I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I used to compare myself all the time. To friends, family, colleagues, even people who were born in to wealth, fame and fortune. It made me unhappy and I was smart enough to recognise what was going on and nip it in the bud. If this post influences even one person to make a change then I'm happy! I want other to see how easy it is to turn your future, mindset and attitude around. No one wants to live a toxic life scrutinising someone (or something) else, constantly matching themselves and measuring. That is not a formula for happiness. Life isn't a competition nor is it fulfilling living in a mirror.
I know what you’re wondering. Who did I compare myself to?
I compared myself to those who are… nothing like me. I know I’m not alone either. That slim Brazilian model (why can’t I have that skin colour?), successful business women (why aren’t I earning as much?), that mum who flies her one year old around the world learning to ski, sail and more? The other worlds really fascinate me as do people who are really disciplined (yoga people, the military, people who go to bed at 9pm, haha). Happy people interest me too BUT while this is great, I’m aware that jealousy shouldn’t be a motivator but curiosity should.
The online world is fake. Asking yourself when flicking through Instagram… Why can’t I be like that? Ugh! Cue escalation into self doubt; ‘Am I truly happy doing what I do?‘, ‘Am I completely satisfied in my life right now?‘ – TOXIC! Nip it in the bud immediately and shut the app off. How you’re doing compared to how others are doing is the worst kind of comparison because you can’t measure every element of someone’s life. Where you excel others may fail and online you won’t always see other people’s struggles.
In the beginning I did compare my blog to others. Huge blogs that had millions of followers from all over the world. It was crazy! I noticed my content leaning towards what they were doing and it became a headache. Luckily that only lasted a couple of weeks before I saw sense.
Now I never compared myself to other bloggers. I’m truthfully proud and embrace the fact that in the two years I’ve had my blog, I’ve managed to go through major life milestones (home renovations, marry, have a baby) AND maintain growth in readership/ hit just under 30,000 followers on Instagram (in under 1,000 posts too!). This was all without dedicating all of my time to work. I don’t normally number count but I know I’m on the right track; I’m on my own track. I recently had that light bulb moment of knowing where to take it and what avenues to focus on to evolve and develop the blog too so I’m really excited about the unknown future – just me on my own waving my little flag.
“I don’t stress, I see through the smoke and mirrors. Everyone needs to”
To some extent everyone is guilty of comparing themselves to other people / alien type, non-realistic people. It’s toxic. Don’t do it. Social media is entirely edited to show people’s best life, best side and favourable pictures. I see ‘influencers’ openly admitting they take 000’s of selfies before choosing “the one” (no time for that when you’ve a baby) and I know of people in enormous credit card debt who upload pictures of their new £££’s item, selling us lies with their over exaggerated captions “living my best life!“, “so happy right now!”
There are so many angles of comparison. Facebook stalking your ex’s new girlfriend? Do you feel resentful of other people’s success/experiences? Does it p’ you off seeing other people happy? This kind of envy has a huge impact on our human body/chemical composition. It’s stressful! You’re essentially saying “I’m addicted to watching you manoeuvre through this environment but I hate seeing you do well”. Ask yourself, how is envy controlling your life and what can you do to change it? I think it’s also important to be very aware that some social media channels should not be used for life inspiration. Especially Instagram. Pinterest doesn’t allow for feedback – it’s just a catalogue of images with minimal description. Little room for resentment and all the negative connotations that go hand in hand with comparison. Is it because we tend to never see the face behind the pin? Probably. Comparison really is the thief of joy.
Turning a Corner
In life, people and ‘things’ that we could use to compare ourselves to are everywhere. It’s a pretty miserable existence living life comparing yourself. Whether your focus is weight and body image, success, travel or materialistic, stop and take a moment to reflect. What is this behaviour giving you that enables you to enrich your life positively? Start from scratch. Don’t waste energy on other people – instead invest that precious time on yourself before it’s too late. Reflect on what you’ve achieved, give yourself a pat on the back and look to the future at what your next project could be. Unfollowing the sourness will truly give you a happier and more fulfilled and grateful existence.