So glad you’re here! I’ve decided (after years of dreaming/thinking about it) to finally venture into the world of BLOGGING. I wasn’t sure what my first post would be on and so I’ve been dragging my feet, but this morning I was inspired by a little social media situation that (nearly) ruined my day - but this one little quote helped pull me back out.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” - Theodore Roosevelt
I’ve recently been inspired lately to step back from social media. Social media can be such an amazing (free!) platform and tool for small business owners like myself! That being said - it can also be a “pit of despair” (Princess Bride anyone?!) that can lead to a lot of comparison…and it can lead to the death of a great deal of joy.
Those who used social media the most were about 2.7 times more likely to be depressed than participants who used social media the least. (source)
I personally find that statistic terrifying because I’ve experienced it to be true, and I know I’m one of many.
Take for instance - this dahlia! I am so proud of this painting. It represents so much growth and progress as I’ve developed as an artist. I know what I used to be capable of as a painter and what I am capable of now when it comes to watercolor - and there is a huge difference! I’ve grown so much and this painting reminds me of that. It may even be one of my favorite paintings I’ve ever done!
So, imagine the joy and excitement I’m feeling about this painting - then imagine me posting this to social media with a fairly vulnerable caption. Immediately I am in a pool of self doubt as this post is not getting as many “likes” as I had anticipated. Don’t others see my progress and growth? Aren’t they going to be excited with me? Do my words sound foreign and cold to them, or are they resonating with what I’m saying?
After not being on social media for a few weeks and then hopping back on with this let-down experience, I quickly realized the downward spiral that I had immediately fallen back into with one single post to Instagram. What a toll social media takes on me emotionally! When I’ve poured my time, money, heart and soul into a project and it is not well received based on a ‘like’ button on Instagram - it’s silly, but it’s hard on yo girl!
I felt the Lord ask me to take a moment and remember one of the first quotes I painted when I started my Etsy shop - “Comparison is the thief of joy.” - Theodore Roosevelt. And my goodness is this true!
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
It is so easy to compare our life to others - whether through social media or other outlets. We compare jobs, clothes, family, homes, bodies, intelligence, success, health - we compare it all. And I have been guilty of it all. I heard once that comparison lands us in one of two pools - shame (if we decide we feel worse about ourself than the other) or pride (if we decide we feel better about ourself than the other).
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like either of those pools. God truly did create us in such an individual way, and with such intentionality. He created you and me to live our own life. Not someone else’s. If we spent all of the time, effort and energy that we spend comparing our life to the lives of others, and instead channeled that energy into becoming the best version of ourself that we can be, boy I think we’d live in a different world!
There is enough success and love and joy to go around in the world, and the success of others doesn’t have to minimize our own.
Let’s live in a mentality of abundance instead of scarcity. When those little comparison minions start to creep in and steal your joy, take a moment and think about how YOU actually feel about your life. Is it enough? Are you happy? Are you proud of the things you are accomplishing? And most importantly, are you proud of who you are becoming?
If it is enough for YOU, no one else considered, that’s what’s important. I don’t want to get caught up in that comparison game anymore. I want to live in a place of contentment instead - this life I lead is so full of abundant blessing! How selfish it would be for me to ignore my blessing and declare it “not good enough” because I am too busy comparing myself to others - thus missing out on my very own daily joy.
When I do find myself in a place of comparison - I like to take a moment and thank God for the things I am grateful for in my life - large and small (although the smaller the better, they say).
For me, today: I am grateful that I run my own business, I am grateful for a husband who loves me so well, I am grateful for the delicious coffee I had this morning, I am grateful for the enormous cozy sweatshirt I’m currently wearing, and I am super grateful for the cool breeze coming through my window right now.
After my social media situation this morning, I felt it was time to start my blog and share about this experience, because I know I am not the only one who has little comparison minions trying to take me down. I think there will be lots of posts like this in the future - posts that sometimes pertain to art, and sometimes just pertain to life!
I don’t really know how to blog, so hang in there with me as I learn! This is going to be my new, main outlet for communication - for writing, posting photos, posting inspiration, and maybe even eventually do some online classes for watercolor! (any takers?!) I’m really excited to share more with you about my process as an artist and designer through this new blogging medium.
BIG shout out to Shanna Skidmore for inspiring me to venture into the blogging world and step away from social media! You can learn more about here amazing work with creative, female entrepreneurs here. If you run your own business, I beg of you to check out her work! Life changing.
Thanks for following along! Be encouraged today to embrace the life you’ve been given!