They’ve got it all figured out.

Ever read a blog and think the author’s got it all together?  Then you kinda start feeling like you’re just different somehow. You can start feeling like everyone else has it figured out, and somehow you missed the day they handed out the programs.

I know I have. The days that I don’t sleep well, the kids are just grumpy and squabble, the days I go for convenience instead of nutrition — those days, I can end up on the couch, channel surfing or staring at my phone screen, wondering how I got so messed up, why can’t I find the motivation and just feeling depressed.

It’s all fake.

Here’s a hint: no one has a secret instruction manual. There aren’t special people with organization genes. And there is nobody out there who has it all figured out.

What you see on SnapChat, Instagram and Facebook is the best self, the polished look, and that isn’t the real thing. Those pictures of the fifth take, not the first. You see the celebrations and maybe the big crises, but rarely do you see the days of messy pony tails, carpets of toys, and overflowing garbage cans.  We all clean up before guests come over, and social media is just the cleaned up version of our lives, not the real ones.

We’re grateful.

In building a business, it’s often tempting to think that the blogger you follow or the expert you hire aren’t at all impressed by you. But did you know that most of those people are probably only a couple of steps in front of you in business building? They still get a thrill whenever someone says yes.

That blogger you follow? Is humbled and honored that you find their words worth reading. That coach? Probably did a happy dance when you took her call. That expert? Rewarded themselves with chocolate or wine when you signed that contract.

We all are just doing our best. Some days are better than others.

I get asked frequently how I “get it all done”. The truth is, I don’t. I don’t get it all done. I have systems for getting the necessary things done, but even they don’t always work. Some days there isn’t enough day, energy or motivation to get everything — or even anything — done.

Balance is an illusion at best. There is no possible way to do it all! Despite what the tv shows, magazines, blogs, podcasts, scopes or facebook updates try to tell you, no one ever is doing it all, all the time. No one has got it all together — at least not for very long.

It’s useless to get upset when you can’t do it all.

Trying to do it all, and feeling frustrated, guilty or upset when you fail, is in itself useless. You aren’t actually that different than any one else, no matter what their life may look like from the outside. When you can understand that we’re all just ordinary people, trying to make it, just like you, things get easier to do. You’ll be motivated more, because the only person you are then trying to impress is you.

Comparison is an exercise in futility. We compare our worst days with someone else’s best day! That’s like comparing a puppy to the moon. Here’s the thing you need to remember: there is no one best way. No one does it the same way you do, and that’s ok. We all have different priorities and standards, but at the end of the day, we’re all trying to do the same thing, right? We all want to take care of ourselves, our families, our homes and live a life that means something. But how that happens doesn’t have to be the same in every home.

Same, but different.

I know this sounds contradictory, right? How are we all very similar when we have different circumstances, different personalities and different priorities? We’re similar because we want the same thing. We want to be happy, with happy kids, happy partners, and happy homes. We all want the same result.

The problem comes when we’re trying to compare methods. We look for tips and tricks on Facebook groups and we talk to our friends and family.  You pin life-hacks on Pinterest, and sign up for the next email course promising to “change your life” in 3 easy steps. We ask for advice (which isn’t a bad thing, btw) but we get upset at ourselves when a technique that worked for that mom-blogger doesn’t work for us. It worked for them, we argue, and look how successful they are. Something must be wrong with me, you think.

Nothing is wrong with you.

You’re normal. You aren’t that different from me, I promise. However, the subtle differences that do make us two unique people are enough that what works for me, may not work for you. That’s ok! It’s not you then, it’s the method that’s wrong, and you just need to try a different way.

Once size does not fit all.

I once spoke with a life-coach. I requested this — it was one of those 30 minute free calls that a lot of coaches offer. In this “strategy session” as she described it, I talked about some difficulties I was having with my morning routines. I was feeling rushed, and the whole morning was feeling chaotic, with it ending with fights more often than not between the kids at breakfast. She offered me some advice, which was basically to get up a little bit earlier, to try to get ahead of my kids.

The problem was that she didn’t ask enough questions first. She didn’t know, for example, that I don’t do well in the mornings physically (I’m what they call a night owl) and losing that bit of extra sleep in the mornings wasn’t going to help me much mentally. That coach didn’t know that I’d had a major health crisis a few months earlier, and was still regaining my health. She didn’t know why my children were squabbling in the mornings, and she didn’t really know what my usual morning routine actually was. She made a lot of assumptions based on the fact that we had a few things in common (more than 3 children, both homeschoolers, both work-at-home-moms), that weren’t actually true about me.

Are you like me?

The methods then couldn’t be the same for both of us. She offered me good advice — for someone who was like her. I wasn’t like her at all. And the advice she gave me actually ended up setting me back. Losing that few minutes of sleep every morning depressed my immune system and I ended up with the flu! Using the same method as someone else definitely didn’t help me.

The point is, we were very similar. We were both moms, trying to do our best for our kids. We both had larger families and we both had similar priorities for our children. But we were very different people with different needs. The method that worked for her wasn’t the right one for me. I could have wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn’t even handle getting up just a few minutes earlier, but the truth is, I can’t, and there actually isn’t anything wrong with me. I just needed a different way.

It can work differently for you.

I didn’t get upset with her, and I didn’t get upset with myself either. I simply found a different method that helped and went on with my life. No anxiety, no angst, no emotional frustration or venting needed.

We aren’t that different, you and I.  If you read my blog at all, you know I definitely don’t have it all together. I’m barely holding it together at all! Maybe something I’ve shared doesn’t apply at all to you.. but maybe it does. I’m just here to share one of many solutions.

I’m not that different from you
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