Three Steps to Being Content With What You Have.
A huge thanks to Ramsey Solutions to partnering with us on this post. They’ve been inspiring me and guiding me for 7 years now!
How many times have you thought, “I wish that was me”? I wish I was going to Barbados. I wish my husband surprised me with roses at work to celebrate the first time he laid eyes on me. I wish I was rocking a cute swing dress and heels at daycare pick up instead of stained yoga pants.
If you’re on Facebook, it’s probably every day.
After a while, you start to really hate seeing #blessed. It starts to feel like everyone else is living this amazing glamorous life, while you’re schlepping through trying to make ends meet, arguing with your husband about who should do the dishes, and trying to make it through a dinner without your toddler throwing food on the floor or throwing a tantrum.
Well, I’m calling bull.
Because I happen to know that for every one of those #blessed statuses, there’re a dozen moments of boredom, or arguing over dishes, or toddler tantrums in Target. (Ask me how I know.)
Their life isn’t different from yours.
They have the same problems, vulnerabilities, and secrets that you do.
I’ve been reading Rachel Cruze’s (yes, she’s Dave Ramsey’s daughter) book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs and it really put things into perspective for me.
(If you haven’t already read it, it should go on your reading list! You can get the book here).
I’m a full-time blogger. That means that my job is to help overwhelmed women who struggle with disorganization and time management set up routines to help them live on a budget and save money.
And do you know what I’ve found in this job?
That there’s a lot of people who look rich that are struggling to make ends meet. It’s a daily event that I’m giving advice to someone who owns a fancy car or a huge house, or has a really high paying job.
On Facebook, I bet they’re the envy of their friends.
But they’re scared and living a lie to impress you because they think they have to.
One of the best quotes I’ve ever heard was ”Don’t compare your real life to my highlights reel”.
Because that’s what Facebook is, It’s someone else’s highlights reel.
And it takes a lot of work to break through the mind trap and learn to love and live your own life.
Loving your life instead of someone else’s will make you happier, improve your marriage, your career, and even your relationship with your kids and friends.
It’s kind of ironic, but loving and living your own life will make it more likely for you to have that life that you want.
Invest in what you want to flourish.
Put your time, energy, and resources into the areas of life that are important to you.
If you want to have a strong family and marriage, you need to invest yourself into making that happen.
This means being present and involved in your family. It means turning off the phone and doing the work required to make relationships flourish. It means building up the friends and relationships you have now, before trying to have more.
Simple ways to invest.
Every time you’re sitting in the room with someone you know and you feel the need to pull out your phone and check it, stop. Leave your phone where it is, and talk to that person.
Your life is not on Facebook, or in Gmail. It’s lived with the people surrounding you.
Download an app like Moment onto your smartphone to find out exactly how much time you’re spending on your phone in a day. If it’s over 2 hours, do some soul searching and decide if that time is helping you or hurting you.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
There’s a problem with movies, television, and romance novels. After a while, all of those lives seem to be real. And our life seems to pale in comparison.
While each of those things can add something good into your life, if left unchecked, it can also make you compare yourself to others.
When you’re constantly looking at others and wishing that was you, then you aren’t investing your time and energy into your own life.
Simple ways to avoid comparing.
Limit time on Facebook (or anywhere you feel the urge to compare yourself) for two weeks to see if you feel better or worse.
Embrace simplicity and understand that your story will span a lifetime. Where you are now is not where you will be later. Your story is still unwritten.
Every day, I help people with scary and overwhelming financial crisis. And while everyone’s story is unique, most are unified in that they couldn’t wait for their dreams.
Learning patience is a key character trait that will serve you incredibly well over the years. Not just at red lights and in waiting rooms, but in understanding your lifespan and that you need to work for your goals.
Taking your kids to Disney World and throwing it on a credit card because you feel like you deserve it. Spending $10,000 on a wedding when you’re barely making ends meet because “it’s the most important day of your life”. These choices negatively affect your financial security and can lead to financial crisis.
Simple ways to learn patience.
Read books that counter the effects of comparison and impatience, like Rachel Cruze’s book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs.
Set goals for things you want to buy or achieve and then work towards them. While that Disney trip may take 3 years for you to afford, it will be so worth it!
I know what it feels like to struggle with this. I’ve lived both ways.
I spent several years of my life trying to live up to what I thought everyone else had. I spent thousands of dollars on clothes, manicures, and highlights. I was popular and was always surrounded by friends. I had a great job and a handsome, sweet boyfriend.
Let me tell you, I looked awesome on paper.
And I was miserable.
I was disorganized, drowning in debt, surrounded by superficial friends, and anxious that I’d miss out on something more.
I would buy things that I wanted because I thought I would have debt my entire life. It would be impossible to pay off, and I can hardly deny myself black leather fall boots forever, right?
I was a mess.
Appreciating what I have and where I am, took work. It wasn’t pretty and it was hard.
Which is why Rachel’s book spoke so much to me. It was a book that I wished I had back then. It explained so clearly what I felt. And it shows you how to dig your way out.
My “real life” is what I focus on now. My husband, my kids, my friends, and my business.
It’s not always glamorous and exciting, but it’s mine.
And living your real life is always better than trying to live someone else’s Facebook life.
Have you read Love Your Life, Not Theirs? What was your favorite message?
Grab a copy anywhere that books are sold, or you can buy one here.
Thank you so much to Ramsey Solutions for sponsoring this post and spreading a message that needs to be heard.