Even before social media, before I was old enough to realize what I was doing, I compared myself to everyone. I still compare myself to everyone. Which is probably why I have never had the best self confidence. It doesn’t matter what you do in your life, there is someone else who does the same thing. For me, there are other moms, other wives, other bloggers, other photographers, and all I do is compare myself to them. I look at their social media and wish that I had the time, energy, and money to do all those things with SJ or buy her those cute boutique outfits. I see other bloggers having hundreds of thousand followers with perfect Instagram grids and look at my lack-luster, non-cohesive Instagram and my 197 followers (half robots, half amazing people that I cannot thank enough for following me on this journey). Then I look around and see photographers’ work that looks way better than mine or are doing other things in the photography world to make 6 figure incomes when I am barely getting by. I honestly am crying just thinking about it all right now. That’s what the Compare Game does to me. It breaks me down even though I am writing this post about how I am going to get myself out of it.
Because this is what I should be doing: I should be looking at others social media as inspiration, not competition. I should focus on my obstacles and how to get past them to get to the level I want. I need to remember that everyone has a different situation, is in different circumstances, have been doing these things for different amounts of time, started at completely different levels than me, and most importantly: they aren’t me!
My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action. This, then, is how we will know that we belong to the truth; this is how we will be confident in God’s presence.
-1 John 3: 18 – 19
1. Prayer and Affirmation
This one is pretty obvious. But I need to take it a step further. I am really bad about sticking to things, it is a trait that I wish I didn’t have. But, when I stick to my daily devotional, it keeps me going. It gives me a passion that only God can give me. Not so surprising that after a couple weeks of just not reading it, I read one and got the idea for this blog post and ultimately pushed me into taking back control of my life.
I also decided to type up a daily prayer and daily affirmations to put on my bathroom mirror to read every day. Mine goes like this, but I encourage you to make it your own.
You gave me, and me alone, the spark, the purpose, to be an amazing mom & wife, to share Your word and my life through The Message Mama, and to capture Your beautiful world through my photography. Please help to remind me that You are the one who gave me these purposes, and through you I can be the best mom, wife, blogger, and photographer. Please help me to ignore the distractions, to come up with ideas rather than excuses, and to stay positive when others and myself try to bring negativity into my life. I mercifully ask that you help me to work with a passion that only Your love can bring. Thank You for putting these sparks into my heart, and thank You for helping me fan them into the flames You want to spread Your love.
Then after saying that prayer, I repeat these statements of affirmation, to help me believe them, to make them a reality, even if some of them sound silly, self love and affirmation is important.
I am a good & loving wife & mom. I am an amazing and sought-after photographer. I am the best blogger with thousands of followers. I am organized and keep the house clean. I am a hard worker. I am passionate. I don’t speak badly about others. I love God fiercely and share His love with everyone. I am forgiving. I am a friend that is always there. I don’t make excuses. I seek and share God in everything I do. I eat healthy and drink lots of water. I don’t judge others. I don’t compare myself to others. I encourage others. I am not on my phone and social media too much. I play with my kids more than my phone. I don’t need to shop. I know how to say no. I never stop trying to be a better person.
But now you must get rid of all these things: anger, passion, and hateful feelings. No insults or obscene talk must ever come from your lips.
-Colossians 3: 8
2. Plan Better and Write Down My Goals
I don’t know how I ever fell out of this habit. When I was in college, I planned everything. I couldn’t live without my planner! This is one thing I am going to get back in the habit of doing. If I can plan when I can clean, when I can work, yes even when I can relax, then I can get myself to my goals sooner. I absolutely LOVED my Erin Condren planner in college, and I was trying to find a more affordable planner, but I might have to go back to that one!
I also am going to keep my weekly goals in my planner so I can visually see what I need to accomplish that week, to get to my bigger goals.
3. Get an Accountability Partner
Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls, it’s just too bad, because there is no one to help him.
-Ecclesiastes 4: 9 – 10
I plan on having a few of these actually, for different things, meaning people in my lives that are part of each area I need accountability in. It is really hard to ask people for help, and even harder to feel like people might judge you for not having something done. But, that’s what an accountability partner is for! I have some people in mind, but I don’t know how to approach it yet. Because it can’t be a “I need you to do this for me.” The word partner is in there for a reason, I need to help them just as much as I need them to help me, which means finding out what we can do for each other.
4. Get Off Social Media
This one is HARD! Social media is part of my job. It’s where I connect with my readers and followers, where I connect with other bloggers, where I communicate with clients, and where I share my content. But I need to focus on keeping it just for that. Social media is where the Compare Game is played. Facebook and Instagram are where I see all the things that bring me down, and I need to remember that social media should only be used as a tool. Right before DJ and I got married, I deleted my Facebook. It was causing problems in my life I didn’t need, and it was amazing to be off of it! Then I had to get back on because I was taking a photography course where I needed to turn in projects to a Facebook group… and the problem started again. I know Facebook is a huge tool in growing my business and my blog, but I need to stop scrolling through it mindlessly. If I get off social media when I don’t need to be, it’s the biggest step to taking myself out of the game.
5. Remind Myself that God put These Sparks into My Heart
Seek your happiness in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desire. Give yourself to the LORD; trust in him, and he will help you
-Psalm 37: 4 – 5
I already talked about this in point 1 and at the beginning, but it deserves a point all its own. God put these sparks into my heart to be a mom, wife, blogger, and photographer for a reason. He didn’t put a passion into my heart to be something else, he gave me a passion to be a mom, to be a wife, to blog about my journey through motherhood and marriage and what I am doing to grow my relationship with him, and the feeling I get when I hold my camera comes to me because He gave me that love for photography. I might not have the natural talent that so many have, but I have the passion. I have the spark that He gave me, and that is something no one should be able to take away. When I get caught up in the Compare Game, it gives the enemy the power to slowly put out my spark, and that is not okay! If I repeat my prayer and affirmations every morning, it will remind me who put that spark there, and who can help me be the best I can be.
Don’t let yourself get caught up in the Compare Game. I hope you can join me on the journey of taking yourself out of the game. A journey towards self-love and self-determination. A journey towards being the best that you can be, because He knows you can.