JaneCane Photography » Duluth, Minnesota based Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer

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Comparison Game / Beauty in the Authentic

I am the first to admit that I fall powerless to the comparison game. The idea that others seem to be living in a better way, at a faster rate, doing what I then think I “should” be doing. I constantly feel pressure to keep up, questioning if the path I am on is the right one. Not because I actually question it, but more because I feel like the world around me does.

Social media is a black hole of comparison. It gives us the ability to share only what we want to – and feel jealously far too easily when others share – The happy days. The celebrations. The sparkly engagement rings. The new houses, new cars, new shiny everything. The well planned selfies and perfectly lit Instagram photos of Sunday brunch, pearly white smiles and all.

I get it. I understand wanting to be perceived a certain way. I have tried for years to fit a mold, to be a version of me I assumed people wanted as a business owner, a creative, a profile photo on a Facebook page. To show a world I thought I wanted – pure bliss and happiness and perfection. But reality is, I’m not perfect. I am over emotional. I compare myself to everyone. I take everything to heart. I find myself being jealous and weak in the worst moments. I have bad days that feel gray and gloomy and depressing, days that make me not want to get out of bed. Reality is – I am flawed. We all are. Perfectly, wonderfully flawed humans with emotions and hearts and jealousy and love and oodles of feelings we can’t control. But who wants to share that mess on Facebook?

I do. I want you to know that real is beautiful. The authentic you is perfect. I want to give you high fives and cheer you on in the tough times, knowing that light always comes out of the dark. I want you to feel comfortable in your own skin, not worried about what someone might think. Because their opinion doesn’t matter. But your self confidence does.

You matter. The mass comparison game online does not.

And here is a secret about business + social media posts: they are planned. They are thought out and styled and take time. But next to every seemingly well planned Instagram photo of mine is chaos. A pile of mail. A mess. Last night’s dishes. Laundry I haven’t done in a week. Reality is kind of funny, and if you can accept it, amazing. A whole bunch of imperfect perfection around every corner, every heartache, every belly laugh. Life is pretty insane and so very messy.

So today I challenge you to stop comparing yourself to others. Feel joy for those around you that are succeeding, pray for those that need lifting up and be at peace with who you are in this moment, at this time in your life. Put down your phone, step away from the computer, go outside, breathe in the fresh air, hug your kids, smile at a stranger, just soak it all in. Live your life, your way, at your own pace.

Be authentic and real and raw and messy and feel. Feel everything. Because you are perfect exactly as you are and no one can take that from you.

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