Social media can sometimes make it difficult to master contentment. I’ll be perfectly honest, these days when I go on social media, I post my thoughts and check the posts of maybe 3-5 people in my core friend group, and then move along.
My timeline is also carefully curated to ensure I see inspirational uplifting content. I’ve never really been one to monitor the lives of others, but I realize that this is a common issue for our generation and feel it is important to address the issue of comparison.
Comparing yourself to others will reduce your confidence, motivation, and self-esteem. If you want to become the best possible you, avoid comparing yourself to others. It doesn’t provide useful information, there’s little to gain and too much risk. You’re only going to upset yourself, also, that type of comparison isn’t fair in the first place and here's why:
Everyone has a different starting point. You might be a newlywed, but your friend has been married for 10 years. You can’t compare progress, results, or success unless the starting points are the same, and they never are. Even when they are, the individuals in the relationship are different, which makes it a completely different ball game.
Everyone has a different level of talent. Some people are born with a high IQ. Some people naturally have amazing hand-eye coordination. Others have a natural knack for music or math. Again, different starting points. For example, my son Emmanuel was born at 23 weeks and faced tremendous battles in his 11-month NICU stay, to compare his progress and life to that of others would be incredibly unwise of me.
The resources available to you and another person are different. If you want to play the violin and your father is a wealthy concert violinist, you have a huge advantage over someone born into a financially-challenged family that has no experience in music. Stressing yourself out about another person’s resources won’t bring you any closer to your goals, in fact, it can lead to discouragement.
There’s always someone better. There are only a handful of people that can make a reasonable claim to being the best at anything. There are nearly eight billion people in the world. That’s a lot of people you have to surpass to be the best. Why can’t it be enough to be your personal best? Must it be in comparison to another person?
Here’s what you can do to stop comparing yourself to others:
1. Compare yourself to yourself.
A better option is to compare yourself to yourself. Pay attention to your progress over time, it becomes easy to see your progress or the areas that still need improvement. As long as you’re making headway, you have a good reason to be excited!
Set a few goals and spend some time each day working on those goals. Strive to become better each day, you’ll be happy when you see the progress you’ve made.
2. Limit your exposure to social media.
In theory, social media exists to connect people. In actuality, social media is often used as a way of showing off:
You rarely get the real story. What you get is someone’s best attempt to make their life look better than it really is. Everyone, except you, seems to be living a spectacular life. It’s not true.
Be cautious with social media. Most people report being happier when they removed social media from their lives.
3. Use the success of others as inspiration.
The success of others can be useful to you. You can study how they became so successful. Their success can inspire you to become the best you can be. Just avoid comparing your success to theirs.
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