Do you have a one-upper in your life? You know … the person who is bigger, stronger, smarter, and faster. Not only does this person have to have the last word, it will always be ten times better than what you say. If you’re sick, they just got out of the emergency room. If you’re busy, they have much more on their plate than you do. If you’re tired, they are exhausted and headed for a nervous breakdown. They always get the trophy.
Sound familiar? For some reason, I always seem to have an abundance of one-uppers in my life. No matter what I say, they have to out-do me. For whatever reason, they must always have the upper hand in every situation. Maybe it’s pride. Maybe it’s insecurity. Could be different in each case, but it is, nonetheless, frustrating.
One-Uppers in the Writing Life
You’ll find this true in your writing life as well. No matter how many queries you’ve submitted or rejection letters you’ve received, there will be someone who should be in the Guinness Book of Writing Blunders for queries, and they have wallpapered their entire office with rejection letters. If you’ve written twenty devotions, they’ve written fifty. If you’ve been to five different writers’ conferences, they’ve been to ten—much bigger and better.
Learning to Adapt
Are you getting the picture? One thing is certain: there is no changing the one-upper. They are here to stay—to keep the rest of us on our toes—so we just have to learn to deal with them the best we can. These people have the it’s-all-about-me syndrome, and we have to learn to let their prattling roll off the proverbial duck’s back. Don’t ever let their constant self-promotion discourage or derail you.
This is why it’s important to never compare yourself with others. You are a special, one-of-a-kind creation, endowed with unique gifts and talents from your Creator. You have a story that no one else can tell but you. You have the ability to reach those whom no one else can reach. You have a divinely-inspired plan and purpose that no one else could ever fulfill. That, my friend, is your heavenly assignment.
One thing I’ve learned is that this journey—this Christian walk—is truly not all about me. It’s about being obedient to God, honoring Him with my abilities, and pouring into the lives of others. When we put others above ourselves as the Scriptures instruct us to do, and work together as a team to promote each other, God will bless our efforts in ways we can’t imagine.
(Photos courtesy of morguefile.com.)