This week, I wanted to use our time together to talk about what I think, is one of the most negative behaviours to blight our modern world – comparisonitis.
Yes – it’s the debilitating behaviour of constantly comparing ourselves and/or our lives to that of others. Comparison breeds negativity. And constantly comparing yourself to others will steal your joy, so it’s time to ditch this behaviour and stay in your own lane.
Of course, with the amount of social media that we are all exposed to these days, it’s hard to avoid seeing or hearing about people’s lives and adventures without wondering why our own don’t seem to measure up. We may start to feel insecure about the choices we’ve made in our lives and even feel like we are inferior in some way. What are we doing wrong? Maybe we are just unlucky compared to everyone else?
Well, I’m here to tell you that this is absolutely NOT the case.
There are so many reasons why we should STOP this behaviour immediately. Aside from the fact that ‘comparison-itis’ is the thief of joy, and bad for our mental health, here’s a few other reasons why you should stop immediately:
1. We are each unique
Comparing ourselves to others is like comparing a diamond to a ruby. Waste of time. We are each unique. Individual. There is literally no one else out there who is exactly like you or like me.
Our different backgrounds and experiences, combined with our own unique personality means that the life that we are living is very much our own.
This doesn’t mean that we can’t share certain thoughts and feelings, or feel a sense of empathy and mutual understanding when we have gone through similar experiences to others, but we are still essentially very different people.
And therefore it’s not really fair on anyone to be compared to others, because everybody is so unique and different – so different and so unique in fact, that it makes comparison unequal.
2. The ‘Highlight reel’
What someone else shares on social media, is very unlikely to show the full story of what is going on behind the scenes in their life right now.
Try to remind yourself that what you are seeing is the ‘highlight reel’ – carefully curated to minimise any imperfections.
Looking at someone’s Instagram page, it may seem like they have it ‘all together’, when in fact they just didn’t share all the hard work and struggle that they experienced along the way. It is not fair to compare yourself and your ‘real-life’ experience to the ‘highlights reel’ of another.
3. Remember who you are
Even forgetting that we are each incredibly unique individuals, it’s not productive to be comparing yourself to others in a judgmental way.
Doing so tends to erode our self-worth – making us feel inferior, and it sends a message to our subconscious that our self-worth is directly linked to how we perform compared to others. This is definitely NOT a good thing to base your self-worth on!!
What you have, or have not, achieved in life doesn’t define whether you are a good person or not. You can be a good person regardless of where you are in life. Being a good person is more a case of acting with kindness and integrity, – it’s about who you are BEING, not what you own.
4. Stay focused
Instead of paying too much attention to what is happening in other people’s lives (particularly of those people you don’t know very well), bring your focus back to yourself and what you want to achieve in your own life. What are your dreams? How can you make them a reality? Create action steps to get you there and then do them! Take the action. If you are concentrating on your own path in life, what others are doing around you will seem much less significant.
Continually comparing yourself to others can really erode your self-confidence and self-worth, leading to much in the way of negative self-talk. So instead of comparing yourself as you scroll through social media, how about you use the stories to inspire you instead.
If you see or hear of someone who is where you want to be, use it as inspiration to get much more specific around your goals. People sharing their struggles can provide much in the way of motivation. For example, they may inspire us to adopt a healthier lifestyle or to say YES to a new challenge.
The most important lesson in all of this is – if you must scroll through social media, then do so from a place of INSPIRATION and not from a place of COMPARISON.
This one simple mindset shift will make a huge difference to how you feel as a result.
x Until next time, sending you love x
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