There must be something wrong with me, I used to think. Amid my dark nights of the soul (and dark mornings and afternoons, too, for that matter), that phrase seemed to unfurl overhead—an ominous banner announcing an uncomfortable truth.
Constantly comparing myself to everyone else–friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers on the internet, I felt stuck in a trap. I was stuck in a trap.
Call it the comparison trap.
Now more than ever, amid a digital deluge of status updates and blog, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts, we are lured into the trap of comparing our lives to those of our friends, neighbors, relatives and colleagues. In a world where so much of our lived experience leaks out to others in filtered photos and crisply-turned bits of prose describing our commercial-ready lives, it’s a trap that’s hard to avoid.
Be it appearance or accolades, possessions or personal finances, status or seasons of life, I found myself stuck in a trap of constant comparison for most of the last ten years. And the invisible ledger of comparisons I calculated never quite seemed to work out in my favor. I never measured up, always fell short, and wanted to be someone different.
Can you relate?
Do you struggle with #InstaEnvy?
I do. In my worst moments, the ones I would never document on Instagram, I find myself scouring social media sites, much the same way an endurance athlete checks her pulse amid the most intense part of a workout—taking inventory of how I’m doing. Am I making enough money? Working out enough? Doing enough for those that matter most to me? The answer, it always seems, is a fabulous failure of a “no.”
Do you long to have more room in your heart to celebrate who you are, not who you wish you were? Do you long to have more space in your head for the thoughts that give you life, not take life away?
After spending so much of my life caught in the comparison trap, I’m writing to you on the other side of it to let you know that a fuller, more wholehearted way of being exists. We are never free of the comparison traps that manifest themselves in our lives so much as we are on the other side of the one we’ve most recently encountered.
And so, writing to you from between my own comparison traps, I say:
An excerpt from my newest e-book, available in the Kindle Store.
. . .
Read the rest of #InstaEnvy here!
I'm Ali. I write about my journey of living a full and healthy life with food allergies, overcoming the comparison trap, and cultivating authenticity.