As I observe mothers and the influence of social media, it is clear that comparison-itis is real (maybe not a real word, but it’s definitely a real thing!). Probably more than ever before, there is a tendency to compare ourselves to others, and think that we are not enough. Perhaps it was the same before the beautiful pics on social media, but I do believe that they add to the pressure women and mums place on themselves.
I want every mother to know that you are perfectly imperfect. And I mean really know, and feel it. As humans we were not designed to be perfect. Our imperfections make us relatable & real. They give us soul. They allow us to learn acceptance, and evolve as individuals. It took me many years to figure this out, but perfectionism is an illusion. It is not something we can strive towards because it does not exist.
We can get ourselves into trouble when we believe perfectionism is attainable and start comparing ourselves to others who we think have achieved it. You see, it’s impossible to achieve the impossible! And don’t forget, comparison is the thief of joy. When we compare ourselves to others we give our ego permission to run wild, and this is when our negative self-talk can spiral out of control. Living in our head and buying into our ego’s story, can be a sure of leading us down the garden path to suffering and that constant feeling of inadequacy. A dark place I try to avoid visiting as much a possible.
Like most, I too, love the Instagram bubble, it’s so pretty, inspiring and creative. But it can make us feel like we aren’t doing a good enough job, since we may not have glamorous pics of our every day life to share but instead a house full of mayhem! Because of this social media can trigger comparison for many women.
So I want to teach you a few tricks I have learnt along the way. Next time you are scrolling, I want you to remember this:
- Social media is only a glimpse of time into someone’s life. And sometimes this glimpse isn’t always an authentic reflection of this person’s life. We all know the wonders of filters; lighting & angles can have on a person or situation. Behind the scenes might look very different.
- As well as being an amazing place to connect and support like-minded women, social media is also a marketing platform. Both serve great purposes, but we must remember this when we are mindlessly scrolling, and the “why can’t I look like that after my baby or why can’t my house look like hers?” thoughts come up.
- Take a positive away from the experience – like appreciation for a person, or inspiration for own evolution or creativity. Ask yourself “how can I use what I see on social media to inspire me to the best version of yourself?”
- Fill your feed with accounts that are real and relatable, as well as the aesthetically pleasing ones.
- If you find yourself leaving your social media binge feeling deflated or inadequate then reconsider the time you spend on there & who you follow.
- Have some social media free time.
- Work on yourself. The more you can accept yourself, the easier it is to avoid getting on the comparison-itis bandwagon. This involves a daily commitment to self-care, to sitting in stillness and diving deep into you. Read more on this here and here.
You see, the reason the comparison game has no purpose is quite simple really. It’s because the person’s body or experience you idolise on social media is not you. It might sound obvious, but there are not 2 of you and therefore you are wonderfully unique. This is a strength of yours, not a weakness. Your uniqueness can bring something to the world that nobody else can. And this is an important message to pass down to your children.
My advice – stay in your own lane. When you find yourself veering left or right towards comparison-itis, have the awareness to ground yourself and to remind yourself that you are enough.