19 Apr Falling Into Comparison Traps (Again and Again)
By Jasmine Castillo
Early morning while on the train heading to my destination and balancing like a subway surfer since there are no poles in sight to hold on to, I began to scroll through my feed and checking out all the cool $#!+ the artists I follow and fellow producers are working on. I smile but then a glimpse of jealousy, sometimes a long stare, questioning “why didn’t I think of that?” or another common thought “What am I doing wrong?”
After about 10, maybe 15, loooong minutes of the same q&a’s peculating within my brain, I remind myself “Jazz, you’re path isn’t like theirs, you’re on your own walk.
Many of us go through these feelings of overwhelm (I’m sure we all have felt this way one time or another no matter how much one loves themselves), just like my every now and then mornings. Going down the thoughts of “we should have it all together. We should be making moves. Be exactly where we want to be, just like all the amazing humans featured on social, the news and around the world.”
I hear plenty of compliments and praise but still can’t help at certain times to look at where I’m at and beat myself up a little “Dam, I should be so much further along in my career, so many women are doing it younger than me! I see people grow within a few years working within the arts industry, and with kids!” And I can go on, and on.
We can all come up with a 1001 reasons on why we’re not making it happen, yet, but why is it hard for us to look at what we are actually doing right now at this moment and where we were a year, two, or even 10 years ago? Why’s it hard to praise ourselves? To focus on our own wins?
Before social media there wasn’t much to know or a way to really be up in others literal “business” since there was a huge disconnect and no images happening in real time and by bulk loads of info. Now, sheesh what I would kind of give to go spend a day without social media (oh wait, we had that recently when FB and Insta crashed for a day). But the issue isn’t the internet, it’s just the way we’re using it. The internet, though annoying as it can be, has helped so many small business owners grow their niches, people to connect with celebrities which otherwise they would’ve had to be physically at the same place and time and lastly you’ll be missing out on sharing your own story. So here’s just a couple of methods I use to help limit the comparison trap.
Limit your screen time
The built in setting “Screen Time” for iOS has been a blessing. Not only does it limit me during the hours I set, but it also makes me aware of my progress of how much I’ve been off my phone (goal setters – this part is especially for you!) Limiting my screen time allows me to be strategic when to go online and comment, like, share, get inspo, create stories, in a matter of 15 minute spurts since the Screen Time will only allow that. I avoid being on social during my peak hours. This system has been a blessing in creating balance as well as kept me mentally healthy. I plan my posts ahead of time and I’ve curbed my addiction to social media.
The result = less time comparing and absorbing what everyone else is doing and how I wish I were there, them or better.
Focusing on my own path
This one is ongoing and you may fall off the horse, wagon, whatever is the metaphor, but you may fall off a few times. This is a practice just like above but the difference is, you’re focusing on your own to-do’s, growth, gratitude and acknowledgements. Now let’s be real, most of what people post is a façade and can be whatever they want it to be. The concept of smoking mirrors is a real deal push among many of us. Many of us don’t got it like that, or always feel empowered, or are always doing good. We’re all human. So keeping that in mind, we can find relation within even our own posts. How many times we post like the world is our oyster, but shit’s really hittin the fan? What you can do however, is use this as a motivator to get to where you want to be. As a type of research.
None of us are perfect. We all have our ups and down, twirls and swirls, lefts and rights. We all have moments we feel defeated and moments of clarity. Many of us are faking the funk, just making it, or not making it at all. But in the end of the day what matters is understanding human nature that many of us are really in this field of dreams together but we all have a different path along with different lesson and different experiences that are getting us there to sit and enjoy the sun on our face among the flowers and crisp air. Many, possibly all, just really want to live a life they love. But just like no two fingerprints are alike, no two paths of growth learning and what we bring to this world are the same.
So the next time you’re feeling down and a bit jelly when staring at this awesome human doing the type of things you want to be doing, try these two strategies to get your eyes back on your own path. Remember, no two paths are the same. While you can admire the path of others, use them as a reference guide to the possibilities you can work on for yourself as you’re walking along your journey. Your path is created just for you since you have that one thing to bring into the world that nobody else has. If you’re unsure what that is, I’m sure I can help you figure it out. I’ve been told I’m pretty good at that J
If you’re not where you want to be, YET, it’s ok.
You are HERE. Right now. 😌
It’s where you’re supposed to be for the time being as you’re going along your own path, continue building your own personal legend.
We all get caught up in the comparison trap, wanting more and being hard on ourselves. Use that as motivation for push but also forgive yourself too during this time. You’re working on it. The more you work at it, the more consistent you are, the closer you get.
Finding what makes you different, #YourOwnStory
Till next time, here’s a daily mantra I use -> “I’m making it happen, I’m where I’m supposed to be.” 💥
If you’re in need of some additional inspo + resources feel free to follow us on social media (Insta @Esc_Artists/FB Escape Artists Collective) to DM us or email info@EscapeArtistsCollective.com