This week is a reminder of something that is so simple, yet not necessarily easyin our ‘hyper-connected’ digital world. And that is…
Staying in your own lane.
By that, I mean we spend a lot of time + energy (physical, emotional, mental) comparing ourselves to others. Even if we’re not doing it consciously.
Our mind is constantly consuming the lives and days of other people and companies that we often lose sight of
our own voice,
our own power,
our own creativity,
what truly matters to us,
our own successes.
We look at everyone else and consume what they’re doing + putting out into the world.
We do it for various reasons, but sometimes after doing it enough, we have a moment where we take a step back, maybe sigh a bit, and think “crap, what am I doing with my life?!”
Or maybe you just get a general ‘bad mood’ that you can’t seem to dust off and you’re not entirely sure where it came from.
Or maybe you get really anxious and scramble to go ‘make something happen’ in your life. Plan a vacation you can’t really afford, buy a product or service you don’t really need or aren’t aligned with, plan your next super-strict diet or workout plan…whatever it may be.
Now don’t get me wrong, I personally love staying connected through the various technological platforms that exist in 2018, and I think they can actually be super inspiring! But I’ve had to learn how to be more intentional + conscious about how, when, and how much I use them.
Because if we aren’t intentional about each time we log on, we become controlled by what we are seeing rather than deciding what it is that we want to get out of our experience.
Additionally, I’ve been known to tell myself that something or someone is ‘inspiring’ (which maybe it is, at some level, if approached in a healthy + intentional way!), but every time I ‘consume’ it, I walk away feeling like shit about myself + my life.
I get trapped in this compare + despair cycle that is no fun.
Now, what may inspire one may make another feel bad vice versa, so it’s up to you to start paying attention + notice what it is that makes you feel any given way.
To get out of this cycle, a few things that have helped are:
- Curate who I spend time with + energy on + remove influences that are consistently making me feel poorly, physically, mentally, emotionally (this means unfollowing certain accounts and/or following new, different accounts that shake up my news feed, give me a chance to see or think differently, show me a new paradigm to consider, are more diverse and/or less ‘shame-inducing’)
- Be intentional with the time I do spend (including, but not limited to things like: Why am I going on social media / my phone or computer? Am I doing it to escape, distract myself from something that needs attention or love? What do I hope to accomplish by going on?)
- Stay present when I’m online, noticing how I’m feeling + what’s coming up for me (e.g., whenever I look at X online, do I fairly consistently feel terrible about myself or what my lack of creativity or inspiration or ‘likes’ or whatever, then using that information to inform #1)
- Spend less time, in general, on social media, especially if it’s mindlessly browsing (don’t get me wrong, I can get caught in a solid IG story binge, but overall, spending less time consuming other people’s lives gives me the freedom to focus on creating mine from a place of authenticity, confidence, self-love, and desire, not just trying to be exactly like – or better than – someone else; it gives me space to be ME)
- Gut-check and decide what is true for you (whatever you see and read, always come back to yourself and decide what’s true for you; no matter how ‘flawless’ or ‘inspiring’ anyone seems, we’re all human, all with flaws, and all unique; this means that rather than shifting from mimicking one person to another, find what makes you feel good, and know that at the end of the day, no matter who you follow, the buck stops with YOU)
For me in the past, that was diet or “fitspo” or model accounts. I claimed them as inspiration, but it was really just a constant game of comparison, of how far do I need to make it before I’m ‘there’, before I’m ‘good enough’, before I’m ‘#goals’?
Usually followed by not feeling great about the answer to those questions, and then promptly feeling like I needed to do better, do more.
Eventually, unfollowing some of those people and finding new people who were equally supportive of a new, more inclusive + loving paradigm I was shifting into helped me feel less alone.
It helped me realize that the definition and expression of what it means to be ‘human’ or a ‘woman’ or ‘successful’ can mean so many different things, and exposing my palette to things beyond thin/fit, white, conventionally-gorgeous, well-known, ‘gym rat / fitspo’ women + celebrities was very much a good thing for both my health and my worldview.
However, it’s important to reiterate that at the end of the day, no matter how ‘loving’ or ‘inclusive’ a person or account is, we still have to still decide for ourselves if we agree or not. We need to stop looking for those ‘perfect’ people who we never disagree with or take every word as the absolute truth.
Rather spending more time with yourself and getting to know you you truly are combined with following those who make you feel good (and not shitty) will allow you to form your own unique, one-of-a-kind worldview and individuality, one that is very much needed!
And this all goes without saying that this concept can apply to life ‘offline’ as well. How we do anything is often how we do everything, so if you’re falling into the disempowering comparison trap online, you’re likely doing it at some level in person as well. (I speak from experience 😉 trust me)
You’ve got this. <3
As always, feel free to share this with anyone who may find it helpful, and I look forward to hearing how it helps you.
P.S. If you need some help with this (or other related topics) and are interested in possibly working together, leave a comment below or click ‘Contact’ above, and let’s get talkin’!