What Meeting My Favourite Author Taught Me About Comparison.

We all have that “one person” who opened our eyes to what’s truly possible for our lives. Your person may be the 6th-grade teacher who showed you how an encouraging word can stick with someone for years. Or it could be the doctor with the kind eyes who helped you realize that treating people with modern medicine is what you’re called to do.

My person was a blogger-turned-author from New York. Years ago, I’d stumbled onto her page and found solace in her words. Her stories soothed an ache in me I didn’t know I had, and her words were a lifeline out of my pit of depression. We were a whole world apart, but through her stories, she became my friend, mentor, and biggest cheerleader. I devoured every post she wrote and paid an arm and a leg to ship her books to Australia.

“This is exactly what I want to do,” I told myself after reading yet another one of her beautiful blog posts. “I want to spend my life writing words that make people feel seen and heard in their mess.”

Two years later, I followed her footsteps and pressed publish on my humble blog. It was the most courageous move I’d ever made up to that point in my life and led to me becoming a creative copywriter for visionary business owners. The dream I had was rapidly turning into a reality, and with every opportunity that came my way, I felt indebted to this writer for helping me overcome my fear.

Then, the inevitable happened.

I got caught in the trap that writers who rely on their work for a living fall into. I focused less on the joy of writing, and more on how I could make it work for me. I wanted to grow and earn a substantial living. I was hungry for more validation, money, and readers. I wanted to be known for my beautiful prose and stories, just like the author whose words I’d stumbled on.

‘I wish I could be as cool as her,’ was the first thought that cropped up as I watched her life play out on her Instagram stories: a life where her words spread like wildfire across social media and every post received dozens of adoring comments.

But then, the thought started to take a life of its own:

“Why is she making more of an impact than I am?”

“Why is she more successful than I am?”

“Why can’t I be more like her?”

Like soldiers on a battlefield, I lined up every single one of our traits and began comparing them to figure out how she had achieved success at such a young age. She’d received her first book deal at the same age I am now. What was she doing that was making her so much better than me? I believed her path was the only one to success, and I was hell-bent on following in her footsteps.

My uncontrollable urge to compare myself to her, and my frustration at not being where I wanted to be, mixed together to become a poisonous concoction of pain and anger. Instead of being inspired by her, I was filled with resentment.

Like weeds, comparison begins its lifespan so small and seemingly harmless that we’re initially dismissive of its existence. It starts off with a tiny twinge here, and a throbbing ache there. It’s birthed from a small question, “Why doesn’t my life look like theirs?” and grows into a nutrient sucking force that wails, “Why aren’t I enough?”

Distrust and bitterness grow rampant when we continue to water the seeds of comparison. Left unrooted, it can entangle us in a never-ending cycle of wondering why other people have it better than we do. It can choke the life out of the dreams we’ve planted for ourselves and make us question if it’s worth tending to our garden if someone else’s is just going to look better. It can be the driving force that compels us to keep striving to prove we’re worthy — only to leave us burnt out in the end.

I let the weeds of comparison grow for so long that it wrapped around my creativity and strangled the life out of it. I no longer created; I consumed. I couldn’t sit at the blank page without berating myself for not being as good as her. Any story I produced was dull and lacked the flair that made it truly unique.

It was the devastating loss of my voice that finally prompted me to take action and deal with my comparison issues once and for all. With the money I’d set aside for a rainy day, I hopped online, booked a two-hour coaching session with the author, and mulled over what I would say.

How do you tell someone their words are both a blessing and a curse?

When we met over Skype, she sat and listened attentively while I revealed how her words had impacted my life and how I’d “lost” my voice.

“I fear I’m trying to become too much like you and it’s manifesting itself in the way I write,” I told her.

She smiled before taking a deep breath and saying:

“You’re not me and you never will be. You have your own voice to craft and stories to tell that are yours and only yours. Focus on being you.”

Two years on, I now know that we were never created to be like anyone else. Once I could separate myself from the vicious thoughts that were clouding my mind, I could see that I had my own way of stringing words together and telling stories. And it was just as valid as hers.

