There is the old cliche, "comparison is the thief of joy" and while there is a lot of truth to that, I think there's more to it. There are so many types of comparison, and it looks different for everyone. Personally, I struggle a lot with jealousy - I see someone else having great adventures and doing cool things, but struggle when I am not also having great adventures and doing cool things.
Steve Furtick more accurately said, "the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel." This is so beyond true. What we see on the internet is the hand picked best parts. It's not the messy apartment and the dirty laundry, it's the picture perfect moments that make life seem great.
I'm going to be honest, I spend lots of time on Instagram. It's my favorite social media. And, most of the time, I feel inspired when I see incredible photos of these wild destinations. But other times, it gives me a pang of intense jealousy and sends me spiraling into a funk for the rest of the day. I get grumpy & feel inadequate about what I'm doing in my own life.
And here's the thing: THAT IS NOT FAIR TO ME! I don't deserve that sort of feeling. And it is entirely my fault, no one posts those photos with the intention of making me feel inadequate, I do that to myself. And I've gotten sick of it.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
I have started taking steps to stop my jealousy and comparison in its tracks right when it starts, and I wanted to share them with everyone in case others have the same problems I do.
- Stop looking. This sounds way simpler than it is, especially with smartphones. But I try to make a conscious effort to put my phone away and focus on something else. We're conveniently still in the process of unpacking after our move, so I try to unpack a box or two.
- Use it as inspiration. Sometimes, when I get those pangs, I make efforts to dissuade them by making sure I find out where the picture was taken, researching whether or not it would even be feasible for me to do myself, and if so, making plans to do it! Planning brings me peace (yeah, I'm that type of person), so taking this step makes me feel so much better.
- Remember my adventures. Here's the thing about the world: it's huge. There's no way I can have all the adventures (just like there's no way I can read all the books). I try to look back at the things that I have done in the past and remember how I felt doing those, not how I feel looking at other people's adventures.
- Jam. I'll turn on "Wanna Be Cool" and just jam. Not only does it get me off my phone/computer, but I always end up with a smile on my face and realize how ridiculous I'm being.
I struggle with this comparison all the time, but I'm working on it, and I am getting better.