Picture (not) Perfect

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Did you know that?

That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned this year. I’ve heard that phrase my whole life, but I didn’t take it to heart until recently.

I love Network Marketing. I love my product and I LOVE selling it. I love people. I love my kids and my family and my responsibilities at home too. This business brings me connections, money, extra time at home, extra resources for my family, and it brings me JOY.

What takes away from that joy is comparing myself, my life, and my business to anyone else’s. As humans, it’s natural for us to be competitive. It’s natural to look around and see possibilities and compare what we have to what everyone else has. It’s natural to be jealous.

In the beginning, I wanted to soak up everything I could about running my own business. Part of how I did that was by looking at the successful people in my social circle and comparing my beginning to their middle. That was a mistake. It made me envious of what they had and what I didn’t YET have. When I recognized that I was in danger of losing the JOY in my business, I did the only thing that made sense to me at the time.

I put blinders on.

And when I started to put my head down and stop comparing my business to other people’s businesses, the joy came back.

I tried this method on other things too. I stopped comparing my parenting. My hair. My organization skills. My lashes. My kid’s grades. My cooking. My style. My everything.

I stopped keeping score. And it is making me SO MUCH HAPPIER.

So on Christmas day, as I was getting ready to wish my friends and families a Merry Christmas on social media, I was scrolling along seeing so many picture perfect people, families, foods, and homes, I realized that for anyone feeling down, another “Picture Perfect” family photo wasn’t going to bring them joy.  “High-light” reels are dangerous to people who are prone to comparison, and the ultimate thieves of joy. So I kept it real. This is what I posted:

“I accidentally coordinated our clothes!

Oh – I mean… I totally have it together. I planned these outfits in my spare time between creating amazing holiday cuisine, making my own bows from ribbon I dyed myself to exactly match my wrapping paper, and steam-cleaning my carpets because everything else in the house was already clean and gorgeous cookies were cooling on wire-racks next to a flickering holiday scented candle.

I definitely didn’t run through a messy house with an armful of random clothes yanked from the dryer yelling, “Just put these on! We’re late!”

#sarcasm #merrychristmas”

 

Behind every perfect coordinated photo is a laundry-basket, or a sink-full of dishes, or too many orders and not enough time to fill them, or kids who will starting fighting in the next 2 seconds, masked behind the happy smiles.

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Think of it like this cheesecake that I made for Christmas day. It didn’t turn out well. There is a GIANT crack down the middle that you can’t see. I was too tired to stay up and do a water-bath so I just put it in the fridge, still warm, and went to bed, hoping for the best. I didn’t get the best. I got the grand-canyon of cheesecake cracks right down the middle. So I dumped some apple pie filling on top and decided that should have been the plan all along.

People on social media aren’t showing you the big crack down the middle. They’re only showing you the pretty toppings. Don’t compare your cracks to their pretty toppings. It’s not fair to you. And it certainly isn’t accurate. Don’t let comparison steal your joy. A new year is coming, let’s dust off our blinders, reach for joy, and get to work.

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