Comparison to others is a real thing. I will raise my hand right now and tell you that I STRUGGLE with this. I always have and I feel as though lately it has gotten worse. I am always looking to other women and comparing myself to her.
I’d like to blame it on social media, which I believe has a lot to do with it. However, I think this is something people have struggled with for a long time, it’s just more accessible with social media being such a big part of our culture now.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Have you heard this quote before? It has come into my world about a million times in the last 6 months, so I am starting to think that maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. In other words, comparison is the fastest way to feel unhappy. Think about it, people are constantly sharing all the great things happening in their lives, and others, like myself, are watching, comparing, feeling badly about where they are in theirs.
Do you do this? Be honest. Do you see someone's feed and think “Wow, I wish I had her ______”, fill in the blank. I do it all the time.
The sad part is that we do it to ourselves! We allow this to happen. It’s not the person we are comparing ourselves to’s fault, it’s on us.
Let's be real though, all of a sudden you are distracted and mindlessly scrolling through all the feeds, seeing that a friend is heading on a vacation with or without her family. It pings your heart. You wish YOU were going on a vacation. How lucky is she?! Or your flipping through your friend’s pictures, seeing all the fun things she is doing with other friends and you have this pit in your stomach that makes you feel like you are missing out. OR you’re feeling lame because you’re home finding things to do for free or low cost because you’re in a place that you need to save money. Maybe you’re paying off some debt, or saving up for a house, but MAN, look at her having a great time! With any of the above scenarios, you soon find yourself having a pity party like you wouldn’t believe because your priority is maybe to save money, so you’re not in a place to do all the things she is. How quickly does that negative narrative in your mind take over and start spiraling out of control? You know that feeling of joy you had on your path to buy a home? That’s now gone and replaced with envy, jealousy, frustration, disappointment, the list goes on and on.
Trust me I know, I’m doing it too. Watching other bloggers online, or what we now call “influencers” has been a whole other area of comparison for me. I am comparing my start in this journey to the middle of theirs and it’s not okay. Even though I tell myself exactly that, I sit here in envy and disappointment that I don’t have as many followers, or that I’m not pushing out as much content or my pictures aren’t as“perfect” as theirs are. It’s so easy to get sucked in!
Is this something you find you do?
So what am I going to do about it? I am going to call it out right now to all of you, enough is enough. If I’m feeling like I am struggling with it, then someone else reading this post must be too.
I have my own goals, dreams, values and priorities in my life. Ones that I am so proud of and working really hard on.I am so flipping proud of who I am, the life I have and the work I have done to get here. If I really wanted all of the things that I am comparing myself to above, I could make them happen, but right now, my priorities look different from what hers are, and THAT IS OKAY.
The first thing we have to do is stop following people on social that have content that does not make us feel good about ourselves. If you are following someone and every time you see their posts you feel sad or down, unfollow them. Don’t take that content in. No offense to them, they’re living their best life and that’s great for them, but right now in THIS season, it is not serving you to follow. Let's be real here. This might include close friends or even family. There are ways to not have their content pop up into your feed without you seeing it and they won’t even know. If you need a break to heal your heart and mind, that is okay. You have to do what is best for YOU. You want to make it as easy as possible to be the best version of yourself every single day. So if something is taking you away from this goal, get rid of it.
Listen to me, we need to stop comparing our behind the scenes to someone else's highlight reel. You don’t know what it going on in their behind the scenes, nor does it matter. The only person I need to compare myself to is the person that I was yesterday. Today is a new day. Can I step it up a little more? Can I be a better version of myself then I was yesterday? I don’t know, but I sure as heck am going to try!
What I have found is that there are areas of my life that I feel more confident in and areas of my life that I do not. I bet this is the same for you. For me, I am confident in my body image (which has taken me a LONG time to get to) and my marriage (which I work hard on every single day). All other areas in my life, not so much. Want to know what areas I find that I am comparing myself to others around? All the areas of my life that I am not confident in. My parenting, my career, my side hustle, financially, etc. etc. etc. etc. It’s true and something I just realized myself. Luckily though, now that I am aware of it, I can work on it.
I’d love for you to do me a favor. Think about the areas of your life that you are the most confident in. Really think about it. It took me a minute to do this and my list was small. Now think about the things you are not as confident in. This didn’t take me so long and the list was MUCH longer. Okay, you got both lists? Okay so let's do the work! Let's take one of those areas that we are not feeling so confident in and lets try to do better. For me, that is going to be around my finances. It is going to be a big goal for me in the coming year.
So what are the next steps? To put your head down and focus on YOUR track. Stop looking up and looking at hers. This is YOUR life. Remember, every minute you waste comparing your life to someone else's, is a minute you lose living your own life.
Now I ask very kindly, please put your head down! We’ve got work to do.
If you know someone that needs to hear this message today, I'd love it if you shared it with them.
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