In the age of social media, it’s incredibly easy to let ourselves get caught up in the comparison game.
“I wish I could have a thigh gap like hers.”
“Why can’t my kids behave as perfectly as theirs?”
“I wish I could get abs as easy as that guy.”
“Of course she’s happy, she has an infinite amount of money to buy whatever she could possibly want.”
We’re lying to ourselves every day, thinking that if we had everything we wanted, we’d finally be happy. Satisfied. Content. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t ever catch myself doing this. I think it’s just about impossible not to. BUT that doesn’t mean it’s okay!
Ever since I started following fashion and travel bloggers on Instagram 3 or so years ago, I’ve thought, “How incredible would it be to do that for a living?” But immediately followed that thought with “Too bad I’m not skinny enough.” or “Maybe if I win the lottery.” Eventually it got to the point where I was terribly discontent (I don’t want to say unhappy; I’m a generally happy person) with where I was in life.
This is where I had a choice.
I could either go on living my life the way I had been, growing more and more resentful of those who appeared to have more and do more than I did. Or I could decide to completely change my mindset. Instead of watching all these bloggers getting collaborations with my favorite brands or going on trips to faraway places and thinking, “That will never be me,” I now think, “What do I need to do in order to reach that kind of success? How hard do I need to work to get there? What am I willing to sacrifice?” If you’re looking to improve your own comparison mindset, read on, friend.
Every time you feel those thoughts creeping in, remind yourself: Other’s successes have no effect whatsoever on my own.
This is key. One of my very favorite quotes is:
“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” – Zen Shin
So three of your friends from college got engaged this holiday season and you’re still alone, currently sitting on your couch with day four hair watching Friends for the 6th time. And??? How do their relationships affect you?? Three men are no longer on the market. Were you tryna marry one of them? Because if not, you have zero reason to be sad. (I actually have an entire blog post specifically for you HERE 😉 )
Your sister and her husband just announced over the fam group text that they’re taking their kids to Disney World for the third time this year? THAT’S AMAZING. If I could afford to visit Mickey three times a year, you better believe I would!
If you lose 10 pounds, but your friend loses 20, does that diminish how good you feel about the weight you lost? It sure as heck shouldn’t! You ate healthy food, you went to the gym, you’ve been getting more sleep! You worked hard to lose those 10 pounds, and regardless of how much weight anyone around you lost, YOU ARE A WARRIOR PRINCESS AND DESERVE TO REVEL IN YOUR TRIUMPH. The success of others does not diminish your own success.
Instead of constantly looking for things that others have and you don’t, spend that energy figuring out how to make the best of what you’ve been blessed with.
What you see in this picture: Apple Watch, Zella leggings from Nordstrom, Nike shoes.
What you don’t know: the Apple Watch is over 2 years old and was a Valentine’s Day gift from my ex, the leggings were given to me by my sister because they didn’t fit her, and the shoes were bought with a whole bunch of rewards points from DSW! 9 times out of 10, if you see me wearing something expensive, it was either gifted or WAY on sale.
My point is that there’s always another side to the pictures we see on social media. Do you know how many young “fashion bloggers” who are just starting out are in MASSIVE debt just so they can keep up with the latest trends? The pressure to have the best or look the best or BE the best is greater now than ever.
When I finally decided to start my blog, I knew I wanted it to be a place where people could come and see an average sized girl doing everything she can with her below average income. Do I want to have the same income forever? Well, no! But until I start making the big bucks, I am THRILLED to be shopping the Target clearance section and putting together fierce looks for under $20. I will continue to work my butt off and remember, as Dave Ramsey says, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”
If you want abs, get up in the gym and be workin’ on your fitness. Wanna look cute? Head to Goodwill or the Target and Walmart clearance sections and recreate your favorite Pinterest outfits. If you wanna have some fierce hair and makeup, get up on the YouTubes and watch some tutorials and practice!! YOU are the only one standing in the way of you getting the life you deserve.
Know that you have been made in the image of God. He decided that the world needed one of you. And nothing about you is a mistake.
You don’t have to change who you are to fit society’s standards. Why should you? You are the ONLY you in existence, so instead of trying to make yourself into someone else, why not just work on making yourself into the best YOU? I’m not saying you shouldn’t be inspired by others or like the same things they like, but don’t do it just because it’ll help you fit in. Draw strength from the things that make you different. After all, how boring would it be to live in a world where everyone is the same? 😉
I truly madly deeply (hehe) hope my words have had an impact on you. It isn’t an easy thing to do, competing only with yourself. But in the end, it’s the only thing that will make you happy. Work every day to be a better version of yourself. And you’ll never regret it.