Day 3 || COMPARISON
Comparison. Where do I start with this one? Such a gigantic and often heavy topic. So, let's start light and ease ourselves in.
My sister and I are NOT twins. It is a constant question we encounter. On this trip alone we have been asked upwards of 20 times in 5 days! As kids we absolutely loved people asking and assuming we were twins, we would even play on the idea and purposely order food at the same time, needless to say we found it highly amusing. As I grew up I grew into embracing and appreciating my individuality. Being compared and asked if we were twins, or having people frequently confuse the two of us slowly moved from fun to annoying.
Constant comparison is not something I desire or enjoy. I want to be my own person, a recognizable individual. When my sister occasionally collects Elijah from school the mum's in the playground will chat away to her thinking she is me. Sure it's amusing but it also causes me to consider how being a real identical twin must be. My dad is a twin, but with a girl and when I think back about how we speak about them it is often conversation about how they do this the same, how this is different and so on. Imagine having that since birth.
Comparison can be deadly and I cannot sit here and pretend like I have never fallen into it's trap. See I actually do not believe that all comparison is a negative thing. Comparing places, items etc can be very fruitful and lead to great life decisions, financially and emotionally. It is the comparison of people and situations against yourself and your circumstances that cause the negative, unhealthy and unhappy outcomes.
Comparison destroys friendships, I have seen it happen before my own eyes. It tears down self-esteem, relationships and your own happiness. Sadly todays social media frenzied world means it is truly difficult to avoid it. The fact that in this time every Tom, Dick and Harry has access to a camera and a media platform 24/7 365 creates a make believe world of perfection.
You scroll and watch the so-called reality of everyone else's more exciting, more afflluent, more beautiful, more perfect world unfold before your eyes, constantly. It is relentless. It is extremely difficult to detach yourself from it. It literally becomes addictive. Human nature and curiosity seems to develop and feed this unexplained need to know the ins and outs of everyone's lives even when it is detrimental to our own mental health.
To look at it all, be genuinely and sincerely happy for those people and not consider that aspect of your own life and where it is at is very rare. Ridiculously, if you compare that area, say body image for example, and feel yours is actually better then you tend to experience pride and gloating. If you consider your body to not be on par with the other person then sadness, disappointment and resentment creep their way in. Both create ugly outcomes and do not feed a healthy and happy mind.
Let's get real and let's get honest. Why did you/I take that photo of your family activity, date night, bikini shot and share it to a social media platform instead of choosing to print it, pop it in a frame on your wall or add it to a beautiful family album on your coffee table? There is the answer of course that your geographical situation means that it is a great way to keep your distant family up-to-date with your adventures, grandparents get to see glimpses of their grandchildrens lives from worlds away. BUT if you get real with yourself it is more often to show the world around you. We want our peers to see our 'happy family', our great body, our exciting lives. We want others to think our lives are awesome. It might be to seek attention, reassurance, a boost in self-esteem from all the lovely comments. When you check your intentions with a raw approach it is easy to discover that they are pretty dodgy.
Over the years I would hold my hands up and say that I have probably posted for all of the above reasons. Why do we care what others think so much? Why is it important that we portray this image, post these photos and create this false reality of our lives? These questions really puzzle me. I asked myself 'Do I care about the opinions of others'? The fast, bold reaction was 'No, not one bit', and then I let it sit a minute and the raw truth bubbled right up to my lips, yes! I do, more than I like. I sincerely admire you if your honest answer is no, that you do not care about the opions and perceptions of others about your life, that they never weigh in on your choices and decisions.
It is great and truly necessary to discover those amazing 2 or 3 people in your world whom you trust and whose opinion holds real value and weight. A true friend that will speak truth and life into your world with only pure intentions of bringing about the very best in your life. Those are the opinions we should care about, not the random unkowns across the social media world.
Wow I went a little off track lol. Comparison, a real life enemy to your joy. If you want your joy to vanish, trust me, just begin comparing your life to that of those around you. And what do you gain from it? Nothing good, generally.
So recently I took a rather big step in my only battle against this. As a professional photographer I genuinely need a social media presence and platform. I appreciate how much my business benefits from it, but I have chosen to simply use it for that, work. Now understand that part of my brand means that I share a certain amount of my personal life within my social media accounts, it makes me more personable and relatable and is a great business tool. The step I have put in place is to STOP SCROLLING, thats right, I can post to Instagram and Facebook but not begin the deadly scroll.
I found that I would waste time scrolling to see lives unfold around the world and when I stopped I had gained absolutely nothing of value. I am hoping not to offend or upset anyone but I truly just don't actually care what you ate for dinner, how great you look in that outfit, or how much you work out. Yes I would love to know about your awesome family vacation and your anniversary outing but let's get together for a cup of tea, let's go old school and hear the recount first hand with photos in tow. I have found in a short space of time that but avoiding the scroll I am happier, more confident in both business and personal life, and happier as a wife and mum.
I am sure not everyone struggles with comparison but if you do, please join me, stop scrolling. Try it for a week and see if there is any change in your overall mental wellbeing. It is quite beautiful to just be present in your own life rather than consumed but the mis-reality portrayed across social media. Walk and run in your own lane and love it. Sometimes if we are honest the past did it better. A cup of tea and a real catch up are my jam. I would LOVE to have dinner with you and flick through family albums and chat about your anniversary, your current work out regime, your love life etc.
Anyone fancy keeping it face to face, I'm in! x