Thursday, June 21, 2018

Friendly Reminder: Don't Compare Yourself to Others

Just a reminder: don't compare yourself to others. It can lead to jealousy and low self-esteem. I provide tips that can be part of your self-care routine and overcome low self-esteem.

I know, I know. You're probably rolling your eyes and thinking, "I already know this, Donna!" Even though you know already, a friendly reminder to not compare yourself to others wouldn't hurt because I know that it's really easy to do and hard to stop. And, with the social media being an integral part of our lives, it's even easier now than ever before. It can leave you feeling low, like you're not successful, like you're not doing enough, like you're not pretty enough, and/or like you're just not enough.

I get it, I really do. To be honest, I've fallen victim to this so many times. And, I guess I've been doing it more lately so I need this reminder as much as you guys! But, you know what? I'm actually kind of sick of feeling sad and like I'm not enough anymore. So, I'm sending a huge "Fuck you" vibe to feeling like I'm not good enough and comparing myself to other people. So, I've decided to take a break from social media (except Twitter because I love Twitter and it brings me laughter and joy) and focus on myself. To be honest, I love taking breaks from social media because I feel like I can breathe again. It's almost like I have a little bit more clarity in my life. When this happens to me (and it has happened several times, but I'm working on it), I know what drives me crazy is the thought patterns that I tend to fall in and the fantasies I make up in my head, especially if I see a girl who is very attractive. Like, "Oh my god, she's so much more pretty. My boyfriend is going to like her more." Or, "I'm not sure if I can be as successful as them." when I see someone that I know promoting their business. When I became aware of these thought patterns, I've become better at identifying them and preventing them from happening by either taking a break from social media and/or keeping these three little friendly reminders in mind:

1.  Social media doesn't tell the whole story.

Most people only show their successes or happiness on social media. They don't want others to see their struggles and pitfalls. That girl (or boy) that you're jealous of, they probably struggled with self-esteem issues before they felt confident enough to post that picture. And, even if they didn't, they are still entitled to post that picture if they feel really good about it. That person that looks like they have their life together probably worked really damn hard behind the scenes to get where they are. And, why shouldn't they? They worked really hard. Damn straight, they should post their success. The point is, we don't know the whole story and we shouldn't unless they decide to share all aspects of their life or business. In the meantime, I think we should celebrate with them that they feel good about themselves. Or, at least not be so hard ourselves.

2. Prioritizing my energy is important.

I had a bad habit of creeping on people's social media, and I think it was just to make myself feel bad about myself. In this case, I was constantly deprioritizing my energy and prioritizing my insecurity. I was letting it grow stronger and stronger. But, it got to a point where I felt like I needed help because I was feeling really down almost all the time. So, I went to counseling. And my counselor told me: If there's any possibility that you MIGHT get hurt, don't go through that person's page because it's not worth trying to rebuild your confidence again. It was simple and obvious, I know. But it gave me a lot of perspective. It made me become aware of the fact that I was letting my insecurities take over and get stronger. Ever since that moment, I've become better at not creeping on other people's pages and muting/unfollowing people on social media if I just get really low looking at their stuff.

I'm going to be real with you guys. Sometimes if I see that someone is celebrating their successes on social media, I start to feel incompetent. I wouldn't say I would get jealous. I would be genuinely happy for them but I would get a feeling of, "Wow, I need to be there, too." And, then I would start going through these negative thought patterns and start to feel really insecure because I would compare myself to them. When I start to notice that I repeatedly feel this way with this person's posts, I'll mute their account, so I can't see their posts. It helps me recenter myself. Out of sight, out of mind. If I felt like it would be better to unfollow them, I would unfollow them.

So, my advice to you, if you find yourself feeling insecure over a certain account, mute or unfollow them. That way, you won't have a constant trigger for your jealousy, insecurity, hurt, and/or anger. If you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else offline, then stop hanging out with that person. You don't have to be mean about it or be so vulnerable and tell them why if you don't want to. You can just do a simple, "Oh, I can't hang out today." (But, if they're close to you, I would suggest being upfront with them only because I think it's unfair to them for you to suddenly disappear without an explanation and I would think that they would understand. But, do whatever you think seems fit.)  Do whatever is best for yourself on and offline. Remember, prioritizing your energy is important. 

3. Focus on me.

If you focus on yourself, you'll get where you want to be a hell lot faster than if you were to compare yourself to other people. Think about it, you won't have to constantly to talk yourself up to the confidence that you need to move forward. The faster you get to that confidence, then the less you'll compare yourself to others. At the end of the day, if you know that you're doing your best to be the best that you can be, that's what matters.

Do you guys have any friendly reminders that you would like to share? Comment below and share! I might even write a blog post about it!

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