We are surrounded day in and day out by the filtered and the edited, by the adventurous and the exciting. We get lost in a world of comparison as we constantly take in more and more information about what other people are doing. It leads to tough questions: “Why doesn’t my life look like that? Why aren’t I liked as much as this person? When am I ever going to have what they have?” We can try to resist it, but it is bound to seep into our subconscious from time to time—this deep feeling of inadequacy, a desire to belong or to be appreciated or acknowledged.
It is totally normal to feel this way from time to time. But sometimes it becomes more than just a fleeting feeling. It sets down roots in our souls and spreads like weeds. The negative self-talk proliferates. It spreads and spreads until we are left with this deeper uncertainty. We get lost in expectation, in the pressure of self-induced timelines, in the fear of being rejected. But, let me tell you something that I have learned over the years: the only way to drown out the noise of comparison is to find the strength in your own voice. Your own unique, authentic, unedited voice.
The desire to appear perfect is strong in all of us, but we have so much more to offer this world when we show them authenticity instead. We can encourage others to search for strength even in the midst of our weakest moments. We can be encouraged by others when we see how many of the same hurts and heartbreaks we all face. We can sit with each other in our darkness and be reminded of how much light we truly have inside. When we face life with authenticity, it allows us to search for warmth in one another and in ourselves instead of the fading warmth of a spotlight of perceived perfection. We aren’t fighting over the dull light of acceptance or competition with one another. We thrive, we grow, we bloom in the light of the things that matter.
Because we all have stories to tell, and they all matter. We all have unique gifts to offer the world. We all have our own experiences that paint the colors of our lives here. So paint a creation you can be proud of. Write a story overflowing with your truth. Don’t worry about what others might think of how you chose to paint each scene. Don’t worry about what others might think of the edits you had to make. Because your story is GOING to be a beautiful showcase of YOUR individual strength. It is going to be your gift to the world, your gift to yourself.
And let me tell you: authenticity makes all the difference. It will give you the wisdom to see that we all have different timelines and different paths. It will also give you the courage to take that first step down a path that is all your own. It can be scary, and it can feel uncertain. But, it is so unbelievably brave. We all get this one incredible opportunity at life. Make sure that you author a story of authenticity. It is yours to tell, yours to imagine, and yours to create.