Things don’t happen from the outside. Success is always an inside job.

The founder of SUCCESS magazine, Orison Marden understood this when he said “There are powers inside of you which, if you could discover and use, would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become.

And this relates to a conversation I had with an entrepreneur friend of mine.

She is a professional photographer who knows her craft well. I’ve seen her work – it is excellent. It doesn’t mean, however, that she is the only excellent photographer in town. In fact, there are some 2500 photogs here who make at least some of their monthly income with a camera. So she still needs to get out there and let people know who she is and what she can do for them.

What has been holding her back a bit though is something that goes on “inside”.

And that “something” is her story.

You see, she has got a story going on that these people over here are more organized than she is. And those people over there have more experience. And those business women have got the balance thing all figured out.

Her story, though, is fundamentally flawed because it is based on another “inside / outside” job – the fact that most of us compare our “insides” to other people’s “outsides”.

We compare our success (and failure) with other people based solely on what we can see on their outside.

Trust me … the work that I do gives me huge insight in to most people’s “insides” and I will state this categorically and with conviction – most of the time, we all experience doubt, confusion, joy, fear, happiness, confidence or lack thereof, pride, humiliation and so on, in the same way for the same reasons.

Next time you go to a networking event and are feeling a little intimidated and nervous, know that at least 50% of the other people feel that way too. When you walk into a prospective client’s office, you might not be the only one in the room apprehensive of the next few minutes.

Put yourself on a level playing field by not comparing your insides with their outsides. As Mr. Marden pointed out, simply discover and use all of your own power.