In the modern world, privacy is a hard thing to come by. Almost everybody uses some form of social media, and everywhere you look there are people sharing their lives for the whole world to see.
Any time you go online you are inundated with influencers, celebrities, and supermodels posting glamour shots and vacation selfies. Maybe that prompted you to search google “How To Stop Comparing Yourself to Others” and found us!
Even everyday people like your friends and family are constantly tweeting or Instagramming about their most recent successes.
We live in a world where content is everything. From blogs to YouTube videos to the latest TikTok dance craze, you can’t get away from it. As a result, it can be difficult not to compare yourself to others.
Although social media and the internet have plenty of benefits, they can also be damaging to one’s mental health. Advertising in particular is finely crafted to make its audiences feel like they aren’t good enough. After all, that’s the best way to encourage you to part with your money.
As the late American writer David Foster Wallace famously said: ads are there in order to “create an anxiety relievable by purchase.” A quick trawl through Instagram might leave you feeling as though you aren’t beautiful enough, muscular enough, rich enough, or popular enough. How can you possibly compare to these ridiculously good-looking wealthy influencers?
It’s important to remember that the problem does not lie with you. It is in our nature to compare ourselves to others, and these tech companies are well aware of this. In fact, it is how they make money and thrive.
These constant comparisons can be incredibly detrimental to your mental health. It doesn’t matter whether you have a “thigh gap” or you own the latest iPhone. These shallow aspirations will never make you feel better. The need to constantly live up to an unattainable standard can lead to stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.
It can also feed a cycle of online addiction where you are constantly checking and rechecking social media. This can drain your quality of life, leading you to abandon healthy, wholesome hobbies in favour of the empty world of cyberspace.
The best thing to do is to stop comparing yourself to others entirely. This may sound like an impossible challenge, but there are several steps you can take to quit this harmful habit. To get you started on the path to supreme self-confidence and mental wellbeing, here are some of the actions you will need to take.
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One of the kindest things you can do for yourself is to stop worrying about what you don’t have and start focusing on what you do have. Learn to be more grateful for the good things in your life. Although everyone is fighting their own battles, and you are no different, just remember that not everyone has it as good as you.
There are people out there who are much worse off than you, whether that’s in regard to their health, their financial situation, or personal struggles. Take some time each day to look in the mirror and be thankful for your good health and financial stability. Appreciate your wonderful friends and family and be grateful that you live in a peaceful country where you can be who you want to be.
Next time you find yourself looking at pictures of your friend’s expensive holiday or a social media influencer’s beautiful home, just remember that what you see is not the whole story. People tend to only share the good things in their life, and even then this snapshot is distorted through a lens of filters and complimentary camera angles. Just because someone’s life looks amazing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is.
The people you are envious of could be going through a number of personal struggles that you’re not aware of, because after all, who would ever share those things with millions of strangers?
When you go online you are only ever viewing the highlight reel from someone’s life, so instead of comparing yourself to them, why not go out into the real world and create your own highlight reel?
If you come away from social media feeling bad, it’s time to stop beating yourself up. Everyone has aspects of themselves that they don’t like and there is no benefit in fixating on these. A much more healthy course to take is to focus on your strengths instead.
Whoever you are, there is a range of great qualities that your friends and family love you for. Perhaps you are a compassionate human being, or you have a great sense of humour. Maybe you are the type of person to never give up no matter what adversity you are facing. If you are feeling self-conscious about your body or your appearance, remember that everyone is beautiful in their own way.
And even the most stunning celebrities on the red carpet have features that they would see as imperfections. Next time you look in the mirror, try to find three things you like about yourself. Perhaps you have great hair, perfect teeth, or brilliantly blue eyes.
The next time you start to feel downbeat about yourself, think back to these positive attributes and let your confidence grow.
We all have things we don’t like about ourselves, and we can’t let these rule our lives. Flaws are always magnified in the eyes of the beholder and they are never as significant to other people as they seem to you. Learn to embrace your flaws rather than hate them. See them as features that make you unique and beautiful in your own way. After all, a world in which everyone conformed to a universal standard of beauty would be a very boring one indeed.
If you are the type of person who constantly compares yourself to others, you should spend less time in environments that encourage this behaviour. Social media is by far the worst place for this, and therefore it is always a good idea to spend less time online.
Most people in this day and age are to some extent addicted to their phones. Make a conscious effort to break this cycle and take a social media detox. You can use your phone to set limits on how much time you can spend on particular apps and websites. Also consider scheduling screen-free time into each day, during which you keep your devices switched off and out of reach.
Use this time to focus on more wholesome, analogue hobbies such as reading, exercise, and socialising with loved ones. Starting new hobbies will give you something else to focus on and distract you from the initial discomfort that comes with breaking your social media habit.
If you scroll through your friend’s Instagram feed and feel a stab of jealousy or anger, this is unhealthy behaviour. Your friend is not doing anything wrong by sharing her holiday snap or posting about her recent promotion. Think about how you would feel if someone was upset by you posting your good news.
Learn to change your behaviours and teach yourself to celebrate people’s victories rather than envying them. If someone has good things going on in their life, this is undoubtedly a good thing. Celebrate your loved ones and let them know you are doing so by leaving them a nice comment or sending them a heartfelt message in response.
Acting empathetically will make you feel better about yourself, and will help you to break the habit of comparing yourself to others.
You don’t want to spend your life in constant competition with the people around you. If you’re always comparing yourself to the filtered view you see of people online, you will keep ending up feeling jealous and dissatisfied. A much healthier habit is to compete with yourself instead.
Take a look at where you are in life compared to five years ago. How far have you come from a career perspective or a financial one? Has your mental and physical health improved? Do you have a better social life or relationship with your family?
Set yourself goals for the future, and ask yourself where you would like to be in five or ten years time. Use these goals to shape your actions and work on yourself. This will ultimately make you a better, happier person, and you will soon forget the people you used to compare yourself to.
How To Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
In conclusion, it can be difficult to stop comparing yourself to others but it is possible. All you need to do is spend less time online and more time focusing on self-improvement.
Put down your phone, spend time with loved ones, and set yourself ambitious targets for the future. Before long you will be a completely different person and no longer so swayed by the actions and opinions of others.
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