Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper

I have a history of sabotaging my own happiness.

Whether it’s concerning my creativity, my relationships, or my success.  I often choose fear over love, sadness over joy, and comparison over contentment.

And let me guess: you have the same problem from time to time.

How’d I known? Because I’ve heard similar experiences from many other men and women. The same story of sabotage and sadness.

At this point in my life, I finally have the tools to combat it. And while I may not have the cheat sheet for habitually choosing self-love, I do have some concrete lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Let me share my three best mantras to go from success spoiling to sincere self-support:

1. Comparison is compulsive

Whenever I compare myself to others, I dampen my own creative drive. Despite that truth, I’ve pulled to comparison over and over again.

It starts with connecting to those who inspire me (whether it’s on Instagram, Snapchat, or by following a blog). My hope is that I can be enchanted by their lifestyle and feel empowered to do the same.

It’s a meaningful intention.

But the reality is it’s draining.  I see what they’re doing or putting into the world, and I think to myself, “I’m not doing enough.”

This type of thinking usually spirals into a self-deprecating conversation—where I cover every base to see how I measure up.

What am I doing with my life? Am I changing the world like them? I must not be driven enough.

What lights me up? Do I know what my passion is? I must not be creative enough.

What have I achieved? What the hell do I envision for my life? I must not be put together enough.

See what I mean? Complete self breakdown. The funny thing is I’m doing it to myself. No one around me is asking these questions. And in reality, most of the people who know me and care about me think I’m doing pretty cool things with my life.

So why am I pulled to sabotage my happiness?

I’ve decided it’s because my mind is just like any other muscle in my body. It has ingrained memory, which means it takes the same paths I’ve guided it to choose before.

Put more simply: the more I allow myself to compare and be self-deprecating, the more I subconsciously do it. The solution is ditching comparison, choosing to be grateful, and taking this new pathway over and over again.

And yeah…I’m still working on it.

2. Disconnecting is delicious

To reverse the comparison habit and establish new thinking patterns, I choose to disconnect. I sign off my social media accounts, I unsubscribe from newsletters and I avoid self-help books.

I go rogue by unplugging myself from most outside influences.

Now, of course, I can’t avoid all influence. I have my husband, my family, and my friends who provide equally molding expectations. But at least I can avoid the bullshit from the internet. The endless marketing and false ideals tell me I’m not enough and that I can be more happy, successful, or soulful if I just purchase this course or book or whatever.

At the beginning of 2016, this was my goal. I swore off all social media and exchanged the time I spent scrolling on Instagram to read books, journal, or practice yoga.

This time of disconnection was absolutely delicious. I felt more aligned to my desires, my dreams, and my loved ones. For once, I had to reach out to my family and friends to hear what they were up to instead of reading it via Facebook.

I kept my eyes on my own paper, and boy did my paper grow. I filled my journal with entries that outlined my truths. I observed the way I went through the day, I made plans on how I could change tomorrow, and I unearthed the dreams that live deep inside my soul.

And one of the biggest truth bombs was this:

3. Infinite fulfillment is farfetched

When I read about the business owners, yoga teachers, and world travelers who “inspired” me, I craved for one thing I thought they had: overflowing fulfillment.

I imagined that once I had the six-figure online business, once I could hold a handstand or once I had traveled to India, I’d finally be fulfilled. I’d finally find my happiness.

The reality? When we imagine our fulfillment or happiness is in the future, we miss the gifts we have right now.

Now, I’m not saying that once you live in the present you find fulfillment. In fact, I believe the concept of total contentment is farfetched.

Rather, I believe in a never-ending journey where we have the opportunity to experience all emotions—from feeling content to feeling deprived and from feeling happiness to feeling pain.

Life is an experience in physical form, where we can absorb a flurry of sensation in every moment. There’s really no such thing as reaching a destination—except maybe death but even then who knows. It’s not solely about finding success or achieving a goal because these things feel great, but the sensation is fleeting. And suddenly, we move numbly from one thing to the next.

When I live moment-to-moment and experience all of the emotions (even loneliness and sadness), I am reminded that I am alive.  And that alone is a gift worth celebrating.

Let’s all choose to be present where we are right now, regardless of the circumstance. Life is not all rainbows and unicorns after all. It’s equally made up of dark days and Demogorgons, and I believe there is beauty in both.

Moving forward

These mantras are not a magic pill. It will take work, perseverance, and gentle kindness to combat your self-sabotage.

But if you continue to remind yourself that comparison is compulsive, disconnecting is delicious and fulfillment is farfetched, sincere self-love and support are always available to you. As long as you’re alive and keep your eyes on your own paper.