that really means). Would you truthfully feel like it was your duty to hand out portions of your fame or success to the less ‘fortunate’? I doubt very much that you would, and if you did you’d be tapped out in short order anyway.
We are also massively disempowering ourselves when we hand over the conditions for our glory, to others! We already are glorious! You are enough!
Now ok, I get it: your numbers don’t look like their numbers. Fair enough, but they’re on their journey, you are on yours. Instead of feeling like you need a slice of their pie, in order to reach your full potential; focus on being the best you can, and reach it yourself! That’s the only way to really do it anyway.
The only way to truly shine, is to shine in and of ourselves. So stand up and shine! Light can only radiate out from its source, after all.
The other side of all this as well is: are we really trying to live our lives at the point, or the life of someone else? It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that their life is so much better, more joyful and filled with happiness than ours; that we try to live it by proxy. But you’ll never be able to do that, so stop trying!
That’s just my thought for today. I hope it has clicked with some of you. If you enjoyed it, I produce regular Do It With Dan blogs, podcasts and videos. I have three books published now: Stepping Beyond Intention, The Dreamer’s Manifesto and From Time-to-Time (a really great book on time mastery). All of these are here to serve you and make you part of the journey as well.
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