The Things We Do Behind Closed Doors

1. We compare our lives to our friends’ lives

Most, if not everyone, has compared themselves to others or struggled with comparing to others at one point in their lives. In the society we live in, it’s hard not to. We see so many changes in other people’s lives, it can make us feel like we’re missing out or going in the wrong direction in our own life.

Friends are settling down, having babies, starting new careers, and moving in different directions. Seeing our friends succeed can make us struggle to feel confident because we fear that we have to catch up to everyone.

You may be scrolling through your social media pages these days, and while it’s a great way to be connected, it can also create a false sense of lack in your own life.

2.  We struggle to maintain our emotional well-being

Once our mental health is affected, we may begin to understand that recovery isn’t linear. Some days we are fine and other days we might struggle to get out of bed.

These days, being indoors has caused us to feel more lonely and isolated. We crave being able to be near people again, to hug our loved ones, and to not feel restricted in our surroundings. These feelings, coupled with our own existing mental health struggles, can make it 10 times harder to maintain our emotional well-being.

3.  We envy other people

I’ve had several moments where I’ve heard good news from others or I’ve seen a social media post and I’ve had to force myself to not become envious. It’s as if I have to try to elevate myself in order not to feel as if I’m in competition with anyone.

It sounds terrible, and it is, but this is truly how envy manifests. For some of us, we envy others out of a lack of awareness for our own blessings and the favor God has bestowed upon our own lives. We allow the lies of social media—and the resulting obsession with perfection—to cloud our judgment. This can lead to us secretly harboring feelings of ill will towards another person just so that we can come out on top.

4. We ruminate on the past

According to the Harvard Business Review, rumination is when we constantly think about events that have happened in the past or we obsess about thoughts in a way that leaves us feeling inadequate. We ruminate as a way to chastise ourselves for not reacting differently to past situations. We also ruminate as a way to solve past situations that we believe could have turned out differently.

However, ruminating on the past—and ruminating in general—is unhealthy because we can’t change the past. Constantly obsessing over what we believe has gone wrong in our lives can lead to depression, anxiety, and overall a negative view of ourselves. The solution to minimizing ruminating is to work on being mindful of the present, letting go of the things that are out of our control, and to change our thinking about how we view situations.

5. We sabotage our success

Attaining success is a beautiful thing, especially when we know that we’ve worked hard for everything we’ve achieved. But self-sabotage can hold us back from reveling in our achievements. Self-sabotage is when we procrastinate, we have an incessant fear of failure. We have a need for control, and we put ourselves down. As a result, we hold ourselves back instead of celebrating our success.

Instead of focusing on all the ways we come up short, what is helpful is to accept that we aren’t perfect and that our journeys teach us many things about overcoming and becoming better. There’s often power in learning from our weaknesses.

6. We worry about the future

At times, it’s hard to remind ourselves that the present is the only thing we can control. Instead, we worry about the future and things we have no control over. But it’s understandable. Unexpected occurrences like a pandemic can really cause us to worry about how our futures will be.

However, it’s better to focus on the present because we don’t want to miss out on the good that’s happening right now by worrying about the future. This year hasn’t been a great start, but if we really try and count what is going right in our present, it can allow us to anticipate positives for our futures.

7. We blame ourselves for our broken relationships

Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship, we might find that at times we blame ourselves for conflict with others, even if we aren’t the cause of it. This can in turn cause us to fall into a cycle of constant self-blame and even see ourselves as the villain in others stories.

Whether we were the cause of a conflict, a breakup, or a broken friendship, we can learn from the situation and aim to move forward. It’s also helpful to know that everyone has struggles when it comes to maintaining relationships, so there’s no need to beat ourselves up.

8. We struggle with our identities

Like repairing our mental health, self-acceptance, and becoming comfortable in our skin is not an overnight process. We might beat ourselves up for not being who we think we should be, but no matter our age or what stage we are in our lives, we are transforming daily and hopefully working on becoming better everyday.

We are still learning about who we are—our likes, dislikes, our traits, and our tendencies. We are still navigating through life and finding the strength not to conform to others, but instead finding our own identities that feel right to us.

We might struggle silently and struggle with the things we do behind closed doors, but this can be where we grow the most. We work on ourselves privately and bloom for the world to see.

God first. Friend. Encourager.

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