We are so blessed that technology allows us to do what we do. We can talk to people across the world using Skype. We can see what friends and family members are doing in real time on Facebook and we can find pretty much whatever we are looking for on the internet.
Years ago, pre-Mark Zuckerberg came along, we had no way of knowing what our friends, family or anyone else was up to except by conversation, phone call or letter!
Yet despite technology making the world smaller, I feel that we as human souls are becoming more and more isolated and disconnected from our communities and suffering from comparison-itis in the process.
Social media allows us to peek into other people’s lives so easily that it can be potentially a very toxic place and one which, if you aren’t careful, can really impact how you feel about yourself.
We pop in and out of Facebook groups to like a post and can’t help but nosy at other people’s comments
We watch a video of someone talking about something of interest to us whilst making judgements about ourself in the process
We scroll through Instagram aimlessly feeling less than adequate at the perfect smiles and happy faces on the beaches in their insta-perfect images
And we feel crap.
Not good enough
We start to believe that we are missing out. We find ourselves comparing our lives and successes to the hundreds of images and videos we are bombarded with on a daily basis and we feel rubbish.
A few months I started to recognize I had a pattern of behavior which was not empowering me. In fact it was making me feel terrible about myself.
I’d fallen into the hole of COMPARISON-ITUS
Here’s how it played out.
I’d find myself scrolling through Facebook before I started work, and what initially started as ‘I’ll just check my notifications’ ended up being 10, 15, 20 minutes of comparing everything about MYSELF and MY LIFE with all the pictures, articles, videos and conversations I was being bombard with and sucked in to.
Have you ever done that?
And then, without warning, that nasty inner mean bitch inside me (we all have one of those too) would make a grand appearance, waltzing into my office without invitation and sit herself down beside me.
“You’re not as successful as her, look at that flash car she’s just bought!’
“You’re not as popular as her, look at the people she’s hanging out with”
“You’re not going to ever travel the world like they are doing as you’re a mum with loads of responsibilities so why are you even bothering?!?”
‘She’s got a book deal with one of the biggest publishing houses in the world and you haven’t even come close to finishing your book’
‘Look at that beach she’s on drinking out of another coconut, I bet she’s really happy with her life’
And I’d stare at my half cold cup of coffee, hear the washing machine humming downstairs and just let out a huge deflated sigh
And within 10 minutes, I would go from feeling excited, happy, optimistic and delighted at the day ahead, to feeling inadequate, not good enough and just really really fed up.
So I started to take ownership and self responsibility for what I was, in effect, doing to myself.
Comparing ourselves to anyone or anything is
DAMAGING TO OUR SOUL
as it starts to fed our ego and shadow which lives on our deepest fears, insecurities and inadequacies.
Also let’s be honest for a moment and remind ourselves that we shouldn’t always believe what we see. Smoke and mirrors in the world of social media exists and it’s becoming harder than ever to know whether what we see or hear can be taken as truth. And I was reminded of this, once again, just the other day.
That person working from a beach might be worrying about their relationship as it’s not in a good place
That person who is flying across the globe, again, might be feeling disconnected from their family as they are never at home
That person who is pictured with the ‘in crowd’ might be so conscious of themselves that they punish their body with excessive exercise and restrictive eating causing anxiety and stress
Over the last few months I have been REALLY working on myself when it comes to comparing myself to other people’s lives and businesses.
Here are 3 ways you too can stop comparing:
1 – WHERE IS THE STORY?
When I started to feel bad about myself, I started asking “What am I making this mean?” and then I would spend some time journalling or tapping on whatever came up
Our inner world consists of our own specific belief systems, which has been created through our own experiences. All of our memories shape this belief system. Often what happens, is we re-trigger some of these memories, especially on an emotional level, and that is what creates the reaction or trigger to something.
If you feel triggered when you see someone appearing to be in the ‘in crowd’ or you have a fear that you are missing out somehow, it cold be that you have had experiences in your past of not feeling accepted or feeling left out or isolated. They are big emotions to carry which can still affect you even now. So recognize those reactions and then work on healing the original hurt or wound.
2 – CLEAR BOUNDARIES
I also put some very clear and non negotiable boundaries in place.
NO facebook, instagram or social media until 9.30am (giving me time to get my morning ritual well and truly established)
NO facebook, instagram or social media during the day UNLESS it’s already planned (such as time for posting articles, interaction and connecting)
NO aim-lessing scrolling especially in the evening. As soon as the children come home from school, my phone goes in the kitchen and I don’t pick it up again until they have gone to bed…..and when I do, I give myself a set time to respond to messages, notifications and that’s it!
And the biggest one…..NO SOCIAL MEDIA AT ALL OVER THE WEEKEND. This has been a REAL challenge……!
We often use social media as a way of numbing out of our own life and reality and I really want to encourage you to PAY ATTENTION as to whether your use of social media is for THE HIGHEST AND GREATEST GOOD OF YOURSELF or whether you are using it as a form of escaping (and then falling into the hole of comparing yourself)
3 – OWN YOUR TRUTH
I am really working on owning my truth unapologetically at the moment, warts and all! It is pointless comparing ourselves in the way which we can do, as we are all different and we are all walking different journeys
I am slowing coming to terms with the fact that my office is at home and isn’t ever likely going to be on a beach in Bali. I have children who go to school, I have a home and other grown up responsibility so more holidays in tropical locations is the way forward!
I am slowing coming to terms with the fact that my life may not be as exciting on the surface as other’s who appear to be constantly traveling and going to the ‘cool places’ but I have so many things which may be missing in their lives, who knows. I am blessed to have found my soul mate and we have a son and daughter together and a very happy family unit.
And, finally, I am coming to terms with the fact that in between working on my business, helping my clients, doing podcast interviews, videos and blog posts, I still tidy up after my children, move the washing and cook dinner…..
.…now that is something which we never see on instagram!
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