Ever since I published THIS post I’ve been thinking about the role that blogs and social media play in our self-perception and personal satisfaction. I’m not alone in this either, apparently. I’ve noticed many of my friends and fellow bloggers discussing the same thing recently.
It can be murky water between inspired and envious, encouraged and dissatisfied. Where does one end and the next begin? In an environment where the next person’s Facebook message or blog post seems all together cooler, sweeter, chicer, greater than our own, the task of skirting envy can seem impossible. After all, it’s only natural that we would want to share the good things happening in our lives rather than the bad or ugly. Likewise, it’s also natural that when others share those goods things, we would compare it to our own. Oh, but that’s where the danger lies, my friends! Comparing can quickly move from a casual evaluation of something good to an intense dissatisfaction with what we have right in front of us.
As with most things in life, the problem seems to me to be a lot less about the message and the messenger, and more to do with the receiver. How we read the bigger and better blog posts, Facebook statuses, and Twitter updates from our friends and peers is at the root of the envy we eventually experience. How we interpret their stories, how we compare them to our own lives.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and to help navigate these murky waters, I’ve gathered a few thoughts from my conversations with friends, family, and Style Story guests to help us outsmart envy. They’ve worked well for me. Maybe they’ll do the same for you!
1 – Unplug for a day or so and recalibrate what it means to be you with the many blessings of your life. Don’t worry about keeping up with all the happenings of your Facebook friends or the pretty pictures from your favorite blogs. They’ll be there when you get back. Promise. (This blog included.)
2 – Actively search for something beautiful and wonderful in your own life. Daily. Maybe it’s a good hair styling, a sweet moment shared with a spouse, a pretty corner of your home, or a delicious meal that you made. Whatever it is, recognize it, savor it, and be grateful for it.
3 – Don’t be afraid to use the initial energy of envy to step up your own game in positive ways. Halt your thoughts before they lead to negative comparisons and ask yourself, “how can I use this to make my own life more of what I desire it to be?”. Sometimes envy can be a timely call to action.
Have a beautiful day, friends! And I hope these thoughts serve you well.