Compare = Despair

“Non-anonymous social networks like Facebook “provide an ideal environment for the expression of the ‘hoped-for possible self’… This state emphasizes realistic socially desirable identities an individual would like to establish…” ~ Julie Beck, The Atlantic

I turned off my Facebook account last June.

I had just separated from my now ex-husband. My brain had left the building.

I was floating in a dark and stormy sea of self-pity and the baby announcements and romantic holiday pics highlighted my failure and seeming inadequacy.

Facebook had one redeeming feature: My large and loveable Puerto Rican family could be counted on to merrily broadcast full blown arguments and embarrassing selfies of six pack abs and new tattoos. Like Jersey Shore or Real Housewives, so bad it’s good.

This obvious narcissism was easier for me than the more common, thinly veiled variety.

The scholar of TED Talk fame Brene Brown says, “When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary.

“I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”

We all have a basic need to be respected, adored and appreciated.

And Facebook and other virtual networks tap into the heart of this need with likes, hearts, views and follows.

But measuring ourselves like this – without purpose or a framework for healthy growth – only separates us from our true selves.

The shallow pleasure we get from constant comparisons turns us into two-dimensional puppets of ourselves lacking in depth, self-love and self-expression.

Where are you secretly comparing and despairing? What part of you might blossom if you stopped?


All of us crave connection. Whose day can YOU brighten by sharing this post? Don’t be shy!
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Tara Book CoverHi, I’m Tara
Padua, founder of NextFem. I help high-powered women master their relationships.

As a professional executive coach since 2003, I’ve accrued more than 7,000 client-coaching hours working with 400+ female leaders at organizations like Condé Nast, Cartier, Deutsche Bank, Diesel, Louis Vuitton, Siemens and many, many more.

Healthy relationships are the foundation of a life that works, and my life experiences have fueled my mission to help women get the love they deserve.

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