It is probably one of the most famous and overused saying in today’s day and age: ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. Easier said than done, right? Try as we might, when the cover is all we have to go on when creating that first impression it can be pretty hard to remain judgement free.
This week we have hit up our resident Life Coach Mayanthi to have a chat about how this notion now applies to how we perceive other people’s lives and how that can negatively impact your own. Because with social media, tabloids, and the abundance of success stories that we all hear, we tend to make snap judgements and perceptions from what we see on the outside (the cover) without thinking about how long or what it took for people to get to where they are today (the story/book).
Let’s first look at the implications of judging a person’s story from their cover. For me I think the main implication is that we start to compare our story to other people’s covers whereas it would more accurate to compare story to story rather than cover to story. Now I’m not saying that we should be comparing ourselves to others, but in reality; we do, so why not try doing it in a healthier way.
I’ll give you an example. Think about one of your friends who you perceive as successful. They have their own house, a nice car, they are always travelling and wearing the trendiest clothes. From the outside it looks like they are living a pretty good life. Looking only at someone’s cover we start to compare ourselves against it, which may lead to negative feelings such as jealously, resentment or even self-doubt. When we don’t know everything, we assume and when we assume we walk straight into the lion’s den. If we were to take the time to hear someone’s story or have the opportunity to learn, it could become clear that sometimes achieving such a great looking cover involved a story of hard-work and dedication where sacrifice and failure were also obstacles they had to overcome.
I myself am sometimes guilty of this behaviour. Now I try really hard to look beyond the cover and even if I don’t have the opportunity to hear someone’s story, I’ll look at myself and my family and think about the work that has gone into creating our own cover. In the end, the only life you have control of is your own, concentrate on building your own story. Use other people’s covers to inspire you instead of letting yourself succumb to envy or self-doubt.
What do you think when you look at other people’s success? Now what is your own story? I would love to hear your feedback, so let me know via my email: [email protected].