Have you ever looked at someone’s social media account and found yourself comparing your life to theirs? Suddenly your weaknesses are amplified and what you have is not good enough. Or maybe you have that one friend who seems to have it all together and reminds you of all the things you lack in your life.
Yes, I’ve been there! Plenty of times actually. Unfortunately, it’s something that many people experience and social media has made it even harder to escape this need to compare ourselves. We usually feel comparison the most when we perceive someone else as having something we want. For example: wanting a particular career and constantly seeing Tweets from people celebrating their achievements in that field. This can trigger us into feeling inadequate and lead us to wonder if it’s even going to happen for us.
Reasons why we compare ourselves:
- Unsatisfied with your life
- You feel like you’re working hard but not getting the results
- Pressure from society; market capitalism telling us that everything that we lack in life can be remedied by buying products thus causing us to feel like we are always in a deficit
- Lack of trust in your ability to receive those things someone else has
- Your definition of success and happiness is based on other people’s perceptions
Here’s why you should stop comparing yourself:
Unfairly fleshing out your weaknesses and judging yourself based on someone else’s strengths is unkind and unfair. What you are failing to do in those moments is appreciate the blessings that are currently in your life. Just because someone has what you want right now doesn’t mean it won’t happen for you eventually. Trust that things will fall into place when the time is right for you. Just do your best and continue to have faith that things will work out eventually.
You might be comparing yourself to someone else’s middle. We are all at different stages of our journey called life. You never know the hurdles and sacrifices that person went through to get to where they are now. The majority of the time there’s a whole struggle behind what we see. Even if you think or know that things came easy to a person and it feels like you are constantly struggling to obtain what they have, it’s a waste of time comparing yourself to them. Unfortunately for most of us, things don’t come easy and we have to go through plenty of obstacles to get to where we want to be in life. Don’t make those small examples (even though social media has a way of making them look like the majority) distort your reality. Don’t lose your ability to appreciate where you are now by solely focusing on the next destination.
Practical steps to help you stop comparing yourself:
1. Take social media breaks- I can’t emphasize this enough. Social media is a distorted version of reality with people trying to outdo the other. More importantly, taking breaks is good for your mental health. It makes you realize that there’s a life beyond social media to explore and nurture. Taking breaks allows you to gain an appreciation for the little things in life.
2. Stop yourself when you have negative thoughts- When you find yourself sinking into comparing yourself, say to yourself ‘stop’. grab a pen and paper or even your notes on your phone and answer these questions: 1. What happened to make you feel this way? 2. How do you feel? 3. What can I do to make myself feel better about this? If you do this every time, you will train yourself to deal with those feelings much better when they arise or even let them go completely.
3. Tune out the noise and focus on you- You need to be so focused on what you need to do and appreciate each step of the way that there’s absolutely no room for comparison to derail you. Imagine yourself in a bubble doing whatever makes you happy and pursuing your inner passion- focus on doing that or at least working towards it. Say no to any thoughts or people that ruin that peace.
4. Affirmations- Find affirmations that make you feel better about the insecurities you have about yourself and keep repeating them on a daily basis until you start to feel their positive effect. Affirmations are an excellent way to put things into perspective and give us that reassurance that things will work out fine.
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone” – Maya Angelou
“Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine within their own time” – Unknown
“Admire her beauty without questioning your own” – Ashley Welborne
“Compare yourself to the person you were yesterday”- Unknown
“Comparison is and will always be the thief of all joy.” Lisa Nichols
Questions to You:
Have you ever compared yourself to others?
Thanks for reading Love Ash, xx