There’s been a long-running murmur across social media platforms regarding authenticity and the dangers of comparison. That a consistent diet of status updates and retouched images, filtered through a carefully crafted feed of life’s highlights, is leaving most of us in a bit of a funk. If not, a complete state of disillusioned depression. And, I get it.
I’m 100% guilty of sitting behind the soft glow of my screen, scrolling precious moments of life away, and letting the insecurity and inadequacy get the best of me. It’s honestly held me back more than a couple of times. It’s kept me behind the scenes, scared of being judged and found not worthy of #squadgoals, praise hand emojis, and scrolling comments of affirmations. And, quite simply, I got damn tired of feeling that way.
In my particular case, those feelings were all on me. The challenge for me isn’t in unrealistic expectations for myself grown out of an intake of airbrushed and edited representations of someone else’s life. I was, quite literally, comparing myself to who I was yesterday. I had let a setback or two erode my confidence, and with nothing between my soft melty center and a LOT of opportunities to feel left out and overlooked, I gave myself a pass to stop stepping out and stepping up. Yesterday I was BETTER. But, yesterday, was also a much different life.
I was allowing comparison of my current self to my past self leave me defeated. In response to that defeat, the simple, quiet fact is that I quit trying. And, that was when I started to feel a bit of the weight of social media perfectionism to creep in.
I don’t have time for that.
I tend to be of the opinion that the best defense is having a damn good offense. I know that when I’m feeling fulfilled, engaged, and productive, there’s not much that can shake me. Witnessing others’ success never left me feeling less than, jealous or inadequate when I knew I was at the top of my game too. If anything, seeing those wins stack up for others catalyzed me. Proof of possibility.
Now, back to that damned good offense. Action. Action is the spoon full of sugar, my friends. When I’m in action I don’t have the time, or the pull to compare. Everything becomes unadulterated inspiration: the times I’ve failed, the aspirational Pinterest feeds, the W’s lining up for those I follow.
The quick fix? I refused to continue to let myself off the hook.
I want to fill my life with #goals. A strong, fit and healthy body, flawless skin framed by a messy braid, a wardrobe that sings my personal style anthem, a gaggle of bosslady besties, a couch with all the perfect throw pillows, a front porch that you can just feel inviting you in with a cozy adirondack and icy lemonade … and every. single. messy. misstep that gets me there.
And, the best part about social media? We get to do it all together!
So, here’s a metaphorically raised mug of hot coffee with *just* the right dollop of cream, in tribute to having it all. I am committing to pressing forward, though some days the progress will be halting and the coffee will go cold. Cheers to the mess that leads to the masterpiece and all the friends we share it with along the way!