US presidents tend to serve as the country’s role models. One such president, the 26th to be exact, former president Teddy Roosevelt was quoted as saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Yet the problem not only continues into this modern age, but it’s also actually made worse by the advent of social media.
These platforms including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and Youtube allow individuals to follow people’s lives intimately, including celebrities. Unfortunately, everyone knows they’re being “watched,” so they put their “best face forward.” No one wants to be caught on a bad hair day or when their life isn’t necessarily following the path they intended.
Why do we compare ourselves to others?
That means when you compare what you see in yourself as a flawed image and goals still in the distance with your life plan while viewing these posed and unrealistic posts, you will never feel as though you measure up.
The intention of influencers on social media and celebrities depicting their life is to be out of your reach, more than you’re capable of, and be people you want to emulate but are incapable of doing so.
Celebrities usually borrow the jewelry and clothing you see in ads or on the red carpet. These aren’t their everyday errand outfits. When their makeup artists and hairdressers go home, they’re at the mercy of self-care.
Everyone was born to be unique with the duty of making what’s special about us shine, not attempting to make ourselves into a carbon copy of someone else. Let’s look at a few ways to avoid harmful comparisons.
How to stop that?
It’s easy to get caught up in comparisons. When you get acquainted with people from around the world on social networks, there’s not one person who doesn’t wonder to themself how they keep themself so trim or how they can look spot-on so early in the morning.
That’s especially true when you work from home and tend to dive straight into work very early without considering looks as a priority some days. But it’s essential to give yourself that out.
If your day is hectic with perhaps a full task load and you didn’t have a moment to put on a fresh face of makeup or maybe even style your hair, the individual in the post probably took time to get glammed up in order to pose for that posting.
No one will go on a social site looking terrible or tell a story of failure or mistakes. Each individual on these networks wants the world to believe they are successful, capable, and flawless, plus they hope you want to emulate them.
It’s up to you to be secure in your life and who you are. That way, you can let those fleeting moments pass when you wonder why you aren’t as impeccable instead of dwelling on them. What you see and believe is merely smoke and mirrors. Check how you can avoid harsh comparisons.
1. social networks are other people acting out their dreams
People constantly depicting their life on social networks usually don’t have much of a life outside these sites. People who live busy don’t have time to post about it every five seconds.
Seeing all these individuals relay to their followers makes it easy to get caught up in feeling less than. That’s because the average person with a lot of work to do doesn’t have the time typically to then also do amazing activities outside of that, nor are they capable of always being camera ready.
Seeing them taking pictures of themselves merely dining at fancy restaurants or attending a concert you’ve been dying to see is tough. Still, perhaps they showcase traveling to incredible locations for work or taking fantastic holidays, which is downright disheartening.
It isn’t even that you’re unhappy about their fortune; it’s more that you don’t understand your own misfortune.
The thing to remember with social networking is the people who post, especially those who do so a lot, can be deceptive with their details. A lot of times, what they’re showing you is not real. The shots are often photoshopped or edited with captions that take a long time to consider before publishing the posting.
And even if someone’s life is somewhat exciting or appears ideal on the site, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have their own set of issues they deal with, nor does it mean the person is happy or secure.
Don’t make their life your goal. If you’re satisfied with what you do and the people surrounding you, plus who you are, your life is good already. If you’re miserable living vicariously through social media, first you need counseling, and then you should make significant personal changes that are pertinent only to you.
2. You’re probably way more successful
You will always find someone who has a better car, more money, a cooler job, unique skills from yours, and more time to enjoy activities. That doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong, especially if you’re doing what you love.
The idea is to ensure you’re reaching for your passion, taking care of your obligations, nurturing your self-care – body, mind, and spirit – and enjoying an engaging social circle.
That’s a fulfilling life. Success will find you if you continue to follow that path. It doesn’t have to look like someone else’s version.
3. The past version of yourself would think of you today
Consider the fact you’re dwelling on these posts of people you’re merely only acquainted with through your social networking “friendships.” You don’t genuinely know in reality what transpires in their life, especially if they live on the other side of the world from you.
Instead of making up a life for them that’s roses and sunshine, dive deeper into your own reality.
Consider the path you’ve followed to where you are today. In the beginning, you might have been a lump of clay, but along the way, there were struggles you found your way through to create moments you were likely proud of ultimately.
Some goals could be achieved, but maybe not all. Perhaps you have the job, not the love of your life, or vice versa. And you haven’t traveled outside the country yet, but you’ve had some incredible trips within the states. Your clay is starting to get definition.
We’re all unique in what we want and need in life. Your tragedies, trauma, trials, tribulations, and scars will form on your clay, making it form differently from the next person.
You have individual talent, skills, and qualities that no one else can mimic, no matter how they try. No one can be you, and no matter how much you compare yourself, you won’t be able to turn yourself into someone else.
Who should you be comparing yourself to – you at the beginning of the journey, the lump of clay, and recognizing how life has defined you? It’s not done with you yet. There’s so much more of a story to tell. But why would you want to ruin it with someone else’s chapters? Stay on your path.
4. Comparing can cause mental and physical unwellness
If you find yourself dwelling over the people you follow on social networks or even celebrities and the lives they depict on their sites, it can affect your mental wellness, which will, in turn, impact your physical well-being.
Starting to believe that you don’t compare to these people, that you’re in some way less than can lower self-confidence, impact self-esteem, and diminish your view of your self-worth.
Coming to a point where you feel disappointed by the life you established for yourself as it compares to people you don’t know in reality is an issue that needs to be discussed in therapy.
A professional counselor can work through the mental unwellness you’ve established and the dissatisfaction you’re feeling over your life choices to help you develop a life plan that will lead you in a direction that will make you happier.
The important thing is that it be your passion and something you genuinely want, not depictions you’ve seen from someone else’s life that you’re trying to capture for yourself.
When you see compelling images on social networks or depictions of celebrities dressed to the nines with expensive jewelry and designer dresses, you must recognize these are merely images meant to make the average person want to emulate these people. And that’s precisely what happens.
People envy what they see and wonder why they can’t have that or why their life is not like that. They count on your envy. Don’t give it to them. If you wanted to be an actor/actress, you would have followed that path and can; if you want to travel the world, there’s still time. There’s no one restricting your movements except for you.
You don’t have to merely sit back and be reflective on the reasons “why” or “what if.” You can make your life what you want it to be, and then there will be no reason to compare.