Do you find yourself constantly looking at other people’s lives and comparing your every day to their social media approved lives? This used to be a big source of pain for me and I want to show you what I do when the comparison bug starts creeping around my mind.
We all fall into the trap at one point or another.
It’s the comparison trap. That little game our minds like to play on us when we scroll through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. We always see beautiful images of houses and we feel that ours will never sparkle like that. Or we feel guilty that we fed our kids frozen pizza for lunch. Again.
We see the mom who looks amazing but all she ever seems to do is snuggle with her adorably obedient children all day. Or there’s that couple, you know who I’m talking about. They are so in love with each other you feel like you might gag if you see one more “My husband/wife is so amazing!” post.
I know I do this. Sometimes more than once. In the same feed scrolling session.
I am guilty as charged. And I know you do it too. And when you’re done, you feel awful. You think you can never measure up. You’ll never be able to attain the perfectness of so-and-so’s life. And that, my dear, is okay. Why? Because you were never meant to. You were never meant to have that person’s life. Because you have been blessed with your own life.
We are so concerned with what everyone else is doing, having, and being that we forget that we have our own beautiful life that we get to do, have, and be in.
All this comparison nonsense needs to stop. I know it’s so hard to look at someone else’s perfect picture and be happy for her. Yes, her, that one that you can barely stand but you continue to look at her posts day after day because you just can’t help yourself. Be happy for her, but then, please, take a look at your own life and see all the beauty that’s already there. Just for you.
I’m going to tell you a little secret. I bet that girl you have such a hard time being happy for has the same exact problem as you when she looks at her social feed and sees your pictures. It’s true. She might be wishing she had your single life and your freedom, while at the same time you are wishing you had a family like she does.
So you see, it goes both ways and the only thing it accomplishes is resentment in your heart for all the things you can’t do, have, or be. You begin to lose the satisfaction you once gained from all the good in your life. And this leads to resentment, which leads to neglect. Neglect of your life, your responsibilities, and the things that once brought you joy.
Here is my goal for this blog.
I don’t want to be the reason you start resenting the wonderfully amazing life you get to live. But I am only responsible for my side of this bargain. I can’t control what you think or feel when you visit this space. Because of that, there are a few reasons that I may, unintentionally, cause you to compare your life to mine.
- Fear of judgment. I don’t want to be judged by anyone. (Who does?) So because of this natural human tendency, it is likely that I will post pictures/write about things that I’m comfortable sharing with the world.
- We all love pretty things. So it makes sense that I will mostly post the pretty parts of my life. But, I will work really hard to post the ugly too. You know, just to keep it real.
- It’s so easy to think that the other person has it way better in life than you do. Or that I do. Remember I’m just as guilty of comparison as you are. And as a fellow human, I find that I think this about a lot of people. Until I get to know them. Then I realize that they are just as messed up as me.
So there are my three reasons why I might (not on purpose!) cause you to fall into the comparison trap.
With all of that said there is one thing I do to combat this awful pit of comparison.
(You totally have my permission to copy me!) It was my mantra in 2017 and it’s continuing in 2018. I tell myself this when I hear those nasty voices in my head telling me that I’m not good enough. So I yell this back (Mentally. I don’t need to add, “Talks to herself.” to the list of things that are odd about me.) to those nasty voices:
“I am Enough!”
And so are you!
You are more than enough for your current life situation. You don’t need to compare yourself to someone else. You were made for your life. I’ll say it again. You. Are. Enough. Beautiful enough, strong enough, courageous enough, determined enough, smart enough.
You were made for the life you live right now. And if there are parts you don’t like, you can change them. We all have a certain amount of control over our lives. Maybe not over all the things, but the things we can’t change externally, we can change internally by changing our mindset. Just changing the way we think about our lives can do loads of good in keeping the comparison bug where it belongs, outside of our lives. (Or down the toilet, or in the trash. Whatever it is that you do with the bugs in your life.)
The next time the comparison bug comes crawling, you know what to do.
- Be happy for the other person.
- Look at your life and find one thing to be grateful for.
- And remember that you are enough.
P.S. What are some things you do to combat comparison? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!
P.P.S. Looking for some hands-on advice to combat comparison in your life? I’ve got you covered in this post I wrote about my personal story and how I learned to be more present in my life. At the end of the post, you’ll find my list of resources that have helped me the most.