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Knowing the Difference Between Admiration and Aspiration Keeps Me Sane

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately.

In fact I had a chat with someone recently and we spoke about how so many people go down this rabbit hole of comparison and lose sight of their reality, simply because the lines between admiration and aspiration could so easily be blurred.

It’s great to admire traits, habits even accomplishments we see in other people. To cheer them on, to give them a pat on the back, to root for them is A-OK. It’s when that admiration somehow turns to aspiration for the exact same traits, habits and even accomplishments, that things could go awry.

Being a digi-preneur (digital entrepreneur), I’m constantly bombarded with other bloggers and content creators and the work they’re putting out. From videos, to photos, to brand partnerships and flat lays, my eyes are constantly scrolling a perfectly curated page and seeing someone celebrate hitting 20K followers, getting a deal with a big brand or the “I’m so happy to announce…” captions.

Honestly, sometimes it’s a lot. 

With this field now becoming a rat race to pin down as many collabs as possible, to ooze out endless streams of content…all while posting the perfect smiley face photos; knowing how to balance beam between admiring and aspiring is critical in being successful in my career…or yours.

I researched this topic to see if I was making any sense and came across a similar article.

…aspiring to be like someone else, be it Gandhi or Martin Luther King — imagine the finger admiring the toe, and wishing and striving to be more like it! 

The thing is, no matter the arena you’re in; whether you’re a doctor, an engineer, a human resources manager, a chef, a teacher, a dancer or financial analyst, a blogger, writer, graphic artist or photographer we will all admire some things we see in others and even what they have.

READ ALSO: You’re doing way better than you think…ask your friends!


I could admire someone else and not aspire to be exactly like them. 
I could admire someone’s work ethic and not force myself to wake up at 3 am.
I could admire their accomplishments, while remembering that I have a few of my own.
I could admire another person’s process, but still stick to my guns and execute my own. 

It’s good to be motivated by people we respect and look to them for a little push, as long as you avoid aspirations to be a carbon copy.

Honestly, learning and knowing this is what keeps me sane in a career that could easily have you questioning yourself and your purpose…and waking up at 10 a.m. some days!

Not everything is for everybody and comparison really is the thief of joy.

I recently launched my new one-on-one online CHEERLEADING sessions where you get to chat with me for one full hour on things like this. We chat about finding your way in a saturated field, building the confidence to get started and working through the doubts.

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What are your thoughts on admiration and aspiration?

2 Responses
  • Hadassah
    January 25, 2019

    I agree with this quote: “Not everything is for everybody and comparison really is the thief of joy.” Someone is always going to make more money, be a stronger writer, have more followers, multiple comments, receive more esteemed awards and the list goes on. But yes, we can admire people, but must be careful not to fall into wanting to be like them.

    This is why it is so important to carve out our own niches and be comfortable and confidant in them. When I think of my very own blog, I don’t get the number of hits and followers as many others; while I admire the work of others, I know what I am doing is informative, educational and tapping into an area that no other blogger locally is doing.

    • ianthia
      January 27, 2019

      Yes, Hadassah! This is so true and important yo remember on the road to our own personal successes. It’s so easy to fall into that comparison trap and go after what others have while our own dreams are made to wither away.