There will Always be a Con List


I follow a lot of random bloggers and entrepreneurs on Instagram. I say "random" because they are not a personal connection, and I'm truly not sure how I stumbled upon their accounts. And yet, I find myself fascinated by the lives of these people that I do not know, their pretty pictures, and their words of wisdom that I can't help but relate to. One of these accounts is a photographer, and she recently put up a post about the concept of the story behind the photo. Comments like this always resonate with me because they remind me how quick we are to compare ourselves to a surface-level depiction of reality. There's something encouraging about realizing that everyone feels like life is messy, nothing is perfect, and we aren't quite there yet.

Too often, we seek out examples of what we want to encourage us towards a goal. There's nothing wrong with this, per se; it's normal to benchmark. However, the problem is that visual examples, without the text to back them up, only tell a piece of the story. It's like looking at a happy wedding photo without knowing anything about the couple. It's easy to feel like everything is perfect when you see a joyful moment captured on film, but it's difficult to truly appreciate it when the story isn't shared.

When we compare ourselves to other people, we start to ask ourselves questions like "how did they get there?" and "why can't I get there?" without realizing that we're not digging deep enough. The truth is that there will always be a con list to any accomplishment you desire. Many people have expressed to me over the years that they are jealous that I own a business, especially at such a young age. And, while I completely understand, it often leaves me thinking about all the things that aren't visible to the public: the financial stress, the upset customer, the pressure to succeed, etc. etc. No, these things don't take away my joy in being an entrepreneur, but they are powerfully real and a constant con list, if you were to put it on paper.

We have to start recognizing that no one gets everything they want, and no one gets anything they want without a struggle. I don't care who it is that you're looking up to - someone with the perfect body, the ideal family, an amazing career. No one has it made. Behind every perfect picture is an imperfect story of imperfect people, who are doing their best to make an impact. The sooner we start sharing these stories, the more barriers we can break down in the name of insecurity.

So, if you're holding back because the con list seems too big, have a little faith that everyone has been in your shoes. We all question whether or not our dreams are worth fighting through the things that hold us back. I'm obsessed with Melissa Hartwig, the founder of the Whole30, and it would be so easy to look at what she's accomplished in the name of nutrition and assume that her health and fitness habits are a breeze. After all, she wrote the book. Yet, she goes out of her way to share about the concept of "Food Freedom" (her newest publication) and the fact that she did not get to her current state of life easily or immediately. Her mission is about making real and lasting change, rather than allowing people to get stuck in the anxiety and yoyo pattern of success and "failure" when it comes to nutrition. She's one example of someone who is brave enough to speak out, and it makes a difference.

Everyone has a story of how they've had to push through the cons in their life to get somewhere greater. We have to start asking the question "how can I?" instead of "why not me?"