Special editorial by Catherine S. Mills
How I Ended Comparison Culture In My Own House‒Once And For All
“Can you imagine a world where you wake up feeling content and confident? A world where you can jump on social media or go to a family event without comparing yourself?”
You know you do it. We are all guilty of it.
We see that mom on Instagram or our cousin across the Thanksgiving table with the perfectly behaved child. They all seem so self-assured and happy. Their children seem like angels.
And I think to myself. What am I doing so wrong?
As a new parent, we all look around for benchmarks for what is working for others and how we can make this parent-thing work for ourselves.
However, this can go downhill very, very fast. And for me, it lasted a lot longer than just the newborn phase.
It’s been seven years since I had my daughter, and yet, I was still feeling like I was failing as a mom. Sometimes I would become so caught up in what I wasn’t doing right or what I should be doing that I couldn’t even enjoy the present. And that just made my mom-guilt snowball even bigger.
This was not the empowered, impressive woman I dreamt of being, nor the example I wanted to set for my daughter.
The Day That Changed Me Forever
One day I was confiding in a close friend of mine about the struggles I was having at being a good-enough mom. How I feared my daughter would inherit my low self-esteem. [More snowballing guilt…]
She said, “I know how you feel. Society and social media can be very loud; they can make us feel like we are not enough. But the trick is to stop looking out there and start looking inside. To learn to recognize the good things that surround you and what you have, right now.”
I replied, “Okay, that sounds nice. But I don’t think some hippy-dippy meditation can fix this problem.”
She said, “I’m not talking about something woo-woo, I’m talking about a journal. Specifically, a gratitude journal. And I have the perfect one for you.”
Luckily, she had loved her Gratitude Finder® so much that she had bought more for friends and family. So she ran home to grab one. She returned flushed and smiling, Gratitude Finder® in hand.
She said, “Trust me. Try this out for a week, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to keep it. And a quick tip, instead of reaching for your phone in the morning, reach for this.”
I replied, “Okay, I guess I can give it a try.”
I quickly started looking through the finder and was really excited about what was inside.
What's In It
This 52-week Gratitude Finder® is non-dated, so there was no pressure to keep it up. I thought how ironic would it be if a journal to help my mom guilt would make me feel like a failure. But with the Gratitude Finder® you can jump right back in, even if you accidentally miss a day or two. It is filled with questions, quotes, and prompts so you can sit down and just start writing.
The space is just the right size, too.
I love the “words of the week” quote bubble where you can write down something sweet you hear or the random acts of kindness section to jot down even the smallest act of kindness I’d like to remember for later.
Each week has a place designated for three people or experiences to recognize. Wow, it really made me open my eyes. There are also 165 hand-illustrated, smile-provoking stickers that added a special touch. I had forgotten how much I adored stickers as a kid!
And with a water-resistant cover, laminated tabs, and elastic enclosure, you can bring it with you anywhere and keep it for a lifetime. My friend said she would flip through her old finders sometimes, especially when she needs a little pick-me-up.
I Tested It Myself ‒ Did It Make Me More Confident, More Positive?
After the glowing review my friend gave, how could I not give this gratitude thing the good-old-college-try?
I was determined to start this off right. I set aside a few minutes in the morning to journal. I grabbed my favorite hoodie, a warm cup of coffee, and sat outside for some quiet. Immediately the bright colors and uplifting quotes made me feel more hopeful. I started to journal just a few lines. As I closed the journal, I noticed that I felt lighter, more relaxed, and happier.
This morning was a rough one. Lately, my daughter has been waking up earlier, so I’ve been journaling at the table right after breakfast.
Despite the flexible routine, after 15 days, I felt calmer, more positive, and more secure in myself. I even, dare I say, was sleeping better and waking up feeling more rested.
My daughter even started to take an interest.
After 30 days, I feel like a whole new person. Just taking some time to take care of me at the start of the day has centered me and helped me go through the day with greater confidence and calmness. It’s also given me a new perspective. Throughout the day, I’ve started to tune into things that I can journal about later. It’s like I’ve trained my brain to find good things. [Insert my a-ha moment here: Gratitude Finder®...I get it now!]
While I’m still on social media seeing all the same perfect people & their perfectly perfect posts, I’m no longer comparing myself. I feel more grounded, more confident and fearless in my own choices, outlook, and decisions.
Fast-forward to three months later, and I am still journaling in my Gratitude Finder®.
My daughter even wanted one!
She’s seen me journaling for a few months now, and she wanted to give it a try. I rushed online to grab a Gratitude Finder® for her, too (I also grabbed a few more, for friends and family, just in case.)
Now we are journaling every morning together after breakfast. It is such a sweet, quiet time for us to connect with each other and ourselves. Starting our day with just a few minutes of journaling has given us both a deeper appreciation for what we have, who we are and the loved ones around us. With a perspective like that, there’s no inclination to compare ourselves with others.
The Gratitude Finder® has helped me become a more self-assured, resilient person. And more than that, I love the effect it’s had on my daughter, especially during her formative years.
She is more thoughtful, confident, and less dependent on the opinions of others. She is becoming her own person with an incredible inner strength I wish I had at her age, or heck my age!
I love how the Gratitude Finder® has made me not only a more upbeat, confident person but also a better example for my daughter. I love that we both look in the mirror now, and instead of feeling insecure or negative, we feel proud and content.
Now instead of asking, “what’s wrong with me?” I start paying attention to what’s right with me. Even how can I help others feel this good and confident, too?
These Gratitude Finders® have been a life-changer for me, my daughter, my mother, my sisters, and my friends. I even gave one to my favorite barista for Christmas! She loved it!
Gratitude is a gift that we should be spreading to everyone throughout the year.
If You Can Get Your Hands On One ‒ Do It Now
If you can get your hands on one- do it now. These lovely Gratitude Finders® sell out fast, and I’d hate for you to be on the other end of a waiting list.
Last time I checked, they were offering 50% off! I would love for you and your family to try it and let me know what you think.
Don’t just jump on this deal for you, but for everyone in your life that could use some gratitude.
Say goodbye to inner doubt, and hello to unshakeable positivity and confidence!