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Updated: Jul 5, 2023


A few weeks ago, I noticed that as I read through numerous inspiring, artistic and pertinent posts, I could feel my spirits sagging. You could be forgiven for wondering why, given that so many people have incredible things to say and amazing ways of presenting their thoughts.

I had taken my eye off my purpose, and slipped into comparison and the fact is, that at some point in our lives, even if we don't admit it to ourselves or to others, we will all fall into the trap of “engaging in the comparison process as a way of establishing a benchmark by which we can make accurate evaluations of ourselves” (Psychologist Leon Festinger) I'm not sure I agree about the term “accurate” in this statement but you get the drift.

As Charles Cooley very eloquently put it, comparison can lead to the belief that “I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.”

Society encourages us to make judgements about who we are, what success looks like, how we should be, and those social comparisons will inevitably influence our self-confidence, motivation, attitudes and beliefs, but not necessarily in a positive way. It can affect our sense of self, self-worth, significance and security. Basing our self-worth on other people's views and opinions (or what we imagine their view of us to be) is a lot of power to give away.

I decided to take a social media holiday and re-evaluate the purpose behind me wanting to post – Did I feel I was in competition with all these marvellous people and find myself coming up short? As I reflected, I suddenly remembered a poem that my granny had up in her bathroom – the words of which I knew by heart - the wise words of Desiderata by Max Ehrmann (1927).

The line that stood out to me in that moment was:

“If you compare yourselves to others you may become vain or bitter,

for there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourselves.”

Many of us can identify with the words that Lauren Daigle wrote in her song You Say:

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I'm not enough Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up

Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?

These thoughts could grind us down – but perhaps, when or if those moments arise, we press pause.

Notice what is going on.

What are you thinking or feeling? Give some time to this with curiosity rather than judgement.

What has triggered these thoughts?

What do you need right now to calm things down?

Let us be quicker to offer ourselves kindness and self-compassion in a time of need or distress, and take time out when we need it.

Have faith that creativity will return.

Whilst on this social media break, I began to miss grabbing those opportunities to be creative, snapping photos of things that inspire me and turning them into an interesting thought for the day. The dawning realisation was that, for me, writing blogs and creating posts is actually blessing me – through them I am consolidating life lessons , encouraging myself in good self-care, practicing what I preach, acting with integrity – and that if anyone happens to be blessed in the process then that is an added bonus. I don't need my focus to be on trying to impress, trying the be the best - I can just be me.

So I am back! This time, with more of a sense that we all have our own unique purpose, niche, or corner of the world – we do not need to be in competition with each other, comparing ourselves. Rather, let’s just grow, support and learn from each other, and respond to one another with kindness and compassion.

If any of these thoughts resonate with you, please do drop me a comment at the bottom of this page, or email me.

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