A couple weeks back I almost snorted tea out of my nose as I was reading a facebook status update from a fabulous and witty friend of mine. She goes…
” You know all those articles about how facebook contributes to depression because people only post about all the exciting things they do and the good things that happen to them? WELL, because I like to build people up, not tear people down, I’ll just note that at the moment I am drinking wine from a re-purposed peanut butter jar and washing underwear in my kitchen sink (broken washer). You’re welcome, amigos!”
Even as I type that out I have a huge smile on my face and can’t help but start laughing again.
Then that facebook status update was brought back to mind after a texting conversation I had with a friend yesterday that went like this:
Her: Need to continue moving forward and getting out of my own way.
Me: Yep. Do the work. Not yourself. I struggle with this too.
Her: You do? I just don’t believe that, you are wonderful with it all together.
Me: Haha no way in hell. Last 2 weeks have been terrible in comparing myself with other people.
I realized I need to be a little more transparent – here and in life. Let’s face it… facebook, social media, and email allow us all to make our lives look a little rosier than they actually are but study after study are showing that the increase in using social media leads to a decrease in happiness. Ugh.
So, let’s pull the veil together, shall we? I’ll start…
- I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit in the past couple of weeks comparing my business and skills to others in the same field.
- I washed my hair twice last week (I did shower more than that though!)
- I’ve had a couple things on my to-do list that have been there for months (maybe some a year?).
- I lost my phone, went to sleep, and had my husband find my phone in the sheets of the bed in the middle of the night (oops).
- I didn’t get an email out to you guys last week because I felt overwhelmed with a ton of pieces going on behind the scenes. Big fail.
- I missed a friend’s birthday.
Here’s the thing. I like to stay positive, not dwell on the negative or my shortcomings, and take action to change a sticky/crappy situation I’m in. AND, if I’m honest, sometimes I also like to think and look like I have it all together. (Superwoman? Perfectionist? Narcissist? Take your pick, I subscribe to all at one point or another.)
But…just showcasing my happy moments, achievements, and snapshots of picture perfect (while stuffing the dirty laundry under the kitchen sink before a guest comes over – yes, totally have done this!) can make others feel like crap-ola AND make me feel like crap-ola.
It makes us feel like we’re not enough.
That we’ll never be enough. OR that we simply need _______ (fill in your poison: skinnier, more money, more time, job promotion, more clothes/stylish, more attention, better car, cuter house, etc.) in order to feel we are enough.
Truth: No one has it all together AND everyone is enough.
Here’s the thing I’ve learned working with myself and hundreds of women: There isn’t a single woman who has it all together. (If they tell you they do, they’re BS’ing you – straight up).
BUT, the difference between women who change the world and women who let the world change them is how we respond to this not-enough-ness and how quickly we get back into our lives, our joy, our passions, our purpose.
6 ways I get out of feeling like I suck or I’m not enough:
- Quit comparing. Start celebrating. Give compliments. It’s so easy to look at other women and think they have a better…life, husband, job, style, creativity, house, car, friendships, body, personality, hair, spirituality, bank accounts, etc. AND then become jealous of them, ultimately finding ways to cut them down when really it’s simply because we feel inadequate. One of the easiest ways to nip this in the bud and get your happiness and friendliness turned around is to start finding ways to compliment other women (or just people in general). Give a random compliment to a friend, sister, mother, neighbor, etc. and see how their eyes light up and YOUR day changes. You have the power to be that for someone else and start noticing the good in her. In turn, you’ll start noticing the good/great in you.
- Get back into your own life. LIVE. Don’t just be a bystander and watch other people living. Instead of being jealous your friend went on a great date, has an awesome job, or a killer body – go for a walk (get your body moving!), take yourself or another girlfriend on a kick ass date (I do this all the time!), start networking or researching where/how to take the next step for your own career (find someone who is where you want to be and ask them how), purchase your own flowers for your desk (don’t wait on someone else to do this for you!), or go shopping to get a skirt that looks great for your body type. Get out of watching someone else’s life and start living yours!
- Create a gratitude list. I find the feelings of comparison and “not good enough” come at the times where I’m forgetting what I love about my life (also maybe because I’m not IN my life). Spending 5-10 minutes each morning or evening to write down (yes, write it – makes a bigger impact) what I love about my life and what I’m grateful for, shifts my mindset to celebration and complimenting, rather than compare and compete. For me, I would WAY rather have the 1st option.
- Get in nature. There is a term for the therapeutic benefits of nature called biophilia. Simply spending time in nature has been found to reduce blood pressure, relieve anxiety, and create better outlook for life. Spend time in a park, lie on the grass (or crunchy leaves), or if you live by water or mountains, go explore! Basically, some space that lets you see how big the world really is, out of your bubble of despair, and something with a plant, animal, or dirt nearby, preferred.
- Reduce your time on social media. Like I mentioned before, social media decreases happiness – so stop spending so much dang time on it! I recently discovered an awesome app that allows me to set my time limit per day for how long I can be on specific websites (that I designate). Pinterest, facebook, instagram, blogs, and more can suck me in and leave me feeling depleted as I’m watching someone else live instead of me living. By setting this app clock for 10 minutes/day of social media, I get to catch up with friends, I’m way more purposeful with my time, and I get back into my life to really doing the things that matter to me.
StayFocusd (google chrome) OR LeechBlock (FireFox)
- Call a friend you trust and share you doubts and worries (let the veil be lifted for the good of all sisterhood!). A good friend helps you get to the core of why these feelings came up and what to do about them, not just one that says “no, you’re awesome” (although that feels good too).
Lift the veil. Live YOUR life.