Social media, social gatherings, and what we see on tv can impact the way we see ourselves, and sometimes for the worse. Spending hours scrolling through Pinterest pictures can make me crazy! I start out feeling inspired by new home projects, cool outfits, and fun hairstyles, only to realize that I don't have the money for that incredible DIY project, the curves for that dress, and my hair isn't long enough or thick enough to pull off that braid! Phew!
Maybe you're feeling on top of the world. You're driving home from a successful day at work, sunroof open, enjoying the perfect summer weather. But then, you log on to Facebook and see that so-and-so got a promotion, a new car, or is spending time in a tropical paradise. All of a sudden negative thoughts and emotions start to creep in. Why can't I just have what he/she has?
Comparison is the thief of joy.
For Better or Worse
It's amazing how quickly our outlook on life can shift based on our comparison to those we perceive as "better off" than ourselves. On the same token, it can be just as destructive when we compare ourselves to those who we perceive as "worse off" to feel better about ourselves.
Our circumstances may be out of our control, to an extent, but our mood, thoughts, and actions are 100% in our control! How we perceive ourselves and others is a choice. We are all so different and there really should be no comparison--instead focus inward!
Eyes Facing Forward
When I was on swim team and ran cross country, my coaches always taught me not to look left and right or behind me. If someone was on my tail, turning back would only slow me down and cause panic to set in.
- Looking left and right can be frustrating and exhausting
- Looking back can be depressing and discouraging
- Looking inward is enlightening and illuminating
- Looking forward is exciting and uplifting
Do the Internal Work
Comparing your circumstances, looks, possessions, and status to others who you perceive as better off can deflate your ego while comparing yourself to those who you perceive as worse off can falsely inflate your ego. When we get too caught up competing with and ranking ourselves above or below others, our motives shift--we begin operating out of fear instead of love.
If social media is getting to you, try a digital detox. Unplug from your devices and spend some time with yourself!
Something I often remind myself is, the grass isn't always greener on the other side, it's greener where you water it! Rather than looking over the fence at the neighbors', put the blinders on and focus on what you can do to nurture and improve yourself!
Ways to Water Your Own Grass
- Flip your perspective!
- Act the way you want to feel
- Love yourself
- Do good for others
- Think positive thoughts
- Speak kind words
You are enough and you are worth it! Don't let comparison and critiquing rob you of joy and happiness! Be yourself, because there's nobody better for the job!
Face Forward + Focus Inward