We live two lives. We live the life we experience ourself and we live a life we present to others.
It is natural to be comparing your situation to others. You want to make sure you're having a normal and fair experience that others are having.
Everyone else seems to have their life together. They seem happy, successful and loving life.
Some of you reading this will be holding back a truth that only you know. A truth that makes it seem so unfair. You'll be carrying pain, anxiety, loneliness and fear of being yourself. You'll be trying to cover up a stress that you just wish wasn't there. And nobody knows you're doing it.
You craft a version of yourself that you present to others. It is lonely and exhausting.
You may feel ashamed to admit that you're struggling. Don't be. More people than you realise are struggling. It's normal given the cards you've been dealt. Any guilt or embarrassment is the result of a biological system doing what evolution evolved to do. Deep in your mind is a physiological response to thinking certain thoughts. This is natural. It may not be optimal, but it's natural.
What are you really comparing yourself to?
Remember this. When you look at someone else and their successes, remember that they too are presenting a version of themselves. They are not presenting the truth behind their success. The fear, the imposter syndrome, the anxiety, the stress, the sacrifice.
By comparing your experience to a picture perfect version, you're setting unreasonable demands to be someone that is impossible to be. You can only be you.
Don't compare your documentary to someone else's highlight reel
Be okay to talk
If today's topic has hit hard, it's important to note that I am not qualified to give advice of what you should do next. But as an internet friend, I will say that you absolutely should seek professional help. If you feel lost or ashamed to do so, don't worry. They've seen it all before and they want to help.
The Power of Now
There's one book I would turn to if I felt lost. It's The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I've recommended this book to people who have anxiety and they have found it helps. For me, this book has opened my mind to being calm, accepting and truthful to myself.
If you're curious, check out my book summary video on YouTube.
Today's 'ah-ha' moment
The ah-ha moment for today is that you will feel like everyone else has it together and is doing better, but a lot of them are covering up the struggle. If you are struggling, find help and talk to someone.
I'll leave you with my favourite quote:
There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so—William Shakespeare
I like this because we should be able to think about our situation in a growth mindset way. The moment we judge it as good or bad, that's when we label it and put roadblocks in our way to progress.
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