I’ve always struggled with the comparison game. Going as far back as childhood I remember being this way. I would compare myself to people on tv, in magazines, but mostly to my friends and classmates. I don’t know how many times over the years I’ve heard from my mother that it’s not good to compare yourself to others, and yet, to this day I’ve never stopped. And unlike in my childhood, now the element of social media is involved.
Comparison and Social Media
Don’t get me wrong, I think social media can be great. People can grow their businesses, people meet or reconnect with friends, and some people just use it for fun. But there’s definitely a dark side to social media and the effects it can have on people’s self-esteem.
Whatever you’re insecure about, be it your fitness level, the amount of money you have, the way your home looks, the way you dress, whatever, you’ll find tons of people on Instagram to compare yourself to. As I mentioned, social media can be absolutely great, but it does sometimes set unrealistic expectations. You see a beautiful, seemingly perfect photo and compare yourself or your photos to it. But you don’t see the “behind the gram”. Maybe the person took 4 hours to set up the shoot and photograph it, and then maybe they spent a couple more hours going through all the shots and editing the perfect one. I know I don’t have that kind of time, you probably don’t either, so I do the best with what I have.
I’ll agonize over what to post. What is going to grow my following? What fits with the rest of my feed? When I break it down like this, it all sounds pretty silly. I mean, how many other things in this world are way more important than Instagram? Yet I think a lot of us do this.
Lately this blog is where I’ve been spending a lot of my free time and putting my efforts into, so of course comparison has come in here too. Pinterest has been a major source of this. Seeing all the pins of how people made money in their first month of blogging or how they got so many more page views than I did. It gets hard. You question what you’re doing and why you’re not good enough. I felt like I was doing all the things I was supposed to, so why didn’t I get the results?
Honestly, sometimes it’s just luck.
This isn’t just with blogging. It can be with anything. Sometimes people just do the right thing at the right time and lightening strikes. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is trying to compare yourself to this.
So what do you do?
Instagram, Pinterest, and other blogs are great places to draw inspiration, but when the comparison starts creeping in, don’t wallow in it. Stop yourself. Get up and take a walk. Give yourself a manicure. Pick an activity that’s more active or self-care. This will help lift your mood more than starting your next Netflix binge.
Sometimes you have to try to step outside of yourself to break the comparison cycle, at least right now. If Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs, or whatever is bringing on the comparison trouble, take a break from them for a while. Whether it be an hour, a day, or a year, take the time you need to mentally and emotionally reset. I know we all want to be successful in whatever we’re trying to do, but if we think everyone else is better than us, how will we ever succeed?
How do you handle the comparison moments? Let me know in the comments.