I’m a regular listener of the podcast, The Lady Gang, and they often repeat a phrase that I’ve found myself thinking a lot about recently – “Don’t compare your hustle to their highlight reel.”
We live in an Instagram world where people post beautiful photos of their fabulous lives – their exotic vacations, their thoughtful, romantic partners, their hard rock abs. Running through the feeds of some today’s biggest “influencers” can leave you wondering where you went wrong. Why aren’t you yachting in Capri this summer? How come you don’t treat yourself to matcha lattes every morning while wearing a matching pajama set and a perfectly messy top knot? Why aren’t your teeth that white?
The truth is that when it comes to social media, seeing should not be believing. It is a highly curated place where people only post what they want you to see. Look a little closer and you’ll see that most of these photos are filtered and Facetuned with an inch of their lives. The “candid” shots of your favorite social media star laughing while casually pulling back a strand of hair probably took 30 minutes and 150 tries to capture. Then, it was edited to remove any sign of imperfection so that by the time it reaches your feed, you can’t help but be jealous of the image in front of you because it seems so effortless when life so rarely is.
Real talk. Nobody is posting about the fights they had with their significant other. They don’t share pictures of themselves when they’re feeling insecure or exhausted from a long day or bloated from too many french fries and too little sleep. They don’t post close ups when they get a big pimple or shots of themselves purchasing jumbo tubs of Miralax. They don’t share the heartbreaks, the disappointments, and the rejections that each and every one of us face. And because we don’t see it, we don’t think it exists. We get tricked into believing that while our lives are hard and filled with struggle, there are people among us who simply have perfectly charmed lives. We get sucked into the highlight reel, and we forget about the outtakes.
So this is your reminder to stop comparing your hustle to their highlight reel. Everybody in life goes through ups and downs. The people who have made it big probably got there through hard work, numerous rejections, and lots of trial and error. Nobody in this life has it easy, no matter how Pinterest-worthy their life may appear to be. So, when you find yourself playing the comparison game, remember that your hustle may not always be highlight material, but it’s always worth the effort, and it’s 100% real.