I didn’t pay off $100k in 2 years or save $50k in 8 months and that is okay. If you have done that, I am so impressed and proud. That is amazing. This post is not to bash people who have achieved amazing results. It takes a lot of hard work and a crazy amount of discipline to accomplish something like that.
If you haven’t though, don’t stress.
In this age of social media, it is so hard not to compare yourself to someone else. We see posts and articles daily that say “I saved $100k in one year and retired at the age of 28” or “I paid off 15 student loans that totaled $400k in 2 years learn exactly what I did”. That is just personal finance related posts. We see photos of “perfect” families, people traveling the world, or even “flawless” relationships. Quite often I think to myself how do they do this? I struggle with comparing myself to others all the time. I think most people do. We get discouraged. How did they do that but I can’t? Why do I struggle to save even $500 a month? Why can’t I pay off this $25k debt within 3 years? How do they afford to travel the world for 6 months? Why do they seem so happy and perfect all the time?
The thing about social media is people can control what they want others to see. No one is perfect. I never want anyone to read my blog or see my social media accounts and think I have it all together. I overspend all the time. I struggle sticking to my budget. I am not saving money as quickly as I would like to.
Instead of comparing ourselves and getting discouraged, we need to support each other, learn some tips, and focus on our own journeys. If you paid off $5k last year that is wonderful! If you saved $100 last month that is great! There are plenty of people who haven’t even started. Stop focusing on what you haven’t done and start focusing on what you have done.
Start celebrating the small wins. Let’s not compete with each other. Let’s empower each other.
Here are 4 guidelines we should be following instead:
1. Build a Community
Find people to encourage you and celebrate the wins with you. People who will share tips and help motivate you. People who won’t judge you when you slip up and will be there for you to hold you accountable. I have mastermind meetings every month with Sami from A Sunny Side Up Life, Kim from KimGaleta, and Sami from Eat Pray Budget. We all have personal finance blogs and we share our blogging tips/resources. We want to help people reach their goals and build businesses. They have encouraged me so much not only with my blog goals but with my financial goals and personal development goals. We aren’t meant to do life alone. Collaborate with people you can learn from. Collaboration over competition. I can tell them when I am struggling with something because I know they will be there to listen, give advice, and hold me accountable. I encourage you to find a mastermind group or a few people you can vent to.
2. Take a Social Media Free Weekend
Social media is pretty depressing sometimes. I am guilty of obsessively checking Instagram and Twitter. Like sometimes I catch myself checking Instagram after I just closed out of Instagram. Lara Casey talks about social media free weekends on her blog and in her book Make it Happen. This is something I am definitely going to try to do this year. I think it is important to take a break from social media and live in the moment. Enjoy time with your friends or family, read a good book, go get some fresh air, or even volunteer. Your money mindset changes so much on your financial journey so sometimes you just need a break from social media.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
We all need to stop comparing ourselves to other people. Let’s all strive to be the best versions of ourselves. Commit to growing as a person and reaching your own goals. Reflect on where you started and where you are now. Focus on your own strengths and celebrate them. Be proud of who you are. Take some time to write down your goals and what you accomplished (could be in a journal, on your phone, or in a planner). Once a year (or even once a quarter) go back and look at what you accomplished and where you are now. PowerSheets by Cultivate What Matters have helped me so much. They are currently sold out but if you want to know when they are back in stock, message me on IG or send me an email and I will make sure to let you know. Set big goals and break them down into small, actionable steps. The first step can be something simple like open your computer and log into your bank account to see how much money is currently in your checking account.
4. Remember Nobody is Perfect
Rationally we all know that no one is perfect but sometimes we don’t think rationally. I am certainly not perfect. We all must remember nobody is living a perfect life. Everyone has their challenges. They just might not show them on social media. Look at it this way, your imperfections are what makes you who you are. Of course, we should all keep trying to improve but you can never reach perfection. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for continuous improvement.
At the end of the day just remember to appreciate what you have. Appreciate the life stage you are in. Learn what you can from each challenge you face and continue to reach your goals. When someone else posts an achievement on social media be happy for them. Do not feel inadequate. Let’s all try to encourage each other and not let insecurities consume us. Let’s connect with others and help each other grow!