Comparison...it's the secret sauce.

Soooo....did this title suck you in?? Were you wondering what in the world I could be talking about in this post? 🤔

Well, it probably isn't exactly what you're thinking....

It's been a while since I gave you girls a good long rambling post 😉 and today felt like a good day for this topic.

"Comparison is the secret sauce to a miserable life."  

I heard that this past Sunday in church.  The whole message was around comparison and the toxicity that it most often brings with it.  How we live in a world of constant comparison...judging....trying to live up to the image of other people who we think are better, prettier, fitter, smarter, wealthier, etc.

Now let's break this down a bit more and dig a little deeper. 

In today's world of social media, television and magazines, we are constantly flooded with images and messages around what life should or could be like.  What perfect looks like.  The perfect lives of celebrities and their beautiful hair, perfect makeup, amazing homes. 

Perfect instagram page with the beautiful family that looks like they are always having a blast and doing all sorts of things together happily. 

Or the constant Facebook posts about how someone has the perfect job and they don't have a care in the world.  

Now...it's ok for people to put their best self forward on social media....I get it.  I do it.  Of course I would prefer to post a picture of me in the gym with good posture instead of the one where I had skin rolling over my leggings.  Who wouldn't right? But the key is that you have to remember....there is always something else going on.  There is always a behind the scenes.  A back story.  

Life isn't perfect for anyone.  So why are we constantly comparing ourselves to the lives of others....wishing we had what they had...drove what they drive....worked where they work...had their kids....you name it.  Why is it that so often we always want what we don't have? That we never feel content with our current situation.  That we are constantly comparing ourselves?  

I mean think about it...how many times have you been in a group of women....could be at a school function...a mom's group...a workout class...anywhere...but in a group of women and you find yourself saying things in your head like "gosh Susan's hair looks fabulous curled like that...why can't my hair ever look like that?" OR "how in the wold is Ashley so fit? I work out just as much as she does and don't look anything like that." OR "Kate always seems so calm and carefree...never frazzled.  Why can't I just chill and be more like that?"

Or maybe you see a mom walking through Target with a couple of toddlers who are behaving perfectly.  She is dressed in an on point athleisure outfit that is to die for, her hair is twisted up into the the most perfect and effortless looking messy bun and she is overall flawless.  Meanwhile you are just trying to make it to the back of the store to grab a box of pulls ups for your 4 year old who is throwing a fit on the floor because you had to turn off his Paw Patrol DVD in the car to come into the store, and you are still wearing your sunglasses and baseball cap inside to hide the fact that you didn't have time to put on makeup or wash your hair in 4....maybe 5 days.  And wait....this is quite possibly the same sweat pants you wore yesterday. 😕 

Sound familiar to anyone? 🙋🏻

When you cross paths with that perfect looking mom and her kids in the aisle what do you do?  I know for me it's the perfect opportunity to begin comparing and mentally attacking myself.  Why can't my kids act like that?  How can I not make more of an effort to look presentable?  Can I seriously not wash my hair more than once a week?  Why don't I have any time for myself? 

Or it can also go the opposite but almost just as common of a way.  You begin criticizing HER...the perfect looking mom.  "Well, she clearly has help.  She probably has a nanny at home that does everything for her.  She obviously doesn't work full time like I do...if I didn't have to work full time then I would be able to look like that too." 

Why do we do this?  Why do we so often tear ourselves or others down when faced with comparison?  It's something that I think is safe to say that we ALL struggle with.  I know I do.  But why? How can we overcome it?  

I think that many times comparison and the toxic things it brings with it stem from fear and insecurity and a lack of love for ourselves.  Because here's the thing...comparison in a certain way, can be a great thing.  If it's uplifting, motivating, and inspiring.  If you have the ability to see someone...maybe it's someone you look at as being a great mom for example, and you say to yourself "gosh, she is just doing a fantastic job as a mom.  She is so inspiring to me.  I want to work on bettering myself to become an even better mom than I am now."  That's a good thing. If you can take something that you see in someone else and instead of tearing yourself or the other person down with it, use it to uplift yourself and motivate youself for something even better then that is fantastic!! 

I think if you are able to do that it shows a certain level of security in who you are now and a realization of motivation to be even better.  Doesn't mean you aren't good now...just means you want to continue to push yourself to become better.  We can all always improve.  That will never go away.  

How can you overcome negative comparison?

1.  Thank God for how he has made you to be.  Start here.  You have to first be able to love yourself...flaws and all...because we all have them.  But the beautiful part is that God created you to be the exact person that you are.  And God doesn't make mistakes.  So you must be pretty awesome 😁 You have to embrace who you are...what your strengths and weaknesses are...and then work each and every day on being the best you.  

2.  Celebrate the success of others.  Bless others and their advantages...their wins...the things they are great at.  Be an encourager of others.  Because here is an important thing to remember....someone may have a strength or an advantage in a certain area....for example she may be an extremely talented singer.  But she may also struggle with self image.  While we all have strengths and advantages we also all have weaknesses and downfalls.  Areas where we struggle.  So we have to build each other.  We have to help each other celebrate our strengths and work on our weakness.  Encouraging others is such an uplifting thing..  I learned that very quickly when I started this blog and my Instagram page.  

I made a commitment from the start that it would only EVER be positive here.  That my goal is to motivate, inspire, and uplift women of all kinds.  That it wasn't a place for negativity...toxicity....or complaining.  Its a place where we can build each other up.  A place where I hope that I can inspire you . To help you in any way that I can to become the best version of yourself....for you, and for all those that you love around you..  A place for motivation - to work hard, to push and challenge yourself, to better yourself.....to love yourself.  To be happy and content with what you have and where you are but to always be pushing yourself further and further.  To not be afraid of challenges or setbacks but to stay strong and power on.  To know how amazing you are.  How talented, and beautiful, and perfect.  To understand that we are all unique individuals who have our own strengths and advantages to share with the world and that what might be one woman's strength is not yours and that's OK.  Do you.  And be happy with you.

And at the top of all of that, I hope it is a place where you can come and see that you are not alone.  Any time that you are struggling...worried about something....feeling like a failure....tired of comparing yourself to others......I want you to be able to see here that we are all human.  We all face the same challenges, setbacks, and issues.  None of us are immune to that.  The key to overcoming challenges and obstacles is surrounding yourself with positivity and a support system to help you do just that.  That's what I want this to be.  

If you think back to my example earlier of being in a group of women and thinking all of the comparison thoughts in your head.  You should also note that it isn't most likely just you doing that.  You can safely assume that when you get a group of us girls together that everyone is doing the exact same thing at the same time. 🙄 So....here's a thought.  What if you take those negative and toxic thoughts and turn them into encouragement.  Instead of thinking to yourself about how fabulous Susan's hair looks like and why can't yours look that good....turn that around.  Focus on Susan.  Tell her how amazing she looks...that you love her hair.   Ask her to teach you how to do it.  That will not only make Susan feel great by getting a compliment, but you will feel good for GIVING the compliment...I promise.  And you'll feel much better doing that that you would have sitting in your head thinking about how flat your hair looks today. 

Or if your thinking about someone and how well behaved her kids are...instead of tearing yourself down about being a terrible mom who can't get her kids to act right, turn it around to focus on her.  Tell her that her kids are amazing and she is doing an incredible job.  You'll make her day.  It will feel so much better than comparing yourself to her.  Just uplift her.  

Because the last thing I want you to remember is that you can't have others blessings and advantages without taking their pain as well.  Their backstory.  Their shortcomings.  So while she may have fantastic hair and you want it...you can't have it without also have the eating disorder that she struggles with. Or the loss of a loved one that she is going through.  Or any number of other things going on behind the scenes that you don't get to see.

And while you may wish for her job that seems so amazing, you can't have it without also having the added weight gain she has put on due to the high stress level of her work.

Always remember there is more behind what you see.  

And if you take only one thing away from this rambling ....let it be this.  Be happy and content with yourself while always looking to improve.  

Encourage, uplift, and celebrating other women.  We all need to work harder at loving ourselves and building each other up.  Stop the comparisons....kick out the negativity, and focus on positivity....about yourself and those around you. 💕