This morning, I saw a lady on Instagram curating her beautiful house, tending her garden, and canning vegetables in ornate jars. I felt bad about myself.

I flipped to a reel, and a girl was encouraging everyone to organize and minimize. She panned across her stark, clean living room. I felt bad about myself.

I researched dance studio programming, price structures, and offerings across the country yesterday. There are so many cool things being offered out there. I felt bad about myself.

I saw a pictures of a woman approaching 50, and the voice over praised her ability to maintain flawless skin, poofy hair, voluptuous boobs, and youthful glow at her age. I felt bad about myself.

Y’all. I felt bad about myself. Uugghh.

I want to stay at home taking care of my family in an warm, ambient, lovely house that smells like baked apples.

I want less stuff, neatly folded laundry in drawers, labeled bins of craft supplies, and lined pantry shelves of cans with labels out.

I want my dance studio to offer a million fun activities, be teeming with children running in and out, have something going on every day of the week, maintain a culture of joy.

I want smooth skin, healthy hair with volume up to Jesus, great boobs, and fewer wrinkles.

Why did all that hurt me inside? Why did I feel bad about myself when I saw these things? I started thinking about it.

I decided that my values are so strong. The standards I set for myself are so high. My goals are so lofty. I have these ideals in mind, about everything, that drive me. There are so many things I want to do, so much I want to accomplish, so many ways I want to be. And then there that voice…the one telling me to work harder, figure it out, be those things, be better, be good enough.

I sat there thinking…Girl…stop. Voice…shut up. Standards…settle down.

I have a beautiful house. I DID work hard to make it a warm, ambient, fragrant space already.

I have the opportunity to be a great mom and great wife. I DO good things for my family.

I have made efforts to minimize. I HAVE been working to de-clutter and downsize, and my closets and pantry are looking better.

I have a fantastic, very successful studio. My programming IS good (and I’ve got more in the works), we provide superior instruction, and the culture I’ve created is one of joy.

I have pretty good skin, purple hair that’s soft and healthy, nice boobs for 47, and good concealer.

Y’all, I’m trying. I’m trying to realize when I’m triggered, when feelings of inadequacy creep in, then really look at why. Our brains are powerful, but they’re also sometimes ridiculous and can make us crazy. I don’t want that for myself.

So me and myself…we had a talk…

Comparison is the thief of joy, Amanda. You know that, and you preach it all the time. Slap some blinders on, and stay focused on all you have, all you do, and all you’re set to accomplish. And that woman with the bins…who makes homemade jelly… with the pretty boobs…she has her own struggles and her own insecurities. SHE probably admires YOU.

I want to be happy for me. I want to be happy for her. I want to be my own cheerleader and hers. I want to pat myself on the back more often and celebrate her accomplishments, too. This will work out nicely if you’ll get out of your own head, stop comparing, and quit keeping score.

Y’all, the world is already unkind. It pits us against each other without us even realizing it’s happening. The best we can do is start bridging the gap by dealing with our own insecurities, believing in ourselves, and being proud of who we are. We can’t really support and encourage others if we’re all messed up inside.

So here I am sharing this with you in hopes that there’s some kinship, that you relate, that you have insecurities, too, that you might join me in cleaning up our act together and getting our heads on straight so we can go be the strong, confident chicks we need to be.

Let’s enjoy our day, Y’all, and be proud of ourselves, our homes, our work, even our boobs. Then we can go clap for everyone else’s.

Published by Amanda Herring, Writer

Practical wisdom, joys and pains, motivation and tough love, from the perspective of a Mississippi mom, traveler, business owner, goal crusher, substance seeker, and full-time dreamer

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