(It would be silly of me to compare myself to my daughter in this photo. She is a trained pole fitness instructor, and I am…well, not. BUT I think we can agree they look just alike)
They say “comparison is the thief of joy”…and it is…SOMETIMES. Other times it can be a motivator that brings immense joy and growth. Comparing is not the thief of joy, NOT realizing YOUR gifts and comparing on UNEQUAL grounds is.
I have a love-hate relationship with social media. There’s something so comforting about seeing your friends and family every day. I love seeing life stories unfold, families change, businesses grow, happy moments and sad moments. I love seeing “mean girls” from school get big (wait, no, that was mean, ignore that). Even I look 20 pounds thinner, wear makeup all the time, and I appear perpetually happy. What’s not to love?
The thing is social media isn’t real. It’s a highlight reel, a snapshot of moments, some posed, some random but still, just a snapshot. Comparing ourselves to what we see online is absolute craziness and, I do it ALL THE TIME.
The reality of ME is different than what the world sees, during the few days a month that I wear makeup, AND my hair is not in a ponytail, I will most certainly take a photo to document it. (It’s like seeing a celebrity, you rarely see it, and you want to make sure you get it on film, so people believe it.)
Life is real around here. Sometimes, dinner is a drive-thru because mommy forgot we eat at night. Sometimes, we wear dirty clothes, because mommy hates to do laundry. Sometimes, we have to go through Starbucks, and we’re late for school because mommy forgot children like to eat in the mornings and sometimes, we have to Google how to do 5th-grade math (hey, it’s harder now!). You get the picture; it’s REALLY real around here.
As I enter into a new world of writing, I find that I’m comparing myself to women that have been successfully writing for many years. These women have taken a long time to grow their stories, their books, and their businesses. They have been through many up and downs, and yet, I still compare myself. I know I sound crazy, but I can’t help it,
I WANT TO BE LIKE THEM!
…And there it is.
THIS is when comparison is no longer the thief of joy but becomes a motivator to be a better YOU. Not because you want to be another person, but because there is something in YOU that wants to be better.
Comparing yourself is not always a thief but sometimes a blessing. When we see people that are where we want to be, then we strive to be our BEST selves and, it becomes a good thing. In business, writing, fitness, cooking, crafts, (I have no desire to do either of those last two), whatever the arena, sometimes watching people that are good at something makes us want to be better too.
I’ve been in the same business for ten years. When I began, the accomplishments of the women at the top seemed utterly unattainable. I never dreamed it was anything I could do, and then, nine years later, it became MY reality. I worked hard, and I compared myself to those that were where I wanted to be. I tried to do better, do the things THEY did, BUT, in MY way, working within MY strengths and gifts, and releasing the rest.
I’ll never be “those perfect women.” I am me, I am unique, and that’s ok. So are you. You won’t be that person you compare yourself to, but you can become a better version of yourself by taking things from people around you that you admire. Don’t wait until you have it all figured out, jump in, with both feet, a bikini, and cold water! EEEEK!!!!
Compare yourself, in small ways, to those doing it right. Then, walk to the bathroom, look in the mirror and tell THAT girl all the things SHE is doing right. She’s doing more right than you think. Say,
“Gurrrrrl, you so fine!” and smile.
When you compare, let it be healthy, empowering and never critical of yourself. I promise you, there is someone out there comparing themselves to you and wishing they were YOU, You are a child of God..and in His eyes, you are practically perfect in every way. (Mary Poppin’s eyes too.) You are simply called to be the VERY best version of yourself you can possibly be! Do it!
**If you are still having trouble feeling bad after you compare yourself to others, let me know, and I’ll send you a photo of me in a swimsuit.