When was the last time you scrolled through social media and found yourself comparing your life with what the other people were posting? Did you compare how you look to them? The ‘fun’ things they were doing? How great their family life looked compared to yours? Listen, I’m not going to lie, I’ve been guilty of it too, but thankfully I don’t do it too much these days. And it’s times like the summer when people are away on holidays, posting their days at the beach, their gorgeous tans and sipping cocktails that makes ‘comparisonitis’ rearing its ugly head with me! Because, quite frankly, I want to be there too! Or do I?
But then I have a word with myself! I remind myself that what I’m looking at is a snapshot of their life – and it might not even be real. It might be set up for that moment. I know! It’s crazy, but some people don’t even show their reality. It makes them feel good to portray that they’re having a better time than they really are, because they like people to feel envious of their lives. And even if they’re posting reality, it doesn’t mean that their day or week has been picture perfect. We don’t know whether they’d just had a really bad argument with their partner that morning, or their children were driving them up the wall all day and they’d been crying with all the stress. There is so much we don’t know about other people’s lives’ behind closed doors and we just have to keep in the forefront of our minds when looking at these videos and images that it’s what the author is choosing to let us see. They’ve curated that scene or image.
I’ve seen so many pictures of people posting an image with a designer purse that 'just so happened' to be in the corner of the shot – you know the ones I’m talking about? The ‘I was taking a picture of something else, but my designer stuff just happened to be there too’, when what they were really trying to do was ‘subtly’ post their designer stuff so others would think they were being show offs! Honestly!
So next time you notice your mind veering over to that way of thinking on social media, and it’s normal for that to happen, just try and get it back on track a little quicker. