My Antidote for Insecurity and Comparison
I have been feeling a nudge for a while to write about something a bit deeper.
As a style blogger, I typically stick to outfits, sales, and style tips because I enjoy it and do find style to be a valuable part of how we express and view ourselves. However, if you happen to ever grab coffee with me, it's unlikely that I will discuss shoes and outfits the entire time or even at all. I'm an old soul and love to connect with others on a deeper level, and I have been feeling like it may be important to share that with some of you.
So, here's what's been on my mind lately: comparison, insecurity, and the idea that everyone else has it better than we do. Let me be a bit raw here and admit that, unchecked, my baseline attitude is pretty pessimistic. If you're familiar with the Enneagram Personality Test, I am an Enneagram 6 which means I constantly see the world in scary worst-case scenarios. It's easy for me to find myself aggravated throughout the day with to-do lists and far-off thoughts of how everything could be a little better if only.... Unfortunately, social media has a tendency to only exacerbate those types of thoughts thanks to comparison and unrealistic ideals of everyone else's lives.
It is something that I can still struggle with, but I believe I have found one particular tool that helps to keep this type of negativity at bay- authentic friendships. I have had the incredible blessing of a group of friends who, several years ago, decided to set aside one night every month to open up to each other about the ugliest, hardest, worst things in our lives or parts of ourselves and to choose to listen and be present with one another without judgement. This has been so completely soul-healing in more ways than I can count, including the realization that every.single.person deals with insecurity, shame, and grief.
My friends are the type of women that are so beautiful, so put-together, so kind, so loving, so much fun to be around, that when I didn't know them as well, I would have promised anyone who asked that they probably never have a bad day. And although I greatly wish that were true for them, there is also a part of me that is so comforted to know that even the best of us still struggle. It is an inescapable part of life- to live fully is to grieve in some way, at some point.
When you are going through your own grief of any kind, it is so easy to look around at everyone's smiling faces (or beautiful instagram feeds) and tell yourself that you're alone. If you could only have it the way that THEY do, life would be so much better. But I am here to tell you today that there isn't a single adult on this planet who has never experienced a hardship. There is no one who hasn't felt clueless at work at some point, no one who hasn't said something stupid, no one who hasn't felt unhappy with some part of their bodies, no one who hasn't lost someone or something they love, and no one who hasn't felt shame about a decision they made. There are seasons and maybe your season is particularly hard right now, but I hope that you find some comfort in knowing that so so many other women around the world are also standing behind locked bedroom doors for a moment alone to cry and grieve at the exact same moment that you are.
It has taken a lot of practice, but I am working to release the narrative in my head that tells me that I do not have enough or am not enough. I have hard things or things that I wish were different in my life just as everyone else does, but I also have oh so many beautiful and wonderful things. And you do too! I firmly believe that we make life so much harder on ourselves by the negative stories that we tell ourselves, including insisting on comparing ourselves to someone else who we think has it better than we do. It just isn't true- someone else may have one thing that you want, but I would be willing to bet, they have something else in their lives that they find difficult too.
My challenge to myself (and to you if you would like to take it!) is to be fully present in my life, my current moment. Let go of comparisons and expectations of what I think I want or need and experience life as it is. I pray that if you are in grief of any kind, you know that you truly are not alone. And I pray that you can all find yourself a pack of girlfriends who will sit with you in your ugliest parts and choose to love you anyways!
Please let me know if I can pray for you specifically in any way! You are all bright, wonderful, beautiful humans, and the world is so lucky to have you! :)