Have you ever sat at lunch and listened to a friend go on and on about all the wonderful things that are happening in her life? She just got back from a glorious trip to Tahiti, ran a marathon, lost 10 pounds, got offered a killer job, and gave a speech in front of a crowd of 500 to a standing ovation. Oh, plus she just bought a to-die-for house next to a trout pond in the perfect area of town and threw a great house warming party…so sorry she forgot to invite you, but everyone else had a fabulous time!
As I click around social media and read about people’s awards and trips and the parties they’ve attended, I reflect on my sometimes ho-hum life, where the highlight of my day might have been picking up the dog poop in the back yard.
At that moment you think of the pounds you gained over the holidays, how you haven’t had a vacation in 2 years, that you can barely find time to walk your dog around the block, and although you were working the weekend of her party, it sure would’ve been nice to be invited anyway. Gosh, compared to her, you are rather booorring and perhaps a bit inadequate.
I’ve done it, and you probably have done it too. We take our private, behind the scenes life, the one with all its warts and weaknesses, the one that only we know about, and compare it to someone else’s spiffed up, shiny public highlight reel with all of its cherry-picked successes and wow factor.
And, as expected, our B-roll usually comes out looking a bit inferior. Cue insecurity.
When I first read the above quote by Steve Furtick, it opened my eyes to a concept that I hadn’t really considered but totally makes sense. It explains why sometimes a visit to Facebook can leave me feeling out of the loop. As I click around social media and read about people’s awards and trips and the parties they’ve attended, I reflect on my sometimes ho-hum life, where the highlight of my day might have been picking up the dog poop in the back yard.
What I need to remember is that everyone puts their best self forward and leaves the embarrassments, insecurities, and failures behind closed doors. So, when I compare my whole self — warts and all — to these public snippets of perfection, I will never measure up.
Furtick’s quote is a great reminder that ALL of us have sparkly, impressive highlight reels worthy of celebrating and bragging about, and we all have the boring, behind-the-scenes B-rolls that feel unimpressive. The trick is simply not to compare ourselves to anyone else, ever. We are all individuals who have been given our own special gifts and opportunities, and it is up to us to be the best “US” that we can be, no matter what reel is playing, at the moment.