Let's just stop with the comparison, mmk?
I’ve been keeping a gratitude list every day thanks to the #Last90Days challenge. It’s been really nice to focus on the positive things that I tend to look past. Instead of buying a new journal (which was SO hard for me, because I LOVE NOTEBOOKS!!!), I decided to use a gratitude journal that I received as a gift once from my pre-school bestie. It’s nothing fancy, but there are fun prompts on every page that remind you how to focus your gratitude, in case you are struggling. This week, one of the prompts was this:
I mean….it hit me right in the gut, especially because I have recently gotten out of a funk where I was comparing myself way too much. Getting out of the comparison game is really hard. We are constantly thrown ways to be envious of others, even when we don’t realize it. We are flooded with people on social media that we choose to follow because they make us feel good, but just because they make us feel good doesn’t mean that we aren’t immune to the envious thoughts that creep up on us, or the unconscious comparison that rests in the back of our minds.
It’s there whether you want to admit or not; I won’t believe you if you tell me otherwise. It’s up to us whether we decide let it rule our lives.
Earlier this week, I had a friend reach out and ask for help with ways to be more body-positive. I was humbled because I don’t see myself as a role model for this quite yet. I don’t lie to people, I don’t hide who I am or what I look like….but I also don’t express my thoughts 100% on social media or to people in my personal life. I still struggle with being nicer to myself (which I talked about here), I just try super hard every single day to think of positive things about myself to combat those negative thoughts because I don’t like how negative thoughts make me feel or act.
I suggested for her to start a gratitude list and to make half of the list about body positivity. Or even have just ONE item on the list about body positivity to start….because mental change does not happen over night. I am hoping that will begin to have a different mindset for her, among other personal advice I gave her.
I truly hate that women (and men) are still defined by how they look. I don’t know if we will ever get past trying to compare our lives to others, but we can certainly try harder!! Here are some suggestions:
The next time you see someone taking a trip somewhere great while you’re stuck in your every day situation & can’t afford to go anywhere, & also don’t know how they can afford it, say “Good for them! They probably saved up for a while for that trip.” Then, let it inspire you to start saving up in small ways for a dream trip of your own!
You see someone who has only been working out for 30 days and looks amazing, while you’ve been slaving away for years and haven’t made any significant changes. Instead of getting annoyed and upset with yourself, take a step back and look at your full journey. AND….if you’ve been working hard for a while, the changes won’t be as drastic to your body since it’s accustomed to that physical stress already; this person may be brand new to a fitness routine so their body is shocked & adapts wayyy differently. Don’t judge—you don’t know where they are in their journey!! ALSO…you could consider changing up your routine to shock your body—I promise, this helps!!
Instead of drooling over the newest fall fashions & wondering how you can possibly afford everything that your favorite bloggers or Instagrammers are wearing, be inspired by your own closet!! Put outfits together that you would have never thought of. If you need more inspiration, create a Pinterest board with #ootd looks (outfit of the day). Also, try to follow people on blogs or Instagram who are physically similar to you. I’ve found that certain looks just don’t fit right on me even though they are super cute (looking at you, crop tops) so I ignore anything with crop tops and focus on models that promote tops more my style rather than getting jealous of the cute outfits I KNOW I can’t pull off. Just don’t put yourself through that struggle—nothing good comes out of it.
Do you see where I’m going with all of these? It’s all about your mindset. Chances are if you are following someone on Instagram/blogging/Facebook, unless it’s your family or your bff or your significant other you probably have NO IDEA what is really going on in their life. Social media is a highlight reel, as much as some of us try not to let that get through….it really is just a place to show the ‘good stuff’. Occasionally you’ll find someone who is real and honest about struggles (I like to think I am one of them, for the most part!), but 75% of the people out there are just showing ‘the good stuff’.
If you are struggling with comparison:
Find someone who inspires you. Like, truly inspires you. Someone who is honest, motivational, upfront, open, and who you can relate to on SOME level. Connect with them somehow. Reach out to them and let them know you are inspired by them. Ask them how they accomplished something you admire about them, be it a job, weight loss, strength win, or something else. Set small goals for yourself to reach and start working towards them with the motivation of people you truly admire.