Step Away From The Ketchup (And Other Strategies For Happiness and Success)

I recently walked into a restaurant expecting to be impressed by their tacos, but instead I was intrigued by their ketchup bottles. They made me realize that everyone feels like mustard sometimes– the less favored condiment of children and restaurant tables all across the globe.

And every mustard has a ketchup– someone you hate for being just a little bit more successful at doing whatever it is you’re good at.

If Ketchup is making you feel badly about yourself, your work, or the cards you’ve been dealt in life, it’s time to step away.

Oh come now, you know exactly what I mean. You’ve got to stop hate-stalking their website, blog, or Facebook page. Stop Googling them. Stop making them such a huge part of your life.  These activities feed your insecurities, make you feel miserable, and turn your attention to envy rather than hard work. Also? They make you say and do things that only a jealous jerk would say or do.

You need this time away from Ketchup to build up confidence in your gifts, and courage to share it with others. Once this happens, Ketchup will no longer be a threat. Instead, he or she will inspire you to do your best work. They’ll give you ideas, clues, and insights. He or she can even be your friend, if you’re secure enough to let ‘em in.

But this is an impossible dream if you believe Ketchup’s fortunes ruin your chances at happiness and success. Ketchup’s growth does not make you smaller. Only YOU make you smaller– by acting from a place of fear.

So listen, Mustard. Just develop your gifts and share them. Be the best mustard you can be…and stop trying to be a better ketchup than Ketchup. There’s enough room for all of us.

Your Turn: Have you ever decided to stop comparing yourself to someone? How did it improve your quality of life?




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4 Responses to Step Away From The Ketchup (And Other Strategies For Happiness and Success)

  1. Your one and only FIL says:

    Hey Kim. All of us in helping professions feel inferior to Oprah. How can we not? The woman is, after all, a goddess.

    • Kimberly says:

      Sarcasm is a sharp knife used only when someone feels threatened. Maybe Oprah is YOUR ketchup?! Oh snap, I’ve figured out your secret, old man! ;)

  2. neuropeptide3 says:

    Hi Kim,
    love that photo, although shouldn’t it be “the sauce of mustard’s insecurities”? Just a thought. Anyway, the comparison lark, I do this all the time and wish I could answer your question directly with a yes, just do this or that. However, I can only theorise at the how it would improve my quality of life. Comparison is something that we all do and we don’t think about it so when you have to stop doing it for your own good, it isn’t so easy. Do you have any strategies?

    • Kimberly says:

      The sauce. Hehe. ;)

      You bring up a good point– most of the time, comparing yourself to others is like a reflex. It’s automatic. It’s human. So as far as strategies go, instead of simply trying to refrain from the act of comparison, replace it with something better until eventually you’ve rewired your brain and developed a cool new habit.

      So here’s a real life example: There’s someone I always compare myself to because we’re in similar industries, only this person has had more success in some ways. I make comparisons and I end up feeling inferior. But then I redirect my thoughts to my own personal goal, and I do something that day to get me closer to it. When I feel myself wanting to check this person’s website, I go to my OWN website and add content, tweak stuff, etc.

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