Last week I was told that I’m not good enough.  Twice.

 

One of those people looked me in the eye and told me that she knew I had work to do, saw my future, believed in me, and sat with me to help me map out how to get there.

 

The other did not.  She made it about herself and her own journey, one that she made clear she thought I couldn’t ever hope to touch.  “You’re not ready.”

 

It wasn’t generous.  It wasn’t kind.  It wasn’t an accident.  And it stuck with me.

 

You might be thinking, “Well, gee, Laura, you’re a pretty tough bitch.  I can’t wait for you to tell us how you let her have it.”

 

I didn’t.

 

Ugh.  I know.  You’re disappointed in me.  I’m disappointed in me, too.

 

Mostly, though, I didn’t even realize it was happening until later, when I sat alone, gaslit, feeling ultra-shitty about myself, and my success (or lack thereof), and the long fucking road that I realized I had to travel.  I felt crushed; I was a fraud and a loser.

 

And then it hit me, not quickly enough for the emotional damage to hollow my core, but quickly enough for me to call room service back and stop them from delivering all the emotions I was planning to eat, alone, in shame, in my hotel room (#speakerlife), I am not good enough to ride out her journey… but I don’t want her journey.

 

And I’m certainly good enough to ride out my journey.

 

I’m going to say that again for the people in the back.

 

My journey is my journey.  And your journey is your journey.

 

Be your own dog.  Run your own race.  Do your own damned thing.

 

The game of comparison is insidious.  And it’s killing us all.  And it’s even worse when we let other people tell us what the benchmarks should be.

 

Oh, and by the way:

 

If ever you make yourself feel better about yourself by pushing someone else down, you are an asshole.

 

If ever you burnish your star by making someone else the dust rag, you are a douchebag.

 

If ever you step on someone else to make room for your own ego, you are a bully.

 

And you’re dead to me.

 

Success is an ever-expanding universe, and there is room for all of us in it.  Each time we build up someone else, we create more oxygen.  Each time we see the greatness in someone else and actively reflect it back on them, we create more oxygen.  Each time we actively look to build ladders, we create oxygen.

 

We all need oxygen.

 

Create more oxygen.

 

For your career, for those you love, for the causes you hold dear.  And, for the love of all that is holy, for you, too.