Last week was intense. It was very intense and challenging but, it made me realize how much I have grown in the past few years and how much more self-aware I am in my day to day life.
Here’s the thing. More often than not, we continuously compare ourselves to others instead of focusing on our own personal journey and the growth that comes with it.
With social media being a prominent factor in our everyday lives, it’s easy to get caught up in comparing our reality with other people's highlight reels.
“Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to the person you were yesterday.”
This quote is hanging in my office and it’s a constant reminder of the importance of focusing on your own narrative instead of others.
Now, it’s time to put things into perspective and I’ll be first to be open up about my journey. You see, I’ve been realizing that many people, especially those who have just recently gotten to “know” me, look at my life and see that there are four reoccurring themes that might seem admirable.
Minimalism, Health/Fitness, Self-Care and Work Ethic.
But here’s the thing… each of these themes come with a long backstory that very few people know about and those who do, it’s because they have been around for a while.
So, let’s break it down really quickly.
Why is my life so minimalistic?
Because after I suddenly lost all of my hair last spring, I had a few revelations of what actually matters in life. I got rid of over half of my belongings and decided to only keep around things that bring me joy.
How do I stay so healthy and why do I work out all the time?
Because, less than 5 years ago, I weighed 200 pounds and used food as a coping mechanism (embracing overindulgence in all areas of my life). Since then, I’ve changed my mindset and relationship with food and exercise and realize that how we treat our bodies reflect many other areas in our life.
But you’re so great at self-care. I don’t get how you have the time.
Because for many years, I put myself last and it affected me deeply. I know what life can be like when you’re at the bottom of your own list and how detrimental that is to your mental health, as well as your relationships with everyone around you. I learned over time that self-care has to be a priority in order to live a sustainable and happy life.
You work so hard, all of the time. How do you stay motivated?
Because I never had a choice. Since I was young, I quickly learned that nothing in life is just given to you. Envision the Kerry Washington scene with her father in Scandal… it’s like that. When you grow up knowing that you have to work harder than everyone else to even out the playing field, it creates habits and a mindset that sticks with you for the rest of your life.
Now, I hope you get where I’m going with this but the point is, is that we must constantly remember that each person has a backstory to what you see via social media and what you learn in new relationships. Odds are, we aren’t conscious of the constant work and self-awareness that goes into how people currently live their life and what they had to go through to get there.
Use this as a reminder that we should be focusing on our own stories instead of getting so caught up in the lives of others. Use people as inspiration but remember that everyone has so many different layers, just as intense and complex as our own.
So, I urge to think of your own journey.
Where are you now vs. where you were 3 years ago? How much have you grown and what steps do you need to take to get to where you want to be in life?
It’s a constant process, but be proud of how far you’ve come and don’t compare your chapter 3 to somebody else’s chapter 10.