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Living Free of Comparison & Walking Into Your Purpose

Will you be lost by time or be part of history?

Will your story be told or remain a mystery?

Will they sing your song Telling all that you have done?

Time to make your choice, only you can be the one.

Will you do something great with the time that you have here?

Will you make your mark, will you conquer what you fear?

If you have children and especially if you have girls, as I do, you may recognize this as the theme song from one of the Equestria Girls movies about Camp Ever Free. Or maybe you don’t because you tend to tune out these little ditties like so many parents. I happened to be paying attention on this occasion as my 7-year-old watched it for the millionth time, but it was the first time I actually HEARD the words as she sang along and they hit me right in the feels. Considering all that has been going on this year and what we hope the new year will bring, it resonated deeply with me.

I was in the process of writing my first two books, a collection of poetry I had written over the years and the start of a Christian Fantasy series called Tales of Elhaanai, when Covid hit (Duhn Duhn Duuuhhnn lol). Then everything slowly fell apart. The steady job was furloughed, my husband caught the virus, my daughter's private school permanently shut its doors, all over the space of 7 months. And still those words would play over and over as she watched the movie over and over since schools shut down. I wanted to be able to say YES to all of it. Yes, I will be part of history. Yes, my story will be told long after I am gone. Yes, I will be the one to conquer my fears and make the most of the time I have on this earth. I want to leave my mark as I am sure many of us hope to do.

Will you be lost by time or be part of history?

Will your story be told or remain a mystery?

Will they sing your song Telling all that you have done?

Time to make your choice, only you can be the one.

This year we have all been reluctant participants of history, unwilling participants in a plot with serious Armageddon tendencies. Outside of that, as individuals, we each have a story that begs to be told. Our experiences have led us to be where and who we are now. It is our right, our duty to share it with those coming behind us. We don’t want our children and our grandchildren to suffer from the same pitfalls we fell into. We must be willing to become transparent and vulnerable in order to ensure a brighter future for them. We must be willing to say “I did this and these are the consequences, don’t do what I did.” History has its eye on us and it will document our successes with far less accuracy than our failures.

Write your story NOW, while YOU can.

There are things in life that you have been created to accomplish, things ONLY you can accomplish. You have a purpose and a destiny. Are you ready for it? I for one suffer from imposter syndrome and constantly compare myself and my journey to those who are further along than I am and sometimes even on a different road entirely. I am learning to focus on my path, my step, my process. When I fail to focus on my successes more than my failures, and instead compare myself to others, it leads to dissatisfaction and dissatisfaction can lead to bitterness and resentment. Bitterness and resentment stifle purpose and can become a depressing cycle of self-destruction, possibly destroying the desire to even try.

How many times have I scrolled through my Instagram page and seen the posts of authors who have blogs and websites and 50 published books with 10k followers and thought I am not good enough. Or looked at the posts of happy couples embracing on New years and thought my husband doesn't love me enough. Or maybe its the woman with 2 kids who is pregnant yet again and I wonder why my arms are empty despite trying. It hurts, deeply, and I have cried many nights over these same comparisons. But you don’t know what is going on behind the scenes of those photos or what led them to where they are. Maybe the Instagram account is fake, maybe that author's books don’t sell, maybe she’s on her second or third husband, maybe she had 10 rounds of IVF. YOU JUST DON’T KNOW. Whatever is meant for you will not pass you or be claimed by another. Celebrate every success, every gain no matter how small puts you one step closer to your idea of success. Failure is only guaranteed if you stop trying.

Will you do something great with the time that you have here?

Will you make your mark, will you conquer what you fear?

What do you fear? Success? Failure? Rejection? Disappointing those that depend on you? Disappointing God or yourself? Never reaching your full potential?

All are valid concerns and worries each of us faces daily, all we have to do is not let those fears stop us from reaching our God-given potential. Easy right? Not even close. It is a battle I struggle with and have laid at the alter only to pick it up and lay it down again, over and over and over. Am I good enough? Am I enough? Just me, flaws and all. And each time God says YES you are.

This year I stepped out of my comfort zone and followed God's leading to write and publish. Talk about fear! I alternated between excitement and terror from one minute to the next. I’ve met some wonderful authors who have guided me and offered constructive criticism, and I’ve run into the judgmental hypercritical I’m going to demolish your dreams people. I’ve ridden the wave of 5-star reviews and the torrential tears of 1 and 2 stars. There is one posted on my book that sparked immense self-doubt and uncertainty. Did I actually hear God right? Should I even be doing this? There are so many better writers than me with better book covers, more reviews, greater word counts.

