As I was scrolling through social media today, I stopped on one post and thought to myself, “I sure wish I had it all put together, like she has.” Her make-up is perfect. Look at her perfectly sculpted abs. Her outfit is impeccable. Her home looks immaculate and the yard is perfectly manicured.

Thanks to social media today, it is very easy to fall into the comparison trap in every aspect of our lives. What I can tell you, when we fall into the comparison trap and believe we do not measure up, it leads to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Seriously, my friends, this is what brings us down rather than uplifting each one of us. The tendency is to keep comparing and truly losing site of what is purposeful, important and meaningful.

Four simple steps to prevent us from falling into the comparison trap:

Invest In Yourself

This doesn’t necessarily mean spending money, but it does mean spending time on YOU. Find something to personally grow in and go out and experience life. This can be as simple as sitting on the deck and reading a book. It can be as grandiose as illustrating a children’s book. It can be anything in between, however, the most important part of this is spending the time on YOU.

Allow Yourself to be Real

I have a playlist called “Do Not Listen to at School”. I wear leggings. I do not wash dishes every single day. I want a tattoo. Being your authentic self is much easier said than done, especially when in most instances you are seen only as your professional self. Practice mindfulness, know your values, face your fears, and by all means, it is okay to share your emotions. Allowing yourself to be real and authentic is challenging because it means slowing down, it means you may have to be selfish, and it means rewiring your brain to not always play it safe.

Surround Yourself with Authentic People

Proximity is powerful. That being said, you are a product of the five people you spend a majority of your time with. Outside of your family look at your inner circle of friends. Do they allow you to be authentic? Are they authentic around you? It does go both ways. Think about it, the quality of life is a reflection of your peer group. Find a group that makes you laugh, shares your values, inspires you to be a better person, but ultimately loves you for your true authentic self.

Make Kindness Purposeful In Your Life

Be intentional. In a world where kindness seems to be lacking, actions and words matter. The key is being intentional, about being kind and authentic (that word, it pops up again) about kindness. Purposeful kindness opens the door for others. If purposeful kindness is inspiring others through handwritten notes, go do it! If purposeful kindness for you is hugs, go do it!

The comparison trap is easy to fall into, however, if we practice the above suggestions we will live a more purposeful life. Yet most importantly we will model to our children how important it is to be our authentic selves.

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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