Better Than Comparing
You know those times when you’re feeling really great about your day, your kids, your house and so you whip out your phone and within five seconds of scrolling on Instagram seeing those perfect moms with their perfect kids and their perfectly WHITE house and then suddenly you feel like crap? Why is that? What happened in those five seconds that took you from feeling mighty fine to lowliest low?
I know you know what I’m taking about. When we compare we feel terrible and yet we do it SO much!
Your house can be finally all picked up and laundry done and you’re feeling good, proud even but once you see that mom standing in her brilliantly clean kitchen and suddenly yours doesn’t look so great anymore. You see her 5 kids all dressed in matching clothes and suddenly your smiling, laughing, getting along kids doesn’t feel as blissful as it did a moment ago because they’re not in coordinating clothes like this woman’s kids. And all that stuff you got done today that you were feeling so fulfilled about now seems minuscule compared to the imaginary story you’re telling yourself of what HER perfect life must be like…all from one picture…all from a whole 5 seconds.
What on earth just happened??? WHY do we do that do ourselves? What’s the upside to thinking those things? Is there one?
“Every single time you set up a comparison between yourself and someone else you lost, no one wins.” – Clinton Kelly
Every. Single. Time. You lose. So why play the game in the first place? How can we break free and not dive into comparison mode? Is there a way to see that picture with the perceived “perfect” family without feeling less about ourselves? Here’s a start from the Mormon Channel blog,
“It is possible to righteously admire someone, and that is healthy because it motivates us to improve ourselves. However, being jealous of someone’s strengths, ashamed of your own weaknesses, or envying a ‘perfect life’ you think someone has is a purely negative activity. Unhealthy comparisons lead to depression, lack of self-confidence and self-worth, ungratefulness, relishing in the trials of others, resenting yourself and others, wasted time and effort, destroying motivation to achieve personal goals, and spiritual digression.”
Instead of seeing something you’re in awe of and instantly feeling low (this is a default reaction most of the time anyway) make a deliberate, conscious decision to ADMIRE to APPRECIATE and MOTIVATE you into MOVING. (A.A.M.M.)
THIS is a great course of action. THIS is where you can keep progressing and moving forward. This is freedom.
I believe that jealousy and inspiration live on the same street. They’re just the opposite of one another. If you’re feeling jealous because you’re comparing that one single framed moment to your entire day of ups and downs you’ll feel less than and a bit insecure. But even feeling less than and insecure is good to know because it gives you a starting point. You already know that inspiration isn’t far away. You just have to keep moving forward a bit and it’s in the moving forward that you find yourself inspired by these people instead of stuck.
Don’t compare- admire! Admire them. Praise and appreciate them for the good that they do and then use it to motivate you into moving in the direction that’s best for YOU. As cute as that picture may be, it’s not something I’m aiming for. Honestly, having all my kids in the kitchen surrounded by flour…mmm…no thanks. But I can admire her for what she accomplished. I can appreciate her for somehow having an immaculately clean kitchen AFTER they finished baking the bread – here’s the thing, in this instance a lot of us want to put her down. We want to question the reality of the situation. We think things like: yeah right. She probably bought the bread from the local bakery and is in a model home posing with her kids in their matching attire just to get this one single shot.
Thinking those thoughts, how does it make you feel? How does diminishing her and picking apart her picture help you? How will it move you forward?
It won’t. You’re still not progressing because now all you’re doing is expending energy on putting her down. You’re not inspired. You’re not motivated to move forward and there’s still a part of you deep down that feels inferior. This isn’t helpful.
Appreciate her. Why not choose to believe it’s ALL real? Why not choose to think, “wow! She is amazing. Major kudos to her for baking that Betty Crocker worthy bread with all her kids looking fantastic and not trying to kill each other. She’s a rock star!” Appreciating and admiring others IS NOT a bad thing.
The bad happens next…what are you going to make her picture mean about you?
What looks most like love? Degrading yourself? Degrading her? How about trying the A.A.M.M. Method?
Admire to Appreciate and Motivate into Moving forward. When you compliment someone, even if it’s just a thought in your head or you actually post a response ( I recommend the latter) YOU FEEL AMAZING too.
Complimenting others with a feeling of genuine appreciation feels wonderful. It’s energy producing. It’s the spring board for inspiration and inspiration leads to MOTIVATION.
Do you have to do what she does? Do you even want to make bread? Maybe not, but you can use her offering to the world as motivation to ask yourself, “what can I offer and what would I like to offer the world today?” If you were about to post a picture of your family, yourself doing something that you were proud of – POST IT. Don’t hold back because it isn’t just like hers. Your value isn’t any less. Share YOUR story. I promise you that sharing YOUR unique light with others WILL inspire and motivate others too.
Try on these mantras:
“Everyone is amazing.”
“I’m a ROCK STAR and so are they.”
“We’re all going to make it.”
“How great is it that we’re all ridiculously awesome?!”
“I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.”
If these don’t fit, keep digging and find one that works for you. Say it over and over again to remind you to ADMIRE to APPRECIATE then use those to MOTIVATE you into MOVING. Don’t ever stop moving. If you stop to envy, judge, or compare you’ve STOPPED. You’re not any closer to getting to where you want to be only adding to the already negative feelings. People ARE AMAZING – you are people too. YOU ARE AMAZING.
What you have to offer is AMAZING. You’re going to do it in a way that no one else would because you’re unique and special…just like they too are unique and special. Don’t try to do it like they’re doing it – do it like YOU would do it.
Remember, when you find yourself tempted to compare all you need to do is keep moving forward! Inspiration is on the SAME street – you’re almost there. Admire them not envy them. Appreciate them not degrade them or lessen their efforts. Then use their inspiration, their light to MOTIVATE you to MOVING forward, to adding your light to the world in your own unique way.
We live in a beautiful world with beautifully talented people…including YOU.
Enjoy today! Go out and find something to admire, appreciate and then keep doing YOUR thing so I can admire and appreciate it too. You are a ROCK STAR!
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