“You are not a simple, unique snowflake. This is your life, and its ending one minute at a time.” – Chuck Palahniuk
When I was younger, I used to scoff when people told each other they were special and unique. Like a snowflake, they said. I found it patronising and egotistical. I thought feeling special puts us on a road to entitlement and I shunned it. I liked thinking of myself as the same as everybody else.
Over the years, I realised I had not understood the full weight of the concept. As I feel my way through the competitive, cut-throat and very often fickle TV industry, I’ve grown to see this as the deceptively simple secret happiness, no matter what you do in life.
Here’s the brutal truth — you’re never going to be the best at any one thing. There is always someone better. And even if there isn’t now, that person will soon come along. When I see catty behaviour and jealousy among colleagues at work, it always happens because the perpetrator feels threatened. There is a lot of fear, and the person is feeling vulnerable in the fight for a glittering crown on someone else’s head.
In that struggle to wrestle if from someone else, they fail to realise they’re already wearing one.
Everyone shines on their own stage. Because no one else can offer the world the unique combination of traits and qualities that you have. This idea is crucial. While you’ll never be the smartest, the prettiest, the most talented in the world, there is absolutely no one in the entire planet that can offer the same collection of thoughts, values, and qualities that you have.
When we’ve fully internalised this, and realise that no one can ever take that from us, we’ll never feel threatened or frame anything as a competition. Because there is none. All competition is a subjective feeling. It goes away when you pull out of it. It takes two to compete. And if one refuses to, or is above it, the other is just on a fool’s errand.
On TV, people always try to pit you against someone else. They’d like to think that we’re all like rabid animals and bitchy and wanting to outdo each other. Well, I’m proud of the fact that this isn’t true at all. At least for me. It took awhile, but I’m proud to say that because I’ve embraced what I can uniquely offer to the world, I can look at any one of my colleagues who are doing well and appreciate them in their own beauty, shining on their own brilliant stage.
Don’t believe what the world tells you. There is room in this world for all of us to be amazing together.