I promise. No matter who “they” are to you – maybe a coworker, a peer, a leader or a friend – their life isn’t as perfect as you think it is.
I know the comparison trap gets big sometimes. Maybe you see “them” in your office everyday. Maybe you see their social media feed.
Some days you might be able to wish them well…other days that’s harder. Those are the days you find yourself slipping into comparison, wishing your career was as on track or your kids were as picture-perfect or your vacation was as drool-worthy.
Deep down you know that they’re only showing milliseconds of life; but there are days when it’s hard to remember that.
I was recently talking to someone who reminded me of what’s true. She shared the story of her daughter whose friend recently started college. Her daughter saw this friend’s Instagram feed of her beautiful room, the fun parties and new friends. She naturally believed that her friend must have been having a wonderful time at college. When the two spoke, she reflected to her friend what she saw and that she was glad to see her enjoying college. The friend responded by saying, “it’s really hard and I’m struggling, but I know it’ll be OK.”
I know the comparison trap will still happen sometimes. Hold onto this story for those times. Remind yourself that what you see from a distance, whether it’s in person or on social media, is only milliseconds of someone’s very rich life. It’s the milliseconds they want to show the general public, not the depth they show those closest to them.
Practice going beyond those milliseconds with your inner circle people to get back to what’s true. If the comparison happens most on social media, think about giving yourself a break from that. Spend some time with those who know the real you and with whom you can be real. Connection over comparison – every time.