Intentions, impact, and expertise

I am so sick of experts.

No, scratch that. What's more accurate is that I am frustrated with how I sometimes relate to experts -- especially experts who specialize in fields similar to mine.

I dislike how quickly I can discount my own wisdom, experience and insights around people I deem to be more experienced and successful than I am. It's like I'm back in school, the eager-to-please student looking to the older, wiser teacher for the answers. 

Earlier this week, I attended a meeting of some really powerful women: two bestselling authors, an international speaker, founders of nonprofits, and others who have earned top accolades in their fields.

One of them, a motivational speaker, gave a short talk about how it's important to prioritize our own happiness and well-being. Yes! I was thinking. That's exactly right. But the truth is, even as I was nodding at the content, I was actually doing the opposite.

Rather than loving and appreciating myself, I was anxiously comparing myself to her -- and of course, falling short. Which I'm sure is the opposite of what she intended.

As I write and teach more, I sometimes worry about being put into that "expert" category myself. Will some people look at me and think their lives should be more like mine? Or assume I have better answers for them than they do? Or feel bad about themselves because they aren't as [fill-in-the-blank] as I appear to be?

I hope not. I want people to feel wonderful around me, and to come away feeling confident, peaceful, inspired, and blessed. But that isn't always going to be the case.

That's the risk, I suppose, of putting ourselves "out there" in any capacity, expert or otherwise. We can give our very best, and not get the outcome that we want. And the impact we have on others can be very different than we intend. It is simply not under our control.

How do you deal with all of this in your own life? Do you compare yourself to people that you envy or admire? If so, who do those people tend to be? What kind of impact do you want to have on the people around you, and what is it like when it doesn't work out that way? What else does all of this make you think about?

As always, I would love to hear.