Let’s just start by saying this:
You ARE enough
So there’s that. But it prob hasn’t stopped you from scrolling your Insta-feed, internally wailing and cursing all the pretty whilst you squeeze onto the Tube and hold yourself under yet another stranger’s armpit on yet another grey, wet and windy January morning.
It’s natural to feel that green-eyed monster raise its ugly head. Or at least I say it is. And it’s my blog so y’know.
I’ve had a massive case of the comparison wobbles recently (pre-Christmas) particularly in regards to my career or lack thereof. It feels like every woman I know or know of has some sort of ambitious, kick-ass career in a bloody brilliant field of whateverdom. And they are bossing the mum thing. And probably all whilst running beautiful homes and wearing matching underwear. How do I know this?
I don’t. It’s simply the impression I have built up of these gorgeous, successful creatures in my head.
So yeah, I realise it’s silly.
The whole comparison thing has left me feeling deflated though tbh. I literally have questioned everything about my ten year career, my ability to write anything worthwhile, the type of mother I might or might not be and even the endless potential I’ve washed down the drain with a teen pregnancy and an inability to filter what comes out of my mouth. And yet nothing has actually changed and my life is pretty good. It’s just the comparison thingy that makes me turn to these dark thoughts.
So what’s a girl to do?
Six steps to come my loves – this is how I personally got on top of the comparison game over Christmas and New Year and started to love my life all over again…
Unfollow all the people who make you feel bad about yourself
Banning social media from your life isn’t a practical thing to suggest and whilst I do reckon you should limit it at certain points, your best bet is to unfollow all those lovely, sexy, seemingly perfect mortals that make you want to crawl back under your duvet in life-shame. At least – this is what I did. There are a zillion accounts who will lift you up, motivate you in a healthy non-competitive way and/or make you howl with laughter. Just make sure you choose to follow these type of accounts and say “ta-ra!” (that’s goodbye to the non-scousers) to the bloody wonderful folk of perfect-land.
Make a list of all the ways YOU rock
Now I appreciate this is a little bit cringe. But go on and do it anyway – nobody needs to know and it might make you feel a little better. If you are having a down day/week/month then ask close friends and family what they would say about you if they had to sum you up in a sentence.
Mum’s are brilliant for this kind of thing. As are best friends and young children
who can be bribed with biscuits. Write it down and keep it. Come back to it when you are feeling green or blue.
Start a gratitude journal
Don’t be rolling your eyes at me but every night, right before bed – I write a page in a blank A4 journal. In it, I scribble down the things I have achieved that day. It may be a big thing – a promotion perhaps (ha! fat chance) but it is equally as likely to be something seemingly mundane to others such as the fact I removed my makeup before bed. When you are suffering from depression, these little acts of self-care can feel like an achievement you see.
I also write the things I am grateful for that day – maybe the fact we are all healthy or the fact I was able to drive home rather than wait for the bus in the rain. After that I note down things I would have liked to have done better – being less sarcastic is often one of mine.
I doodle, I think about my day in a positive way and I take stock of all the really great things that happened no matter how trivial.
The result of this is that I can look back at this journal and see just how much I do achieve in my own way over the days / weeks / months and eventually year. It has already had a massively positive effect on my mental health and I can’t recommend it enough.
Imagine yourself doing all of those amazing things
When the comparison game takes over, try visualising yourself doing those things that that person is doing. For example, I was pea-green with envy in November when I saw one of my fave bloggers living it up on the beach in all her gorgeous glory in the Maldives on a work trip. She was perfect. The insta-shot was perfect and her life, to me, looked perfect.
So I took a step back and asked myself what would I be doing if I was the one waist-deep in the clear waters of the Maldives and I had to admit that:
- I’d have been literally peeing myself with fear because I’m terrified of the sea and all the living creatures in it so there’s NO WAY I’d be waist-deep in the shark-infested Indian Ocean and
- I’d be complaining how hot I was because if I don’t wear a sunhat I shrivel up and die. Also that humidity and my hair? Just no.
- I’d have been SO worried about getting that perfect shot for my blog post that the anxiety would probably have ruined the whole trip.
Not so glamorous I’m sure you’ll agree.
I think you get the point. Life isn’t always as glam as it’s made out to be so pop a more realistic spin on the situation of envy and picture yourself really being there / doing that.
Let it motivate you
Comparison can actually be healthy if you let it motivate you. So if there’s something that pops up time and time again that I really want or want to be like I will allow myself time to think about how to achieve it for myself.
- Identify exactly what it is you are wanting
- Work out if it is possible (winning the lottery and living on a yacht might be a bit of an over-stretch)
- Work out exactly how to get to that goal yourself, step by step in a clear and concise manner.
In short – let the comparison motivate you to achieve. But please, whatever you do – do it with your own inimitable style. Not someone else’s.
Do the best YOU can
You know and I know that everyone’s situations are different so you need to remember this in order to beat the comparison game:
Start where you are – use what you have – do what you can
That’s all you can do really isn’t it? And then accept that this is enough because it has to be. Coming to terms with this was kind of like a revelation for me. The only person I really have to live up to is myself. Nobody else is comparing me and nobody else is comparing you.
If you are living in a permanent state of “why me-ness” like I was a few months back, then I really hope this little blog post helps. Why not bookmark it and return to it when you are stuck in the weeds of comparison?
Anyhoo my loves, gotta go now so I will catch you on Weds for my next post.