I recently got together with some girlfriends and I just have to say how SO DARN INSPIRING it was! It was refreshing to sit and chat together about our lives, dreams, struggles, goals, accomplishments, and what inspires us. But most of all it was just incredible to be together and uplift, encourage, and support each other in those things.
A past version of myself would have felt bogged down and sad and “not good enough” in comparison to these other women and the amazing things they’re doing in their lives. But I didn’t feel that way, not even a little. I felt such excitement and inspiration to take on the future no matter what it holds. Ready to sprint towards my goals, instead of crawling or walking.
It’s interesting in our generation with everyone else’s lives right at our fingertips how we compare. Because of this there is so much self-doubt and insecurity, depression and low self-worth. We see photos on Instagram and Facebook of someone’s workouts and perfectly balanced meals. We see their vacations and their new cars. We see their beautiful children, loving marriage, and perfect house. And we compare these things with our own lives, often times the messy parts. What we often don’t see on the internet though, is the donut they ate because sometimes it’s just hard to resist. Or their job that they hate, but they need it to pay the bills. Or their children throwing tantrums, or their arguments with their spouse, or their messy kitchen behind them as they take a picture of their perfectly manicured living room.
I will admit that I have been guilty of unfollowing people on social media because their photos made me feel insecure about myself or my own circumstances. I know I’m not alone in this. And I honestly thought this was the right thing to do! If it doesn’t make me feel good about myself, why should I subject myself to it? But something I heard in a podcast episode from Jenna Kutcher (seriously, she’s my favorite right now) made me think twice about that. Shouldn’t we figure out what the real problem is? Dig a little deeper? Why did that picture make me feel insecure about my own life? The problem isn’t with them, it’s with me.
My thoughts are this. If something we see online in someone else’s life makes us feel bad or insecure or “not good enough,” maybe we aren’t working hard enough to reach our own goals. In fact, maybe we haven’t even set any, or don’t have a clear picture of what they are! I think this may be an indicator that we need to reevaluate what we want out of life and set some goals to get there. Maybe you feel like your marriage is struggling so you need to spend more time with your spouse and serve each other more. Maybe you don’t like your career, so evaluate what you really WANT to be doing and work towards making that change, and don’t give up until you get there! Maybe it’s that you aren’t happy with your body, so you need to have some gratitude for the incredible things your body does for you now, and then make some changes in your diet and activity levels and mindset to get to that place you really want to be!
In addition, be authentic! Be real! Be vulnerable! People will relate to you. People will be drawn to you! Opportunities and doors will open in your life.Your relationships will improve. Show the messy, the imperfect, and the vulnerable. I’m working on that.
The point is, we can have a mindset change when it comes to looking into other peoples’ lives. Let them inspire us to be better, not to feel bad about ourselves or our own lives. This mindset change has been huge for me, even in the past 2 weeks. Celebrate the achievements of those around you, and especially celebrate your own! We can choose to be inspired.