Stop comparing; start living.

I get so caught up in how I measure up compared to others. I so often find myself scrolling through instagram looking at how talented and skilled other artists are and then feeling sorry for myself, as I’m clearly nowhere near their level. I suffer from comparison.

The truth is, though, something much deeper than that; the truth is I’m jealous. If you struggle with the same thing, which chances are you probably do, I’d say you’re a bit jealous as well.

It’s only human to have a deep-rooted sense of pride in us. In our reputations and how others’ see us and what they say about us. We constantly seek validation from other people to feed that pride. And when we see someone who is a bit further ahead in the game than we are, we notice that they’re receiving the validation that we want. And We end up comparing ourselves to them.

Now I want you to remember something. What you show on your social media and even how you show yourself when you interact with others is a curtain. A well thought out, carefully crafted and curated façade so that no one sees the messiness of our lives. Why is this important to remember? Well, you’re not the only one doing this. That person you’re following that you feel is so much farther ahead than you, they put on the same act you do. Did you really believe for a second that all you see on their instagram is their actual life? It’s all the best moments—the happy moments. It’s the adventures, travels, and good times.

They’re struggling through life just like you are. They feel like they’re a total mess too. They don’t have it all figured out and I can assure you that they’ve certainly had their share of sleepless nights and seasons of hurt and setbacks and thinking that this is the end of them.

You’re not the only one. We’re all human here.

So stop comparing your broken pieces to someone else’s collection of the best pieces of their life. Chances are, they look at someone else the same way. No one’s perfect.

Instead of getting stuck in negative patterns of thoughts and feeling sorry for yourself, be real about your life. Don’t be afraid to share the broken pieces and that thing that’s just totally ruining everything right now. Trust me when I say that most of us will probably be able to relate, and that fosters community. Jealousy nurtures division and conflict. Don’t get stuck in that anymore.

Be real, be open, and be there for one another. We all have one life so let’s help each other through it rather than wallow in self-pity and comparison.

Joel Angelis