The other day I was scrolling through Instagram and saw something someone is doing and started to feel bad about myself because I immediately compared myself to them. We are all guilty of this and social media makes it so hard to not get these feelings. I decided to write about this because I’ve been doing a really great job of not comparing myself to others, but even practicing and actively trying to stop this it can still happen. So, I’m here to talk about how to stop this instant human reaction to thinking you aren’t as good as someone else.
Like I said, I’ve been doing a great job of conquering this mentality. One thing I tell myself that really helps is, it’s simply not worth it. We as people give energy and emotion to thinking we aren’t good enough because something we saw online. It’s mentally draining and leaves us feeling upset. I’m not here to say delete your Instagram because that is just avoiding the situation, and honestly we need social media in today’s world. Social media is used for marketing, networking, keeping in touch with family, etc. You just have to actively change how you feel when you use social media.
My next piece of advice is to think about it. I was reading an article by Psychology Today that was discussing how to stop comparing yourself to others. A really great point that was brought up by Susan Biali M.D., was to think about who you’ve compared yourself to in the past 24 hours. Think about what posts you’ve felt envious of and think about why. I know the best way to avoid comparison is to not think about it, but at first to train your mind it’s necessary to think about it. She also said to avoid mindlessly scrolling through social media. When you scroll and scroll and scroll all these images are going through your mind and it automatically goes to feeling bad about yourself. Try thinking good thoughts about what you are viewing. Be happy for the person that got the internship you really wanted, or for the person that went on vacation, or the friend from high school that said they are on the Dean’s List. Think positive thoughts about what you are seeing. It’ll be hard at first, but after a while it’ll come naturally.
Another way to conquer comparison is to turn this negative way of thinking into a positive one. Along with being happy for others, use it as motivation for yourself. Take the example of someone getting an internship you wanted. First think good thoughts for them and then start applying for other ones. Maybe you just weren’t meant to have that experience. There are countless other things for you out there so push through and remain positive. Same as a friend getting on the Dean’s List – study harder, go to office hours, ask for help. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Turn this negative energy from comparison into motivation to better yourself.
Lastly, be grateful for what you have. Look around you and appreciate your life. No one else has what you have, and I’m not talking about material things here. Life is about the people around you and the experiences you have that make you you. There is only one you. Love yourself and what you are doing in life, because no one else can be you for you. It doesn’t matter what someone from high school might be doing right now. What matter is what you are doing. You are doing exactly what you should when you should and where you should. There’s no right or wrong way to approach life, it’s literally all up to you.