A gift from my friend Misty, The Gifts of Imperfection, a book by Brene Brown is something I’ve read more than once. I just finished it for the second time. This time I carried it & a highlighter around with me everywhere I went. This time I didn’t rush through it & this is the time I needed to actually dive in.
Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” – Brene Brown
I will turn 36 in less than a month. How am I this close to 40?! Where did time go? And then I ask myself, why does it even matter because I am so happy right now. At 35, I’m living & enjoying life. But it’s that number that really weighs me down. And then I seem to notice the bags under my eyes more. It doesn’t matter how much water I drink or eye creams I use or even how much sleep I get. I notice the fine lines & wrinkles & how my energy has somehow left the building somewhere near 8pm. Then after I feel like I’ve already put myself one foot in the grave I start to play the comparison game.
Instagram is a double edged sword.
I have gotten some of my favorite recipes from accounts I follow on Instagram. I get to keep up with all my friends & their families even though I’m a bit further away now & the filters. Who doesn’t love Instagram filters? But then there’s the Instagram that I fall into & begin this self doubt. Are my teeth white enough, is my picture silly, what is my end goal here. Then I put the phone down & am disgusted at myself for doubting myself & for also getting sucked into this trap.
Being Perfect Doesn’t Exist
I got caught up in the perfect game. When we would go out I would be on constant lookout for the best spot to take a photo. After about the 8789 time, it became exhausting for not only myself but also M. Then it goest to the point where it consumes your entire life & you aren’t living in the present, in the now.
Perfectionism is self-destructive simply because there is no such thing as perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal, says Brown.
How to Overcome
I wrote this post because I feel like I’m not the only one who’s been in this boat of comparison. For me, there are things that help move past this place of insecurity & I wanted to share those.
Put away the phone. If it’s making you have negative thoughts & is simply dragging you down more than building you up, turn it off. Open a good book, make a cup of tea & take your mind to a place that it can fully relax.
Unfollow the accounts that aren’t bringing you joy. I’ve said this multiple times, but if there is someone that you follow that doesn’t make you happy to see their photos, it’s time to cut them loose.
Don’t believe everything you read (or see). I’m telling you, I get so sucked in if I see an influencer post about a product. I think “oh I’ve been needing a setting powder” although I have 897 powders & they “set” just fine. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Have respect for your fellow human. If you don’t have good vibes coming from accounts you follow & you unfollow them that’s a great first step. But in doing so, don’t say to yourself something nasty or negative, tell yourself you respect this person & their hard work, but it isn’t right for you. I’m all about sending good vibes, I know how hard it is to a million different things & it’s even harder to get that first foot in the door. I try to keep in mind, while this isn’t right for me, maybe it is for someone else.
None of us are going to feel 100% all the time, it’s just human nature unfortunately. By eliminating those certain stressors in our life & finding what does bring us joy & happiness, we are going to be off to a great start. Encourage, support & celebrate others but don’t get caught up in comparing.
Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee