Do I make as much money as my friends? Is my partner as cool as theirs? Are my kids’ doing as well as their friends? Am I pretty enough? Do I deserve good things? Why am I not getting that collaboration? Comparing ourselves to others is a natural human impulse… and it can make us really unhappy. It’s so hard to not compare yourself to others when people are sharing their life on social media. We have access to the best bits of people’s lives in a click of a button.
When you’re constantly measuring yourself up against others, you’re likely to fall short in more than a few places, decreasing your self-confidence and self-esteem. Even if what you’re seeing is just a snapshot it can be really hard to get over comparing yourself. If you can reduce these comparisons, you’re on your way to a happier, more confident place. Even if you just do it occasionally. I share my confidence tips and tricks on my Instagram all the time, but I’m only human. Comparison is the thief of joy… and self-esteem and it happens to me too! So here’s how I’ve been trying to avoid negative thoughts and how I’ve tried to boost my self-esteem over the last few weeks. I thought you might find them helpful too.
If you’re scrolling through social media, remember that it shows other people’s “outside” lives. If you’re comparing this with your own life, it’s their highlights vs. your lowlights – it might not be a true reflection of what’s going on in their lives (who hasn’t posted the clean corner of their otherwise whirlwind mess on Instagram to make themselves seem more organised??), and it doesn’t show the effort needed to get there. Your old school friend might be holidaying in the Bahamas this year, but they might also have saved up for the last five years to get there! Social media can be super misleading, so comparisons here can make you feel extra bad – if it’s impacting you negatively, it can be helpful to shut your phone for a bit. Even if it’s just an evening of self-care and chilling out. Some time away can do wonders!
Count your blessings
When you’re thinking about what other people are doing better, you can lose sight of what you have. What are your strengths? What are the things you have that bring you joy? What have you achieved that you’re proud of? Take a few minutes every day to write down five things that you’re happy about, and you might just see your self-confidence rocket. Bost about your achievements, big up yourself when you’ve done something well and start to work on your self-esteem by being kind to yourself.
You can also do little things that make you happy when you’re having a pang of comparison doubts. I’ll wear a favourite outfit that makes me feel good, spend time with my boys or go and tick something off my never-ending to do list. You can acknowledge that others are doing well too – you’ll be surprised at how good it can feel to boost other peoples confidence too!
This one goes back to social media use – no-one’s perfect, no matter how much it looks like they are. Same goes for celebrities and influencers. It’s okay (and completely normal!) to be imperfect, and that’s what makes you you. There’s only one YOU!
It’s easy to always talk negatively of yourself and point out the things you consider to be flawed, but to other people those flaws are assets. Plus, are they really flaws? so what if you have a double chin (one of the issues I had with these pictures and didn’t want to share them until I had a good talking to myself!). It’s who you are, what you look like and what you’re all about. That is OK! It would be boring if we were all the same person – wouldn’t it?
Pinpoint your triggers
Try to be aware of what things catalyse comparisons to others. Once you know where your weak points are, you can work on reducing your exposure to them – if you’re in a yummy mummy book club which always leaves you feeling small, get the hell out of there. If you have friends whose constant bikini pictures on Facebook make you feel insecure, hide their posts in your feed. Unfollow people on Instagram, or try to balance them out with people who make you feel good about yourself instead, like body-positive influencers or feel-good accounts. It’s self-preservation, it’s social media but it’s still YOUR space. Make it feel good and it’ll help make YOU feel good.
Overall, give yourself a little more love, a little more credit for how amazing you are. Comparison really is the thief of joy and although it can be hard to do, don’t be afraid of telling yourself how fab you are and float your own boat for a little while. oh and do it OFTEN because you really are amazing.