Things Are Not Always As They Appear

It happened again…

You may be wondering what “it” is, so let me fill you in.

My family has experienced the last of our four transitions in what I’m calling “The Season of Transition”. That’s a season, right?

With two graduations and one wedding behind us, I was preparing myself for what I knew would be my hardest challenge…saying goodbye to my youngest, my “baby”, as he went off to college.

Move-in day was relatively smooth and very enjoyable. I was doing everything I could to stay in the present moment, and doing my best to not think about what would be happening at the end of our time together.

Saying goodbye was hard, but not as unbearable as I had built it up in mind to be.  

To pass the time on the ride back home, I grabbed my phone to check out social media.

Big mistake!

What I saw was so simple, but had me comparing my enjoyable experience to what I believed was theirs.  

I saw multiple family pictures in dorm rooms or around campus. Sure we took pics, but the lighting was less than ideal, and we hadn’t thought to get one of the three of us together. Ugh…

As crazy as it sounds, I began to think that my experience was less than theirs because I didn’t have that great “Instagram ready” picture.

Just writing this down, I can see how ridiculous it sounds, but it was still my experience.

With all of the personal growth work I’ve done, I did catch myself before I spiraled too far down the rabbit hole.

This reminded me how easy it is to compare ourselves to others, without really knowing what’s going on in their lives. 

I have no idea what happened before or after that picture was taken. Maybe the whole day was stressful and anxiety ridden. All I saw is what they wanted me to see.

A few weeks ago I had a similar experience, and once again it involved Instagram (such a fun distraction to what really needs to be done).

When I saw multiple pics of a friend of mine who had moved to Cali, I was feeling envious that she gets to be in such a beautiful part of the country.

It was a phone call the following week that showed me things are not always as they appear. She is experiencing lots of financial stress, roommate stress, and uncertainty in other areas of her life.

If I would have just gone off the pics, I would have easily stayed in comparison mode.  

So once again, another reminder that my life may be a little messy, I may not always have the great pics to share, but that doesn’t change the value of my experience.

If you find you are comparing yourself to others, know that you are not alone. Awareness is the first step to creating change in your life.

When you’re ready to drop the comparison in your life and start creating a life that feels good to you, let’s connect.

Creating change is not a once and done approach, because it takes time to create sustainable change.

That’s when having a coach as your accountability partner can be a good thing. Someone who supports you, cheers you on, and helps you to create the change that you desire.

Is there a place in your life where you’re ready to let go of comparison? If so, I would love to hear about it.

Should you have any questions or want to connect, you can schedule a complimentary discovery session below or reach me at anne@anneeppley.com.