Inspiration, not comparison.

'The myth about doing it all' is by-far one of the most-viewed posts here on the blog. It is definitely the post that the most people reached out to me about - sharing their own experiences and ideas about the 'comparison game'. 

It has made me ponder this issue all the more, especially as the concept of 'staying true to your own path' is a key part of the Nourish and Nest philosophy. The more I think about it, I believe that I am living my best when I am choosing inspiration over comparison.

I find that inspiration fuels me. It causes me to look up, to dream bigger, to see that beauty abounds and that ordinary people can make a difference.

I have learnt that I do best when I intentionally position myself to be inspired and that if I am feeling hopeless or particualrly worn-out in a certain area of life (motherhood, small business ownership, being nice to other humans etc) that I need to figure out a way to pour inspiration all over that aspect of my life.

Nothing rocks my world like meeting someone who has walked this earth for many decades who still finds inspiration everywhere and remains curious and passionate. That, to me, is a life well-lived. 

Inspiration abounds. In the last few weeks alone I have been inspired by: the lives of my friends, strangers on the street, my faith, my family, by biographies, by big ideas, by artworks, instagram posts, by real-life stories of love and adventure and overcoming adversity (and fictional ones as well), by sermons, by vulnerable words shared over cups of tea, by children, eulogies, street graffiti and so much more.

Like everyday beauty, inspiration can be found all around us when we choose to seek it.

But in the same way that we can draw inspiration from the stories, lives, successes and instagram posts of others - we can just as easily use these same things to draw comparisons. To measure up our lives and ourselves against others. To judge ourselves negatively and focus all our energies on all that others have, or are, or can do.

Same source - two potential outcomes. One life-giving, the other soul-deflating. And perhaps it is over-simplifying a more complex issue, but it honestly seems that more often than not, our response to these things is a matter of perspective. Whether we're operating from an ethos of inspiration or one of comparison.

A mindset of inspiration is a beautiful thing. It allows us to look at others (what they have achieved, how they love, how they do their creative best with what they've been given) and come away energised, hopeful, motivated to do our best and give legs to the dreams in our heart. And, perhaps most importantly, it allows us to be happy and excited for others without being small-minded and comparing ourselves to them. 

'Her success is not my failure'

Latasha Haynes

A mindset of comparison is down-right ugly. It causes us to look at those same people - their achievements, lives, well-behaved children and pretty social media feeds - and come away depleted. The adage that comparison is the theif of joy could not be truer. Comparison is also irrational. Especially when we are making a comparison between our whole life and a mere snippet of another person's life. Everyone has their battles - internal and external. If we see another person's success or fulfilment, we can choose to respond with happiness for them and the understanding that no one is perfect, that everyone has their 'stuff' to deal with. Not only is it destructive to be expending our energy on jealousy and bitterness but it eats away at our ability to have compassion and love for others, plus it is almost impossible to stay true to our own path when we're wasting our energy comparing our journey to someone else's.

'Feeling judged by other people’s decisions is an insanely ego-centric way to live. Like my dad always says, “Glennon, nobody is thinking about you as much as you think they are.” Everybody’s just doing the best she can, mostly'.

Glennon Doyle Melton

To feel less about ourselves because of a good thing happening to someone else is a petty, egotistic, miserly existence that we all deserve better than! 

We are surrounded by things we can choose to compare ourselves to or be inspired by. I want to stay true to my own path, to do my creative best with my life, to remember that everyone has their battles and to spend my energy (the precious little that remains after chasing three little ones around!) intentionally, being inspired rather than allowing the comparison game to steal my joy.

Let's let go of the comparisons and embrace all the inspiration that surrounds us. Stay true to your own path, you fabulous thing you.

Tara x

1 comment

  • Amber

    This was what I needed today!! Thank you xoxo

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