When you are struggling with a mental or physical health condition or even something deeply traumatic and emotional it is far too easy to look at other people and compare (what I call the comparison complex).
You see them going about their daily lives, seemingly with ease, and wish ‘why can’t I just do things normal people can do’.
The same can be said for the internet world.
As much as I love social media and the web and it’s ability to form communities, build friendships and give people access to support and advice they may not otherwise have been able to find, as well as giving us creatives an endless world of creative inspiration. It also has its drawbacks.
Perception vs. Reality
Comparison is a cruel game. In comparing yourself to another you not only make yourself feel worse, but you disregard all of the wonderful things that you ARE capable of, and all the qualities that make you unique.
Ive also found that sometimes, looking at all the wonderful things other people create and are creating totally robs me of any inspiration and ideas of my own! Or, just as bad I create something only to think it’s not good enough.
The reality is, everything you do IS good enough. Everyone else on social media who is posting all their glossy photos, and looking on the surface like evething in their life is ‘perfect’. It isn’t. They have problems and all the normal life worries we do. They all dream of being successful and having something ‘more’.
The problem is we forget it in those moments of social media insecurity.
Green isn’t a pretty colour
Instead of envying what other people have or what they are doing with their lives we should instead be thinking “I can do that too”
or looking at what it is that’s making us so jealous of them, and working out “what is my version of that, and how do I make it happen for me too”.
Turn the negative into something positive!
No one is the same so it just isn’t possible for me or you to achieve someone else’s success. I guess the winning formula is to work out what your individual skills are and work to your strengths.
What is success anyway?
But really what is success? We’re all told that having a high earning job, big house, flashy car, exotic holidays, and all the latest gadgets is success. But these are all just material things. And sure, having some of those things would be nice. But having material possessions isn’t happiness.
Surely, and for me anyway, success is a life that makes you happy. Where you wake up every day looking forward to what’s to come, and you finish each evening with gratitude and feeling fulfilled and content.
I don’t have the answers, I still working it out too. It’s only since hitting my 30’s that I feel I really know myself at all and what I want out of life. So the sooner you can work out what lights you up, and realise that following the crowd isn’t the answer then the better off you’ll be.
The other thing is that life is always changing. We are always changing. So those goals and what you see as success today, might be completely different a year from now because you’ve had 364 days of experiences that will have changes and reshaped who you are and possibly even redefined what you can or want to achieve.
So don’t put too much into chasing just one thing you think will make you succeed. Gather as many experiences as you can. Do all the things that excite and interest you. Make your life as diverse as possible. Make it beautiful.
Really all you can do is be the best version of yourself every day. Always be kind to others. Fill your life with learning and experiences that bring you joy. Chase your dreams and your version of success. Defined by you. In your own way. In your own time.
Something I have to remind myself of every day too.
(Images from my recent visit to Yorkshire Lavender farm)