You’re scrolling through Instagram and see posts of her flawless skin, his beautiful teeth, her new job, his new car, her perfect figure, his health, their cute relationship and you start comparing yourself to them.
You’re walking through your town and notice her gorgeous smile, his height, her dress sense, his expensive trainers, her luscious hair, his muscles, their cute relationship and you start comparing yourself to them.
Stop comparing yourself to people. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is YOU.
Social media has become a catalyst for feeling inadequate. Spending so much time on your phone admiring other people steals away your happiness and it also stops you from FOCUSING ON YOUR OWN SELF. You need to remember that social media is often a highlight reel and people choose what they show others. They are likely to show their best side on social media because they’re aware that their followers are watching them. It’s often an escape from a more harsh reality for some people which might be another reason that they prefer to portray a more positive light on social media.
And if it’s not on social media, then people are likely to compare themselves to others in real life. It can be good to admire somebody else but not if that admiration deflates you.
There is always going to be somebody more skilled and more beautiful than you. But that doesn’t mean that you suddenly become less skilled or less beautiful. Don’t feel discouraged if you’re in a place that you don’t want to be in right now, time changes situations.
In 1954, Leon Festinger came up with the Social Comparison Theory which revolves around the idea that we compare ourselves because it’s human nature to understand who we are in order to evaluate where we stand in this world. Psychologists categorise social comparisons into ‘downward comparison’ and ‘upward comparison’. Downward comparison refers to comparing yourself to somebody who is in a worse position than you. This creates a fragile ground for your own self-esteem because you constantly look at other people’s weaknesses to recognise your strength. Upward comparison is when you compare yourself to somebody who is in a better position and although this might inspire or motivate you, you might continue to feel inferior if you can’t live up to the standards of another person’s achievements.
You shouldn’t be spending your life watching other people’s lives through a screen. And you shouldn’t be spending your life pinning yourself up against someone else either.
Here are 3 ways which will hopefully stop you comparing yourself to others.
1. You’re not them, you’re YOU!
It’s important to grow and evolve through different experiences in your life. Other people are on their own unique journey just like you are. Realising your achievements may be difficult when you’re listening to the voice inside your head which encourages you to look at other people’s lives rather than focus on yourself. But this only makes you ignore all the challenges that you’ve overcome because you’re measuring yourself against somebody else’s achievements instead of your own.
So take a moment to think about what you’ve overcome in your life.
You shouldn’t feel inferior about yourself by watching someone else’s progress. And you shouldn’t feel bad about where you are now compared to where you may have been in the past. Instead, set goals for yourself and think about what you want to improve about yourself.
2. Everybody has imperfections
Life doesn’t have a perfect. The people you are comparing yourself to aren’t perfect either. Sometimes it may feel like you’re the only person in the world with flaws but that might be because you don’t realise your own value and choose to focus on other people’s beauty. And I think that’s because we’re unforgiving towards ourselves.
So maybe it’s time to choose to forgive ourselves.
You’re human and you’re flawed but so is everybody else. That relationship you’re comparing yourself to or those people on Instagram/Twitter who seem to lead a better life than yours also have imperfections.
3. Love yourself
Self-love is so powerful. The moment you begin to fall in love with yourself, you will notice that you’ve always been enough. You will break the cycle of feeling inadequate and feeling like you’re not enough for other people.
So become enough for yourself first.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give yourself space to continue to improve because there can always be space for growth. But be at peace with the person you are right now instead of competing with another life.
Do things for you and your happiness; if you’re constantly doing things to show your best light to other people, then the light will start diminishing for yourself.
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