Don’t Compare

A wise older friend of mine said to me a few years ago “if you think someone has it all, you don’t know them very well”.

There is a pressure to present a perfect life, full of perfect moments, presented perfectly, edited with the right filter at the right engagement time for maximum exposure on Social Media.

Take a look at the picture I posted for today. I am at the beach, everything looks easy breezy right? It is by design.

I write this post in mid February in my pajamas, I woke up twenty minutes ago, my hair in a ponytail/bun hybrid, it is raining cats and dogs outside, Bob Marley is playing in the background and I am pretty sure I have a cold coming on.

The day of the photo shoot was the 4th of July. My photographer has been waiting for the right light for a few days. At around 7 that morning, he called me and said we should meet at the local beach in 90 minutes.

As I was heading out the door 11 year old daughter, came down stairs and asked where I was going so early looking nice (I so love when my kids are surprised I can look nice). I told her and she asked if she could come with me. I said “sure, but you need to help me with the clothes”. She agreed and we headed down to the beach.

We needed to get in and out before it got too hot, and crowded so there weren’t tons of people in the background. Remember, this is a major holiday.

My “stylist” will not be rehired, she was not helpful in the least as she was preoccupied with Snapchat.

It was extremely hot, my makeup was melting and a bunch of other real life details I am not going to bother you with, but know that is how these things truly go. The results of photoshoot were great we got tons of solid pictures.

A couple of things I did not realize before I started needing content pictures on a regular basis.

1) 100s are taken for 50 you can use. No matter how pretty, thin or photogenic you are. Going outside seems great, until you are there. The light can be weird, clouds come in or hair sticking my lip gloss can be an issue.

2) We are our own worst critics. I was recently having a discussion with some author friends over a shoot I had taken after my book launch, and my friend was saying how much she loved a picture I had taken. All I could do was obsess over a small detail no one else noticed.

3) Do not bring your 11 year old with you to help. Leave her at home.

Knowing all of these things, why does part of me see a picture on Pinterest of a picture perfect person living perfectly and think “hmm…why does her avocado toast look so much better than mine?”.

Never mind, it is from a cookbook where a food stylist spent an entire day perfecting the shot, and then a digital photo editor worked their magic before I saw it? there is still the 5 seconds of “hmm…”

Part of it is human nature to see how we are doing compared to our social group, if we are where are our peers are. The problem is, that we are only seeing the highlight reel, the Christmas card picture, the carefully edited good stuff.

This can also happen professionally when we read about what someone else is doing, or what we think we hear. Do not waste your energy with what you think you know. Just proceed with on your path. You have no idea how long they have been working for their over night success or what their future truly holds.

Imagine if real life was on our feed?

What would you hit the like button for:

My dog chewing up a pair of shoes
the adorable puppy asleep cuddling with my son?

What kind of comment would you prefer to chime in on?

The mom yelling at her kids to get in the car so she is not late for Pilates
The mom sitting on the porch swing at dusk with the three kids wearing matching outfits at dusk in Nantucket?

We need to stop comparing everyones highlight reel to our real life. When we fall into the compare and despair trap we are not loving ourselves, even if it is only in our heads and it might be for 30 seconds.

When we are in a state of Self Love, we know the couple bickering at the airport can also be the same people in the adorable the engagement picture at the Eiffel Tower. Couples bicker at airports. They can also take great pictures. That is how real life is.

“Fighting external monsters is easy in comparison to how we fight those within us.”
― Jeffrey Fry

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