Comparison is the Thief of Joy

When I think about all of my passions, the things that really get me going and make me happy, I know they are wild and varied and unique. I love so many different things (see my post on “multipotentialite”). But, the pressure to be amazing at all of them is sometimes suffocating.

Do you ever hop on Instagram and see amazing people doing amazing things? It’s inevitable, and it’s wonderful. I love being inspired by some of my favorite profiles and hashtags (I’m looking at you #howwedwell #carveouttimeforart #noodleworship) I’m a visual gal. I appreciate beauty through my eyes, more than any other organ. So, Instagram for me, is a curated visual feast of imagery that speaks to all the things that make my heart sing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the inspiration it brings. But, sometimes the pressure is a little too much, isn’t it? It’s like seeing many super talented and successful individuals post their one shining talent, but multiplied by all the attributes of someone’s life. It’s inspiring, but daunting. As a 2 wing 3 on the Enneagram, I feel the pressure of achievement weigh heavy sometimes. It’s saying, loudly, that we need to have the perfect home, boast the perfect hair, prepare the perfect meals, include the perfect fitness routine, a dash of the perfect makeup, not to mention the perfect job, wearing the perfect outfit, showing off the perfect artistic talent, while hosting the perfect parties, and writing the perfect piece, and the oh so important “get the perfect shot” of it all.

Expectations have expanded, greatly. It’s not just pressure on image anymore. It’s pressure on every single aspect about you.

I’m preaching to myself here when I share this next super important realization…

Don’t let the single shining talent of many individuals pressure you into feeling like you have to be a single individual with many shining talents.

McKenzie Bergenback

It’s simply not the same. You don’t have to be super successful at all the aspects of your life! Because, guess what, not even the Instagram celebrities are. They are usually great at their single area. When we are flooded with so many of the individuals, we feel like we have to live up to that standard in every single aspect as just one individual.

The truth is, we don’t.

Live your passions, combine them if you can, give them purpose, and give them time…but don’t give them the power of perfection. They don’t need it.

When you think about your true passions, what keeps you up at night, or what you lose track time doing, often they are things you’ve enjoyed your whole life. Did you need perfection as a kid when you were doodling for hours? Did you need perfection as kid when you rode your bike, or baked your first batch of cookies? Did you feel the need to compare how you looked in your swimsuit as you did that cannonball in the deep end? Of course not. You enjoyed your passions without the power of perfection or comparison.

Let’s challenge ourselves this week to be mindful of comparison, and reclaim the joy our passions brought to us in the first place.

Real world application: The next time you are on Instagram and you see something you like or that is inspiring, write down one thing you like or are inspired by in yourself. Better yet…hop off Instagram, and go do one thing that brings you joy! I promise it’s better than playing the comparison game.

b. joyful,

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