Picture this, you’ve had one of those days – the kids have been ratty, you’ve made a mistake at work, friends aren’t talking to you and you just want to roll up in a ball and hide in a dark room. But then, you have to face the dreaded pick-up time at school. So what do you do? Pop on some sunnies, paste on a smile and head through those gates with a pretend bounce in your step?
Meanwhile the other parents seem to look like they’ve just rolled out of a fancy salon, genuine smile on face, perfect makeup, hair, demeanour – all is well in the world of the ‘other’ parent. Or is it? I saw a great meme the other day that said “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
What I love about that quote is it’s honesty, because whether you’re on social media or just walking down the street most of us compare ourselves to others by what they ‘look’ like. We can all put on a brave face and look the part but feel terrible about ourselves, about our lives, about others. We’re the ultimate pretenders.
The truth is that no one has a perfect life with perfect relationships, perfect children and a perfect home. We are all broken, all struggling with hidden issues – some perhaps more than others but there’s not one person in your suburb that is perfectly happy 100% of the time.
How to break the habit of comparison
Take some time out to think about why you compare yourself to others – whether it is what you look like, how you dress, what you say, how successful you look to another person. Perhaps list all the things you like about yourself, what makes you a unique person and embrace the fact that you are different. Think about what’s good in your life and how you can use it to encourage or help others. The happiest people are those that give out to others!
Place notes around your bedroom, bible verses, inspirational quotes to remind you about what’s true and what’s not. It’s easy to put on a happy face, wear the ‘right’ outfit and appear to fit in but you’ll be surprised how much others actually value honesty and a bit of vulnerability because it makes them feel like they’re not alone in being imperfect.
So what does this look like, this comparison-free life? Well, getting dressed in the morning will be a heck of a lot easier, you’ll be one of those ‘real’ people that others can trust, someone who can handle deeper conversations. You’re anxiety levels will make a hasty retreat and you’ll enjoy the things that make you the one-of-a-kind person that God has made you to be! Then you’ll be free to give and bless others with that energy that would have been taken up replaying conversations in your head or working out what’s hot and what’s not for winter fashion!
Do you struggle with constantly comparing your parenting, appearance, personality or finances with others? Contact us for an appointment if you need a chat!