I am a wife and mommy of two, with a career and a vision. I love communication and mindset mentoring, and get energized when I can help others break through their comfort zones to pursue the experiences and fulfillment they dream of for their life.
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Apr 14, 2020
Our routines, priorities, plans, and how our daily lives look today, in comparison to just a few ago have changed so drastically, are so up in the air…we don’t know what to expect next, and we are navigating all of this literally day by day, along with the rest of the world.
Along with all of the uncertainty OUT THERE, there is a whole new level of uncertainty we carry around our own worlds – how to structure our days, how to manage our time, how to still get our jobs done with kids at home, how to fit in any time for rest. We’re trying to make sense of how we’re feeling about all of this, and trying to understand the ever-evolving impact this is all having. And that spirals in to….COMPARISON.
Ugh, comparison. Yuck. it can be so defeating, and depressing if we don’t actively work on shifting our perspective to get it under control. I have just been sensing that people are feeling this creeping in more and more (during this time) by what I have heard in conversations and things I have seen on social media, etc.
I find myself starting to second guess something that I’M doing, or feeling…. And I know I’m not alone in that. Then I stop and have a little check-in with myself and get back on track with my perspective and what is true for ME.
The comparison I’m talking about now though is the stuff that wears on us, and that there is nothing positive about. The stuff that we let eat away at us and that we begin to allow ourselves to feel inadequate and that we aren’t doing enough, or resting enough, or feeling enough… that we just aren’t enough. Ugh… yuck… poison.
I wanted to talk about this topic during this time in particular when we are living through a global pandemic that is new territory for everyone, and we hear the word uncertain used multiple times a day. Because things are uncertain, we don’t know what to expect next, And with all the newness and change this brings, it also brings a new level of comparison.
I did a poll on my Instagram stories last week, to see if you were feeling more comparison going on. Of those who responded, 100% said yes. And there were some conversations that followed that got further into some thoughts. Comparison is showing up in so many different ways. There are a couple of things that keep popping up, that seem to have this expectation tied to it that you must fall into one of these categories, and then triggers for comparison and shame come up…. Ok, so here are the two main ‘camps’, and it’s as if there’s this notion that we need to fall into one of them (which is so not true)
Here’s the thing, we are all managing the situation in the ways we know how to. And by the way, managing this situation includes going through a grieving process. And I think we default to our own ways of coping. Sometimes we try to distract ourselves from what is happening without even realizing it. That’s a challenge to try to be aware of and give yourself the permission to rest if that is truly what you need.
There is a difference between DOING because it’s something that makes us feel energized, fulfilled, or simply because it’s something we just really want to do, and doing because we feel shame and pressure to be doing. That’s where the permission to rest comes in.
I’ll be the first to say that less than a month ago when this really started developing HERE, where we live, I didn’t realize all that would develop over the weeks to follow. What started with social distancing guidelines, various CDC recommendations, and working from home orders at the company’s discretion, quickly turned into schools closing for the remainder of the school year, shelter in place/stay home orders, restaurants closing and all activities being canceled. This situation is so fluid and is changing daily. So what you thought about this time a few weeks ago, may be different now – because the situation is different now – now that you are home with all of your kids, trying to work, and keep your sanity. Or your home feeling lonely and isolated and just wish that you had people around or an office to go to for the comradery.
I have been noticing so much around this and hearing people say they feel like ‘I SHOULD’ be doing this, or ‘I probably SHOULDN’T feel like this, but…’
First of all – there is nothing that you SHOULD be doing. Do what feels right to you, right now. Do what is going to help you relax, rest, or fuel you, energize you and give you what you need to get through this crazy time.
In this time we are in right now, we are ALL on an equal playing field in that no one that you are comparing yourself to has gone through anything like this before. This is new territory and we all are figuring this out together. That’s the beauty of it. We’re in this together, but we are all so different in our perspectives, how we manage change, what we need to do personally in order to be sure that we are showing up for our family, our work, and ourselves in the best way possible during this time, or anytime. If you want to rest more, rest more. If you want to work more, work more. What do YOU need? We are all wired differently. What you need could be drastically different than what someone else needs. You have to take care of yourself in the best way you know how to in order to make sure that ultimately you are in a good headspace to continue to move forward. Because we still have to move forward, and we will, But there doesn’t have to be this pressure to take massive leaps forward TODAY.
We have to work around our circumstances and do the best we can with what we have in order to make the time for what we need.
You might be seeing social media posts and feeling like how can that person be so positive, I’m struggling over here! Or, I see this person seemingly having it all together. Has all the kids home, while working from home. Managing it all… whatever IT ALL really is.
Let me remind you that social media is showing snippets of time. The person being super positive all of the time, or who appears to always have it all together, struggles too. They’re human, too. They are also CHOOSING a perspective.
Right now, we are in a place where:
And no one knows for how long any of these things and the emotions associated with them are going to continue.
Here’s the thing. All of those items cover a spectrum (and so many more that I didn’t touch on), and we all are dealing with some of these. All of us. We have to get real with ourselves and let go of the judgment we are placing on ourselves (and of course others). Give yourself permission to cope how you need to cope. To work as hard as you want to work. Then rest when you need to rest. It’s all ok.
There are so many ways that we deal with stress, with anxiety, or feeling out of control:
We don’t all manage it the same way.
There is an element of perspective here. You can choose the perspective you want to hold. We can’t avoid change. We can’t wish away what is happening. What we can control is our perspective. It is not always easy, and it requires active work to do that. There will be both ups and downs, for sure, as you try to hold on to that perspective. Give yourself some grace.
What you are seeing and hearing from others that might be making you feel like there is something wrong with you, because you are NOT feeling the same way right now – just know that everyone has their own challenges, and it is about choosing a baseline of perspective to help ground you. The perspective that you hold is a choice. And it doesn’t mean that your days are perfect and that you are feeling no negative impact from this or any other situation you might be going through. It means that you are actively working on shifting your mindset, in order to create your own reality. To keep you going. It doesn’t mean you are disregarding the fact that this is hard and devastating for so many.
Give yourself permission to be feeling great one minute and angry and sad the next. Know that you are not alone. The rest of the world is trying to figure this out too. THE REST OF THE WORLD. At the same time.
At a minimum, we are grieving the loss of what normal was just a few weeks ago. Some are grieving loss (of a job, of loved ones), of dreams they had for their wedding or event. Truly there is grief in this that we need to acknowledge and work through. How we do that looks different for all of us, but it’s important to acknowledge that grief is part of this.
Try to let go of the shoulds and the shame around what you should be doing or feeling. You have to decide what works for you and what you need. Give yourself permission to just stop and sit still for a minute and breathe (when you can….).
This is hard. There’s no way around it, but you are doing a great job. Hold on to your perspective – our thoughts really do become our reality. It takes work to that perspective and some days are easier than others. Grace my friends…give yourself grace.
We can do this, friends. Have a great week, and I will talk to you soon!
© 2021 Imperfectly Ambitious
I believe that you have gifts, strengths and unique experiences that allow you to make an impact in the way that only you can. I'm here to help you amplify what makes you shine, through your work, because what I know for sure is that it's time for you to put yourself and all of your goodness out there. There are people who are waiting for exactly what you have to offer.