• Bloopers vs. Highlights: How to be miserable in one easy step, part 2

    June 11, 2016 | curtrosengren
  • film

    “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

    ~ Stephen Furtick

    Yesterday I wrote about comparing yourself as a surefire path to misery. Today I want to shine a light on one more reason the comparison game is so toxic…

    When you compare, you’re almost never comparing apples to apples.

    The quote at the top of this post is one of my favorite quotes because it sums that up so well. When we compare ourselves to others, we almost never have the full picture. We’re only looking at the other person’s highlight reel, and we compare it to our own bloopers reel.

    When we compare ourselves to that guy who is super successful in his career, all we see is an idealized “Successful Guy” caricature. We don’t see, for example, the fear of not being enough that drives him, or the fact that his inability to slow down and relax has him one step away from a heart attack.

    Or when we look at that woman who is so smart that just being in the same room as her makes us feel stupid, we don’t see how her inner critic eats her up, or how disconnected she is from her heart because she lives so much in her head.

    Those are made up examples, of course. But everybody has their own private bloopers reel. When we look at only their highlights, we’re bound to fall short.

    And to make matters worse, even though we have access to the full picture of our own lives, we frequently ignore the positives in favor of the ways we don’t quite measure up.

    So we insist on comparing our bloopers reel with someone else’s highlights. And then we wonder why we don’t feel good enough. Yeesh!

    The ubiquity of bloopers

    As someone who has had a front row seat for the last fifteen years on both people’s highlights reels and their bloopers reels (via my coaching work), I can tell you without hesitation that nobody’s whole story is as impressive and polished as it seems on the surface.

    Everybody has some way that their life isn’t quite up to snuff. Everyone has some form of insecurity. Everybody is struggling with obstacles in the path, some internal, some external.

    Very few people want to admit that. We’re not big in this culture on admitting that our lives are anything less ideal than our Facebook posts suggest. And yet, it’s true.

    Feel like you don’t measure up? Feel like you are facing insurmountable obstacles? Feel like you don’t have a clue? Cheer up. You’re in good company.

    Try this:

    Next time you find yourself comparing yourself less-than-favorably to someone, pause and ask, “Do I know the whole story? Or am I looking at the highlight reel? Am I taking my whole picture into account? Or am I just focused on my blooper’s reel?”

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