I was sitting in San Churros Mandurah on Tuesday,
Sipping on a Coke and eating a chocolate covered strawberry.
I was surrounded by women.
They were all leaders and women of influence in their respective fields.
A number of years ago I would have been intimidated sitting in this kind environment.
But not any more.
I thrive in these environments now,
Because I know that women are just women.
We are all just trying to live strong, meaningful lives doing the best with what we have been given.
But when I was younger, it was different.
Firstly, I didn’t do ‘women’s gatherings.’
Too many girls and emotions.
Ironic, I know.
And secondly, I didn’t go around sharing my vulnerabilities, hopes and fears with others who I perceived as not having a personal vested interest in me.
But then I changed.
A lot of things contributed to this change.
Some things more dramatic than others,
But one of the main things was that I made a decision,
A vow if you like,
To never compare my life with another’s again.
And it was like a chain reaction began in my life,
The momentum of which is still running.
It was interesting to me the other day, when I was sitting listening to the speaker,
That this is one of the things women struggle with most.
It’s a very real ‘demon’ as she referred to it.
The speaker shared with honesty and authenticity about how a short jaunt through the colourful,
Glossy world of Instagram,
Can actually cripple one’s self confidence,
Causing you to literally throw it away.
She screwed up a bit of paper and tossed it away.
But listening to her story, I had a chuckle to myself.
I could relate to her stories and her self reflection.
Comparison is the straight route to burgeoning insecurity.
You start comparing your life to another woman’s,
Or man’s for that matter,
And you’ll find it is the surest way to stop you in your tracks,
And shut down your creativity.
I taught myself a strategy a number of years ago,
When I was struggling with comparison.
If I’d find myself wishing I had someone else’s victories, joys, whatever,
I’d say out loud,
‘Thank you for (insert name). I bless them.’
In my earlier days,
I’d find myself grumbling with dissatisfaction and discontentment at my lot.
Now, I just accept it and genuinely stir up gratitude for it,
Even the things that aren’t so great right now.
I choose to trust that God knows what’s best for me and that He has planned my life the way it is for a purpose.
Often our barometer of who we think we should be,
Is based on what we see others doing.
I stopped doing that and I can tell you that my life is now my own.
My goals, my hopes, my dreams, my talents,
I don’t look at what another one is doing anymore and wish I had what they had,
Or was doing what they were doing.
I figured out the correlation:
Comparison = insecure mood swings and discontentment.
And I decided I didn’t want that.
Now, I am happy in my own skin.
Do I sometimes wish that things were different?
But do I find myself wanting what someone else has?
No, not any more.
I take great joy now in running in my own lane.
And of genuinely cheering on girls around me.
I learnt that competing with my peers for more recognition, influence, power or wealth,
Is a waste of time.
Be content with who you are.
Whenever those moments threaten to take over,
If you’re looking in your Insta feed,
Don’t be overcome or disheartened.
And don’t compare.
Don’t get insecure.
Others are often living a life you know nothing of.
You don’t know what sacrifices they have made to get the life they have,
Or the things they have to do to maintain the level of the walk they have.
Run your own race.
Find out what you’re uniquely good at,
And work on making yourself the best version of you that you can be.
Insecurity will fly away.
And that’s the way you want it to be.