Let’s review the last 24 hours you spent scrolling through social media. Did any of those updates help you feel highly of yourself as you read about someone else’s misfortune? Or rather, were any of the posts envy-inducing, subsequently making you feel less about yourself? The matter of fact is that we are all guilty in some way or another.
To be frank, the comparison game isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Feeling a sharp pang of jealousy over your friends’ successes may motivate you to work harder for your own, but when it becomes an obsession and you start wallowing in your inadequateness and misfortune, that’s when everything goes downhill.
Here are ways you can snap out of it and invest your time in better productivity:
1. Stop living through social media
We all know that mindlessly scrolling through social media is one of the quickest ways you may feel bad about yourself. These apps, created with the intent to connect people from all over the world, have now become a toxic habitat for comparison as its users continue to display their best selves and the best parts of their lives online.
Ultimately, a social media detox is great for the mind, body and soul from time to time. If you’re not ready to commit, start by unfollowing or muting certain people who have made you feel worse about yourself in more ways than one. This includes celebrities and influencers who live lavish lives or seem like they have everything easy.
2. Become aware of, and avoid, your triggers
At one point, you will start to take note of the circumstances or scenarios that cause you to fall into that pit. Once you do, take charge and do something about it. Be aware of things, scenarios or people that affect you negatively, then avoid these aforementioned triggers at all cost. Only you yourself can put the ultimate end to it.
3. Repeat your mantra (of choice) whenever necessary
Comparing yourself to others doesn’t add significance or real value to your life, though you may consistently do out of habit. In order to stop yourself from succumbing to that weakness of yours, start adopting positive mantras into your life and make sure you follow through.
A wise man once said, “The only person you should be comparing yourself to is your past self, present self and future self.” This statement (which should be your new go-to motto) not only makes sense, but could also be a vital step for you to keep your priorities in order as well as maintain a healthier lifestyle overall.
4. Be grateful for the good in your life
The most crucial thing is to resist these words, “It’s not enough.” Sure, your jet-setter friend Susan may seem like she’s having the time of her life hopping from one island to another, however you need to remind yourself that you don’t actually know what is going on behind closed doors.
Learn to appreciate the little things and commit to being deeply grateful for what’s good in your life. You will be satisfied and this will eventually make you less vulnerable to unnecessary comparison. Do what works for you. For us, it is listing down everything we’re thankful for and adding on to it whenever.
5. Forget FOMO
The dreaded fear of missing out (FOMO) may sound amusing, but in serious cases, it could very well be your trigger. To combat that feeling, keep yourself busy and distracted. Take up yoga or running. Re-discover your old passions like drawing or water colour-painting. When you’re happy with what you’re doing, you’re much less likely to worry about what someone else is up to.
6. Accept your past
How often have you tried to go to sleep, but for some reason, you find yourself being haunted by your deepest regrets? Those thoughts are inevitable, but they don’t have to be the be-all end-all. Instead of obsessing over the past, remember what you have learned from those regrets or mistakes and focus on those. More importantly, forgive yourself for what could have been or what you could have changed. You are living in the present and the only way you should look is forward.
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7. Understand that life is not a competition
Life is not a game, or something you can “win” — so train yourself to look for common traits instead of differences when you are studying another person. Don’t worry about how far ahead or behind others may be as everyone’s peak in life occurs at varying times of their lives. Yours may not be now, but it may be tomorrow or the year after. Work hard for your dreams and make them your reality.
8. Resist the urge to judge others
More often than not, you tend to assume that others will judge you as harshly the same way you do them. Comparing yourself to someone else can be detrimental to your self-esteem, and you start seeing people as inferior to help yourself feel superior to them. It’s a lethal cycle, and you are indirectly building up your own insecurities just as you are quick to point out the downfalls or misfortunes of others.