How often do you find yourself saying “I don’t know how she does it all! She’s juggling so many things at one time and it appears effortless to her.” The subsequent thought is typically, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I do that?”
The assessment that others are managing their lives better than we are is one that is common and rarely correct. It is easy to make quick judgments about how people are contending with the varied elements of their lives, based on casual observances at brief moments in time. Unless that person feels particularly safe sharing with you what is ‘really going on’, it is unlikely that you’ll get the more accurate picture of how they are dealing with all that life is bringing them. Even then, if their sense of ‘who they are’ is intimately tied to effectively juggling multiple things at one time – it is unlikely that they will even admit to you that “This is hard…I am struggling…I’m nervous and anxious all the time.”
So how about instead, you make a commitment to yourself to
- stop comparing
- assume things aren’t as they appear
If you did these two, not-so-simple acts, you accomplish a few really important things. First, you don’t waste the emotional energy it takes to continually compare yourself to others whom you assess have it all together. This is often what puts us into a state of overwhelm because it creates a mood of anxiety or resignation, and clouds our view of the possibilities that exist for us to engage with others and the world the way we want to. This is not the place from which creativity, innovation or happiness grows. Next, when you assume that there is more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye, it frees you from creating stories about how well someone is doing compared to you. This is not only good for you – but for the other person as well. You don’t feed into their ongoing struggle to put up a facade that everything is perfect and you aren’t contributing to their sense of overwhelm, or yours.