This year, the month of November holds a particular significance for me. I’ll be turning 30 in a few days which has undoubtedly been cause for some personal reflection. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have accomplished in the last three decades – my career path, marrying my sweet husband, becoming a dog mom to a sassy & sweet little Corgi, making quite a few moves to new places and meeting amazing friends along the way.
I think self-reflection is completely natural and also very important, so long as it’s productive. What I mean is this – we can’t keep beating ourselves up because we haven’t accomplished X, Y or Z. Especially in this digital age, where so many highlights of our lives can be summed up in a little grid of squares with pretty filters (lookin’ at you, Instagram). When I reflect back on how far I’ve come, painful as it may be, I also try to make a point to look beyond those highlights at the not-so-shiny moments. I ask myself…
What caused me pain or anxiety?
Could I have handled the situation better?
How can I take what I’ve learned and parlay that into being a better spouse, friend or coworker?
And probably most importantly,
What am I grateful for?
Who supported me along the way and how can I return the favor?
At the end of the day, what’s the point in reflecting if you aren’t using those conclusions to better yourself as a person?
And when it comes to social media, the comparison game is a one-way street to nowhere. Having put myself out there as a budding “influencer”, I’m 1000% guilty of it too. What keeps me grounded is reminding myself that everyone’s path is different and everyone is going through different life events that are helping to shape them as individuals.
I encourage you to not only reflect on your own life and accomplishments, but also the lives of those closest to you. Let’s all stop the comparisons and instead, reach out to make those intentional connections we’ve talked about before. Start a conversation with your family, friends or significant other – ask them how they approach self-reflection. We’re all going through it so we might as well learn from one another in the process.
Erin is a native of South Carolina, where she attended Clemson University. She is the Social & Digital Media Manager for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. In her spare time, she creates content for her lifestyle blog, bushel + peck, which focuses on personal style, travel, food and much more. She also loves to travel to fun places, read good books, cook delicious meals, and spend time with her husband (Dan) and Corgi (Barbara Bush, aka Babs). Follow Erin on Instagram: @ebgabri