Ever wondered how you can actually stop comparing yourself to others online?
There's a bazillion quotes out there that say 'comparison is the thief of joy', or 'don't compare your behind-the-scenes with someone else's highlight reel', or similar – there's a few banging about.
And it's easy to recognise that they're of course true. But how do we actually stop comparing ourselves? That bit? – not so easy.
Well my treasure, because big-sister Kerry takes great pleasure in having your back, why not have a little play with these lil' tips and see how you get on. You'll soon be the one others are swooning over online, wondering how you got so damn awesome ;)
Tip No. 1: Notice it and chart it
Say you're on your 156th visit to Facebook today, and you’re in full-speed comparison mode. You. Are. On. Form. You've tumbled down the ol' social rabbit hole, you've ended up in someone's random photo album, and you get that familiar sinking feeling; 'Why isn't my life like this?'
Notice it. Right there and then. Don't ignore it and carry on comparing regardless. Nip it in the bud. Get your journal or a piece of paper, then write down what you saw and how it made you feel. Did it make you feel energised or motivated? I suspect not or else you wouldn't be reading this blog post. My guess is that it probably made you feel deflated and discouraged. Am I right? Whatever emotions it conjured up, it's super important to write them down.
I've gone on before about how writing things down is a real game-changer in changing habits that you want to break. Wanting to stop comparing your life to others once and for all, is no different. If you can witness, in real-life words on a page, how something you're repeatedly doing is making you feel so sh*te and down on yourself, then it makes it a helluva lot easier to stop that habit. Belee dat.
Tip No. 2: Focus on you
So you've tapped open Instagram and have started scrolling away, getting lost in someone else's filtered version of their seemingly amazingly-successful, beautiful life. They're in New York one week, Paris the next, they're dressed impeccably and have a gorgeous beau on their arm to share it all with. And you're thinking, 'Ahmagaaaad, why the hell isn't this my life?!' Well let's stop right there sugar. Have you made any concerted effort for that to actually be your lifestyle? Or, are you prepared to go to the effort of what it takes to have multiple holidays in a year just for the glory of half a dozen Instagram-snaps documenting it? There's an assumption that seemingly successful people have it easy, like their lifestyles just fell into their lap, but actually for 99.9% of the population that's not reality. This someone you're comparing your life to, has most likely been grafting for years and years to create a location-free lifestyle, but chose not to document that bit. They've most likely made huge personal sacrifices and maybe not seen their family and friends in forever to create this outwardly glamorous satellite-living set-up, but chose not to share that really challenging bit with the world either. What you see is very rarely what you get, and so wasting your time comparing what you have (reality) with something you've no idea about, is quite literally pointless y'know?
Instead – why not think about what awesome things you could be doing for yourself in that time you usually spend looking at someone else's life? If you do genuinely dream of New York one week, and Paris the next, find out how you can make that happen. Adapt. Stop buying things you don't need and save. If you want to be able to work anywhere, take steps to create that life. It doesn't have to be a pipe dream honey!
Tip No. 3: Keep it real
So we're all pretty good at knowing what's real in our own lives, but how good are we at knowing what's real in other people's lives? Erm, we're not. And it's actually impossible to be good at it. Because they're not our lives. This is the key bit.
So the next time you're socially-scrolling and simultaneously comparing, pay some attention to what you’re actually comparing to. Is it real? Are those AMAZE Sophia Webster shoes actually owned by whoever you're envying? Or have they re-posted a model's treads? Or have they taken a shot just trying them on in a shop?! Tbh it doesn't actually matter if they own them or not, but I'm just trying to get you in the habit of realising not all might be as it seems.
And hey, just for the craic, even if those shoes are theirs and you're maybe right to swoon with envy, isn't it fun to use your imagination conjuring up these shots' potential elaborate set ups anyway?! :)
Tip No. 4: Assess your own sitch
I personally think the main reason you're choosing to spend your time in someone else's life, and comparing what you have to what you think they have, is because you're not 100% happy with what you have. So if you find yourself aimlessly beating yourself up during an Instagram compare-a-thon, ask yourself, where am I at? Am I where I wanna be in my life?
What changes can I make today to change my situation? Can I enrol on a course and empower myself with knowledge? Can I start a new fitness class and work towards that tush I always wanted? Can I look into the technicalities of how I could move to San Francisco and legit live that West-Coast-dream? Whatever it is that you'd love your life to look like, help it take shape man! It won't happen on its own.
To sum up, I guess we really just need to ask ourselves if. it. matters. Like really. If someone's 'living the dream', does that stop you living your own dream? Uh-uh. Does where someone else is genuinely impact where you are? Nah, didn't think so. Does evaluating your own success against someone else’s negate your own achievements? Nopety nope. It doesn't. They're still there.
Your life is no-one’s business but your own, and someone else's life is no-one else's business but their own. Sure it's nice to share cool things that you experience with the world, via social media, but it's just crucial to understand that that's not their WHOLE world. And that's what helps you actually stop comparing your life to others.
Let me know if any of these tips worked for you by commenting below, or share these tips with a friend who needs 'em 💋