I didn’t conquer comparison that day. I don’t think it’s something we triumph over once and never measure ourselves again. Rather, it’s something we must continuously acknowledge. We must intentionally uproot the lies every time it strikes our most vulnerable areas.

The world doesn’t need you to become a carbon copy of someone else — no matter how incredible you think they are. It needs you to be someone who isn’t afraid to blaze your own trail, live out your own experiences, and then come boldly to the page to write about it in a voice that’s truly yours.

The irony is that, while you’re over here looking at another person’s life, someone else is probably wondering why they aren’t more like you.

And how heartbreaking would it be if you never discovered your voice because you were too busy trying to imitate someone else’s.

I put words to emotions, tell stories for visionary business owners, and write love letters every Wednesday. To get your weekly dose of love, encouragement, and confetti in your inbox, drop your email below.

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On Overcoming Resistance & Doing Hard Things

I’m currently reading a book called The War of Art.

It explores this idea of ‘Resistance’ and how a negative energy exists to push us back whenever we try to improve ourselves.

For some, ‘improving ourselves’ means achieving a long-held fitness goal. For others, it could be learning to be better with money, or putting more effort into studying. For me, it’s the act of writing.

Even though I say I love stringing words together and creating beautiful sentences, most of the time, it’s hard. Like, really hard. With every blog post that hits your screen, it’s taken me hours of agonising and stressing to get the words exactly right. A typical writing session involves me berating myself over being a bad storyteller and tearing myself apart over whether I should add a comma or a semi-colon. There are tears and panicked phone calls to friends before I can finally produce a post that’s worthy of being published.

Knowing all this, it’s borderline painful to pull up a blank page each week and put myself through the same torture creative process each week. All I want to do is duck under the covers and hide.

According to the book, running and hiding is exactly what we do when we encounter ‘resistance.’ Our immediate response is to procrastinate.  

I’m the self-proclaimed queen of procrastination. I’d rather watch all 4 seasons of Queer Eye on Netflix or dance solo in my living room instead of sitting in front of the blank page. I was exactly the same in uni. I’d start my assignments weeks in advance – not because I was hyper organised, but because I knew I had to give myself enough buffer time to procrastinate.  

As I dived more into the pages of the book, the author states that we feel the most ‘resistance’ when we’re working on a project we know is worth pursuing. We know deep down how pivotal this goal, so our natural reaction is to fear it and put it off.

I have pages and pages of unfinished drafts sitting on my computer because I’m too scared to finish them off. These drafts are on topics I know I need to share, but it’ll also require me to relive painful memories and face harsh truths. I’m scared my pieces will receive negative reactions that’ll make me want to curl up in a ball and never write again. Even worse, I’m scared it’ll actually receive brilliant reactions and I’ll have to keep producing the same calibre of work in order to meet people’s expectations.  

Does anyone else feel like a bundle of walking contradictions?

But I digress.

I haven’t finished the book yet.

In fact, I’m feeling a huge weight of resistance towards finishing the book (ha). It’s probably because I know that once I’ve read it from cover to cover, I’ll have to commit to doing the work and overcoming my resistance.

I write this today because I know there are so many of you out there who have been putting things off for way too long. You needed to start studying for exams two weeks ago.  You told yourself you would start running more but your runners are still sitting in the box it came in. You need to call out the guy who’s trying to brush you off and demand an explanation.

If the author of the book is right, then you’re putting it off because it’s hard and you’re scared of the aftermath. You’re scared to find out that you know less about the subject than you thought or you’re more unfit than you realise. You’re petrified that the guy you’re calling out is going to tell all his friends that you’re crazy.  

But sooner or later, we have to put our foot down and just do the damn thing. We have to make a decision to leave behind the things that hold us back and push forward.

This week, commit to one miniscule step that will help you overcome resistance and move towards your goal. Download the lecture recoding. Take your runners out of the box. Draft the text message that calls him out for his bad behaviour.

Then, commit to another miniscule task right after that. Listen to the half of the lecture. Move your runners besides your front door. Send your draft text to a friend and ask if they think you should send it (Spoiler alert: yes, you should).

After that, rinse and repeat.

By committing to one small action at a time, we’re slowly dismantling resistance and reducing it to a wisp.

At least, I think that’s what’s supposed to happen.

Pushing Through The Fear

This piece originally appeared on the Eight Hundred Words blog, but fear is one of those emotions that never strays far from us. I heard someone say today that ‘Fear and Excitement can feel like the same thing in our stomach,’ and I wondered how many times I’ve avoided doing something because I was fearful. This piece may apply to writing, but it doesn’t change the message behind it. Fear doesn’t get to win. You do.

‘Don’t you want to change the world?’ flashed the text on my screen. I actually laughed out loud when I read it. The notion of me, a twenty-one-year-old who’s barely completed her degree, changing the world was so absurd I spat out my coffee.

The night before, I had sent (yet another) message to my friend, vomiting all my worries and fears into the little text block on Messenger. I’d whined that my words probably weren’t going to be good enough to be published by anyone. I wondered if it was too pretentious to call myself a ‘writer’ if I only had one self-published article online. I asked a bunch of ‘what if’s’ and ‘who did I think I was to set up a platform and be a voice.’

I typed out a whole essay, and he sent me back seven words.

Don’t you want to change the world?

To his credit, those words did stop me worrying. But only for five minutes. Then I went back to overthinking every little decision I was about to make.

I’ve written a lot about fear lately. Heck, I scored my first client because of my words on fear. I think what makes me an expert is that me and fear go way back. He was there when I wanted to apply for Class Captain but didn’t because I was scared of rejection. He lurked in the background years back when the writing itch first began and made me fearful of what people thought. He showed up every time I wondered if I was worthy of more in my life, and he always shut me down.

You see, fear is the guy you didn’t want to invite to your party but felt obligated to. He is a stage five clinger who latches to your side the entire night and begs to be the centre of your attention. When all you want to do is be the life of the party, he whispers taunts in your ear to keep you off the dancefloor. Fear wants to rob you of every little thing that could make you great. He loves seeing you doubt your ability to string together words and weave stories from your imagination because it keeps you small.

So let this be your pep talk today: Fear does not get to win. Fear does not get to smother your dreams to death. Sometimes the only way to get over it is to just do the damn thing. Sure, you may come out on the other side with a bruised ego – but you’ll still be alive! Fear shrinks every time you dare to step forward.

If you want to call yourself a writer, do it loud and proud. Forget this idea that to be ‘legit’ you need fancy by-lines, a publisher or get paid per word. If you write with intention, you’re a writer. Words have power and you need to speak out your own destiny.

If you want to set up a website and claim your domain name–go ahead and put your money where your mouth is. You don’t want fear delaying you for so long that someone else with the same name claims that website first.

If you want to post about your work, just do it. You are your first cheerleader. No one else will advocate for you as hard as you should for yourself. People may scroll right on through or they may roll their eyes. But someone needs the ideas and stories and wisdom you have to offer the world. Your story might be the lifeline they need to keep going. I always tell myself that even if only one person resonates with my words, it would be worth it .

I wish I could tell you that the anxious thoughts that dart around your mind and the urge to throw up will stop once you hit Point X on the map. That once you publish a certain number of articles or achieve the most notable byline, you’ll never feel the angsty clenching in your heart again. The truth is: fear is a constant companion. He’ll tag along whenever you even think about

venturing outside your comfort zone or pursuing ‘something more.’ And gosh, I hope you’re constantly going on new adventures and saying yes to uncertainty. That’s what makes our lives so exciting.

You may think that just because I’m writing this, it means I’ve got it figured out (spoiler alert: I don’t). I still juggle fear every day–he just takes on different personas to the one I’m used to. But I have to decide every day that fear doesn’t get to smother my dreams anymore.

My friend was right to ask if I wanted to change the world. Maybe changing the world isn’t just setting up a multi-billion-dollar corporation or achieving ‘world peace.’ Perhaps it’s feeling the fear and moving forward anyways. When 99% of your head is screaming at you to stay insignificant, trust the 1% that whispers ‘just try.’


Everyone struggles to get through Humpday. It’s this dreaded, in-between, mess of a day where time slows to a crawl and your weekend is delayed. Let’s be honest- nothing exciting ever happens to anyone on a Wednesday…

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