Or, maybe for you it’s the realization that you won’t be married with 2.5 kids living in your dream house with the big yard by the time you’re 30. Maybe like me, you're crammed in a one-bedroom apartment in a 4th-floor walkup watching the stock market and housing market run away with your dreams, leaving you feeling inadequate and perpetually disappointed. I understand that, I am living that. I recently read a book called From A Mile Behind by Breonna Rostic that deals with this exact issue and it was so inspirational. It gave voice to the feelings that were so hard to put into words. I highly recommend it.

Here are a few thoughts or steps that I find helpful when faced with fear and comparison:

  1. Admit what you fear to yourself and to God Fear is normal, it can stop us from doing something dangerous but if allowed, it can also stop us from stepping into our purpose. Be aware of the REASON behind your fear. Are you afraid of failure, disappointment or physical harm?

  2. Find and isolate the areas you find yourself in comparison with others. If it's something you can control, pray about it & work harder to achieve your goal. If it is something outside of your control, pray about it and TRY to leave it where it is. I think of it like a scab, the more I pick at it, the worse it will become and take longer to heal. But if I leave it alone, eventually I'll forget it was even there and one day it will no longer hurt me.

  3. Surround yourself with people (friends, family, cats, dogs, reptiles) that make you happy, love you unconditionally and celebrate every success no matter how small with you. There's (almost) no worse feeling than sharing the news of a sale, being the recipient of a no-name award, or a good review with someone who shrugs you off or says something like, "Well don't they give that to everyone? Like yaay you participated." How Rude! (channel Full House's Stephanie Tanner voice) No, you want to be with people who will happy dance right along with you! That shared joy will be the fuel to propel you further.

  4. Physically make a big deal of whatever you want! I have canvases made of each of my book covers and have them hanging on my wall, they are literally the first thing I see in the morning and make me smile every day. I bought a scrapbook and will place any newspaper articles and awards about my book in it. (I have one of each!) And when I feel bad about no sales, no reviews, no attention, I can look at these and know it's possible. It reminds me that someone out there does care about what I have to say, someone read my book and liked it, LOVED it. I did it once, I can do it again.

  5. DO NOT GIVE UP! I have seen an illustration of two people digging for treasure, one finds a HUGE diamond and stops digging while the other looks at him in envy and defeat. What the second person could not see was the trove of jewels just one shovel away. If he had continued, pushed just a little further, he would have found all his dreams and more. That is what keeps me going, I know my breakthrough is coming. I KNOW IT. I'll keep pushing forward until it happens and it'll be better than anything I could have hoped for when it does. It is waiting for you too.

In spite of all that has happened, we have so much to be grateful for. I and my family are safe, provided for, and healthy. Sickness touched us but did not claim us, bills were paid on time, groceries were bought, and the virtual school continues. Normal has changed and with it, my reaction to fear. It is not the crippling tremor inducing pressure. Now it is a motivator, a launching pad. I am stronger than I ever imagined and you are too, we have been crushed but not destroyed. We have emerged from the fire of 2020 refined and can enter the new year with hope and determination. We can face the unknown with all the enthusiasm of Pinky Pie, the loyalty of AppleJack, the finesse of Rarity, the bravery of Rainbow Dash, and the determination of Twilight Sparkle. We can all be members of Camp Ever Free, filled with magic and light and love and childish dreams that can spark adult creativity. I pray that you will find your God-given purpose and walk towards it with confidence. Not without fear, but despite it. As we enter this new year, Be Free. Be Ever Free.


Books by Nicole Patrice Thomas available on Amazon

(click on the links below):

Tales of Elhaanai

Facets of A Poetic Soul

Nicole Thomas began writing poetry as a teenager and continued throughout adulthood. She is the author of Facets of a Poetic Soul, a compilation of poems she has written, and Tales of Elhaanai, the first book in a faith-based fantasy trilogy. She has been married for 10 years and is a mother to one daughter and one cat. To her, chocolate and books go hand in hand, and more often than not she would rather be reading than doing anything else.

The second and third books in her trilogy will be released this year.

Follow me on IG, FB & Twitter


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