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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

Who are you comparing yourself to? [Wise Wednesdays]

Come on, we all do it. You’re having a bad day and you start looking over there, at that person and how they’re doing much better than you, etc. The medical term is ‘comparisonitis’.

Never happened to you? OK. Well, here are a couple of insights that may or may not be useful. We’re social creatures. We compare ourselves to other members of the tribe to make sure we’re conforming to group norms and not about to get kicked out. Getting kicked out means isolation and death in the wilderness (or it did millions of years ago). But what if you’ve changed tribe (e.g. you’ve changed career)? Or you have no tribe (you’re stepping back and exploring who you really are outside any tribe)? Or you’re meant to be the leader of a new tribe?... Some of you are so creative, free thinking and visionary that no conventional organisation can contain your creativity or offer your voice an adequate platform. This is the path of the artist, the entrepreneur, the visionary…and the healer on the edge of the village… OK, Amina. I get it. I’m a creative force and big visionary who can’t be contained by rules. It’s true that we’re used to relying or organisations as the middleman for access to resources. So we forget what we can accomplish with a small group and with the right communities. It’s a notion I suggested to The Sanctuary when I threw a challenge to consider the possibility of raising $1 million in support of someone’s vision. And because I’m a scientist and respect evidence, I found a few examples of people who crowdfunded $1 million for a cause. This is not to compare yourself but to know that resources are not confined to organisations. People and communities when mobilised around a purpose can create magic. And if you are going to compare yourself, why not choose comparators that feed your vision rather than drain your energy? · Somali-American entrepreneur Anisa Ibrahim launched a fundraising campaign in 2020 to support the rebuilding of a community centre in Minneapolis after it was destroyed during protests following the murder of George Floyd. The campaign raised over $1 million and helped to support the center's reconstruction. · Yemeni journalist and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman launched a fundraising campaign in 2017 to support the Yemeni people during the ongoing civil war. The campaign raised over $1 million and provided critical aid to those affected by the conflict. · Activist and founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke launched a fundraising campaign in 2017 to support survivors of sexual violence. The campaign, known as the "me too." Survivors' Fund, raised over $1 million in less than 24 hours. · Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Patrisse Cullors launched a fundraising campaign in 2020 to support organizations fighting for racial justice. The campaign raised over $1 million in less than a week and ultimately raised over $13 million. If you look closely, you’re probably the first in your lineage to do something. the first with all those degrees and/or that leadership level the first to change career… the first to launch a business in mid-life or early in your career etc. So whether you compare yourself in time or with your current peers, you’re unique. Remember that whoever you’re comparing yourself to may not be the right standard for you. Learning and inspiration from others is great. But the pain of ‘comparisonitis’ is just a signal calling you back to focus on what you are here to do, what your unique notes are in the great symphony of life, and who you’re ready to become. Have a great week, Amina p.s. Join me and a small group of brave souls exploring power including the distinction between ‘power over’ and ‘power with’ and how it shows up in work and life. Gain insights into how to harness your power and dismantle accidental control over you and your freedom to live a life you have reason to value. Free registration here >>

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