How to Stop Comparing Yourself on Social Media
December 15, 2016
This is one part of our four-part series on motivation
Ever feel defeated when you can’t do as much as quickly as you see other people doing? Or worked super hard on something, felt really good about it, then saw someone else’s work and immediately thought, “Oh, I guess mine actually kinda sucks.”
As humans, we all make comparisons. And we probably do so more now than ever before.
With social media constantly showing us the highlight reels of people’s lives, we’re often tricked into believing that we’re the only ones with fears, self-doubts, and a whole bunch of mistakes under our belt. If that sounds anything like you, rest assured that you’re in good company. It’s something each and every one of us has to deal with as we go through life.
It’s super easy to go down the social media rabbit hole of friends, family, exes, and friends of friends of friends, all doing sparkly things with beautiful people, and in turn feel like your life doesn’t shine quite as brightly as you thought.
Who needs that? Not you.
Those comparisons can become mighty dangerous motivation murderers when they keep you from working toward your goals.
If, every time you think about starting something new, you scroll through your feed and feel instantly defeated by those who are “further ahead” then your mind is playing a game you don’t need to participate in.
Fortunately, with some practice, self-compassion, and positive self-talk, there is a way out.
Kicking comparisons to the curb starts with the awareness that no matter who you are or where you are in your journey, there will always be someone faster and stronger and further along. Always. Whether you’re going on your first ever walk or you’re an elite athlete, you can be certain you’ll find folks who have been there, done that, and are onto something new.
Now, here’s where you have a few choices: You can look at those folks as reasons not to begin. You can look at them as proof that what you’re aiming to achieve is totally possible. OR, you can stop looking at them altogether and focus on writing your own unique story.
It might not feel like a choice if you’re like so many of us who have a long history of habitually comparing ourselves to others, but it definitely is; it just takes a few new practices to start reconditioning this bad habit.
Here are some tricks you can try to begin re-calibrating the internal social comparison monster:
Filter Thy Feed
Consider filtering your feed by unfollowing those people who don’t give you feel-good vibes and pay attention to those that do. Or, better yet, pay attention to the things you do that give you the feel-goods and leave the long stalky scrolly sessions behind entirely.
Find Your Tribe
Seek out groups on social with similar goals to your own. Chances are, there are a ton of Facebook groups full of people on similar journeys to your own. Find ‘em, join ‘em, and follow ‘em. Let them be your new, supportive social tribe so that every time you log in you can expect encouragement rather than comparisons.
Turn the Tables
Use social to your advantage by turning it into your own personal free accountability tool. Set a goal, then share about your journey to accomplishing it. Not only will you feel more determined to stay on track with your goals, but you’ll inspire others to do the same.
Give yourself a social media cleanse. Commit to staying off of it for a day, a week, a month, or even a year, and take note of any positive changes that arise. You might be surprised by how much of an impact removing this daily habit from your life can have on your internal motivation.
Remember that Success is Built on Failure
Nearly every accomplishment comes with failures that ultimately paved its way. If you find yourself envying the triumphs of another, remind yourself that you are almost certainly only getting the tip of the iceberg. It’s just more fun for folks to share about the awesome thing they did rather than the trials, misdoings, and setbacks that likely got ‘em there.
Sometimes it takes a little reconditioning of your mindset and daily habits to get there, but your intrinsic motivation and sense of self-worth truly are entirely up to you.
This is one section of our four-part series on finding inner-motivation. Check out the other motivation-makers below: