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What’s the downside of comparing what you see in others to your own experience?

Cindy Jobs ADHD In The Workplace, Health and Well-Being

  • Are you envious of someone else’s home?
  • Are you jealous of someone else’s natural talents?
  • Do you believe others’ “overnight success” is a matter of luck?

What you see may not always be the truth. It may not be a reality, merely your perspective.

Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok don’t help with this perspective. Generally, what people show is the very best of their lives. When we see the very best of others’ lives, we compare their best lives to the very worst of ours.

As we drive by beautiful homes, we may believe that life within that home must be idyllic. We see the front porch, white shutters, well-manicured lawns, and rocking chairs. What we don’t see is the chaos inside. As a former professional organizer, there were many times when the outside didn’t match the inside. Sometimes there were mental health conditions, but often the chaos was created by too much stuff, too little time, and a family going in opposite directions at all hours of the day. The people inside were living, but they didn’t live the life people saw from the outside. Are you comparing how you live to your perspective on how others are living?

I like to golf. I’m not very good at it, but I love to play. Early in my golf experience, there was a time when I was a bit jealous of how naturally the golf game came to others. Why couldn’t I have the “natural talent” of the ladies I shared rounds of golf with? Well, as it turns out, the “natural talent” came with years of playing the game and countless hours on the golf range practicing their technique. What I saw wasn’t “natural talent” but a dedication to the effort and energy it took to make it look effortless.

Love him or not, I really like Blake Shelton. He exudes the qualities I want to see in myself: family-oriented, fun-loving, and dedicated to his craft. When he burst onto the country music scene in 2001 with his first number one hit, Austin, he seemed like a lucky “overnight success.” Many didn’t know that Blake Shelton wrote his first song at 15. In the first few years of promoting his albums, he spent a ton of time on the road visiting around 150 country stations across the United States. His “overnight success” did not come without tremendous effort. Blake Shelton honed his craft and put in the long hours to create the “overnight success” many believed he was. 

Shifting perspectives around what we believe and rationalizing the stories we tell ourselves is fundamental to creating the life we want to live. So how can you shift your perspective to honor yourself and how you live, not trying to mold yourself into the life you see in others?

 

Cindy Jobs, PCAC, ACC

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