Recently I came across a quote from Steven Furtick, an American pastor and author. He says, ' The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel'. As I pottered around my disorganised house I thought about these words.
Often it is true we are comparing ourselves to 'the highlight reel' of other people's lives. We often don't see and therefore aren't aware of the struggles and the mess behind the scenes.
When we read another person's writing we only see the finished product. We don't know about the early drafts and the many rewrites. There may be numerous efforts that were abandoned. We aren't aware of the doubts the author has about his/her ability. We see the novel on the bookshop shelf and don't know it was rejected by ten publishers before it was accepted.
Someone stands up to give a speech. She/he is immaculately dressed and appears confident. We admire the way the person speaks at the right speed, pauses for effect and smiles at the audience. Why can't I be like that? We don't know how long it took to write the speech, perhaps with help from others. We also don't know it took ages for the person to get dressed and how many times they looked in the mirror before they were satisfied they looked okay.
Even with people who speak in front of an audience regularly and can now do it with a fair degree of ease, we don't know about the early days. In the beginning they were likely very nervous and may have made mistakes on stage. It is the same with people undertaking other tasks. They were all beginners once.
A friend turns up at a function with a plate of lovely muffins and we wish we could produce something so effortlessly. Actually, it wasn't effortless. Only the best muffins are on the plate and you should see the mess in the kitchen.
We look at the finished product on an internet cooking site or the 'here's one I prepared earlier' vision on television. It looks really good, doesn't it? How come my cooking never looks that good you ask as you get up and answer the door. We don't know the salad has been sprayed with a mist of water to make it look moist or that those cooked vegies were brushed with oil just before the photograph was taken.
It can be easy to be envious of the lifestyle of others. We see pics of friends' holidays on FaceBook or other social media. Of course everyone is smiling in the photo. We don't know about the family fight ten minutes later or the struggle to pay for that trip.
Of course we are aware of our own shortcomings and struggles. Sometimes we concentrate on them instead of our achievements and the good times. We can forget to feel gratitude for the blessings in our day to day life.
We tend to see the highlights of other people's lives. Usually it is only those nearest and dearest to us who let us see their 'behind-the-scenes'. Sometimes even they choose to keep those things to themselves. If we remember others have much going on 'behind-the-scenes' perhaps we will feel less insecure.