“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Teddy Roosevelt
Who do you compare yourself too most frequently? It is the mom who has a spotless home and seems to always have her shit together? Is it the woman who can eat anything she wants and not gain a pound? Or maybe it’s the family down the street, with two perfect kids, the perfect dog, and the perfect marriage. Could it be the man that works down the hall from you, has the same job as you, yet he received the promotion you were up for? Is it the influencer who has a closet the size of your bedroom full of clothes, accessories and shoes?
With social media playing such a big role in our lives, it’s hard not to get caught up in scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. Have you ever felt envious of someone when you see something they post? In the same retrospect, have you ever felt better about yourself when you see a post?
Comparison is a war within ourselves. Some can deal with it effortlessly. Others, well it can tear them apart.
Audriana follows a blogger on Instagram whose New Year resolution was to unfollow anyone that she felt jealous of or that she compared herself to. As women (or men), we often compare ourselves to the Jones’ all the time in real life, which is hard enough. So why are we doing this to ourselves over social media?
If we want to live our lives to the fullest, then comparison shouldn’t be something that overcomes us. I’ll say that again. If we want to be someone who lives our life to the fullest, then comparison shouldn’t be something that overcomes us.
This is me. Comparison overcomes me every day. I’ll be honest, anxiety medication helps. It’s not just social media that gets me, (though I do think if someone struggles with their mental health social media can really cause some damage) it’s people in my family, my friends and some acquaintances.
The longer I have realized this about myself the more I’ve come to accept myself as who I am and what I am blessed with. But this wasn’t always the case. If anyone is struggling like I have, I feel you. I came up with a few tricks over the years and once I let mentally let them kick in, it did make a difference.
Learn to compete with yourself instead of others.
This was hard for me. I actually found this strategy on google in the middle of a workday (Dave Ramsey came up with it), when I really needed it. When I see someone doing something, that could be the exact same thing I am doing, but my result sucks, I start to get so down on myself. I started just trying over and over to remind myself that I can get better and that it’s not about them.
Accept yourself where you are in your life.
Another tricky one for me. Dustin and I started our family at a young age. We both we in college full time and working full time. There were a lot of couples who we knew that had kids around our kids’ age. Those people had beautiful homes, beautiful cars, and could go on beautiful vacations each year. At that point in our life, we were struggling to make ends meet. I’m not sure that I learned this lesson until we were out of this stage in our life. It’s a really hard one to accept. But everything is as it’s supposed to be. We learned so much from the struggles we went through. This is something I wish someone would have told me because learning it on my own was a struggle.
Focus on what you have, rather than what you want.
Count your blessings. There have to be good things in your life that you can focus on while you move forward.
Remember that Social Media is full of altered realities.
What you see isn’t always what you get. Filters and small clips of a person’s reality is all you get. So, you may see a glimpse of someone’s life, but you don’t really know what’s happening behind the scenes.
Acknowledge your strengths.
Make it about you for a minute. Show off. You are just as great as you think everyone else is.
Focus on the journey.
We’re all trying to make it somewhere. We all have goals. Whether it’s to be a CEO, buy a new home, or go on a fancy vacation…we are all trying to get somewhere. The journey has nothing to do with what everyone else is doing. It focuses specifically on you. Another thing I really struggled learning and, again, probably learned the hard way, by missing out on parts of life.
Something I have been telling myself lately is that I only get one life. Not only do I compare myself to so many different women out there, but I compare my kids to other kids. During that time, I am unable to be unapologetically happy. Once I realized that, something clicked. It’s definitely not easy and I don’t personally think I’ll ever be able to completely stop comparing myself to others (and maybe even my kids to other kids), but I do know that I don’t want to waste my life thinking about other people’s lives.