This is what I look like about 20 seconds after I roll out of bed.
I’m sharing this photo because I spend a lot of energy trying to make my face/work/body/marriage/life look ideal, but that’s only half of the truth.
I want the things I share to inspire you to reject the status quo, do your very best work, and build lives that matter, but I’m concerned that taking that selfie 6 times to make sure my nose looks less crooked/large or only sharing my wins will make you think you don’t measure up. When I only share the best parts of the story I’m worried that you’ll believe it’s the whole story. It isn’t.
The version of me you see online isn’t a complete farce, but it’s also rarely the complete picture. I love my wife but I also argue with her about stupid things. I try to be kind and selfless but I also have rotten days in which I selfishly act like a baby because things aren’t going my way. I am generally a hopeful person but I also wake up at 4AM worried about all manner of irrational of things. At this exact moment I’m simultaneously afraid I’m saying too much and afraid I’m not saying enough.
All of those things are true about me, but I just want to show you the best parts. I’m guessing you can relate because I’m pretty sure we’re all pretending to not be pretending.
We could blame Facebook and Instagram for making us want to share a picture-perfect, idealized version of ourselves, but let’s be real: humans were doing this long before the internet. We don’t just filter out the undesirable bits online, we do it at church and at Chamber of Commerce luncheons and at work and in the grocery store and at parties and…
The point is this: you are not alone.
If you are comparing the entirety of your story to a tiny idealized portion of someone else’s, you are not alone.
If you feel like you could never be as __________ as them, you are not alone. (The real mind-bender is that someone out there feels like they could never be as _____________ as you.)
Just remember that none of what you see on Facebook, or in passing at the mall, is the whole story so please don’t waste your time with comparison because it will just keep you from doing the important work you are here to do.
Take a breath. Relax. You aren’t supposed be like them. You are supposed to be like you.
Imperfect like the rest of us.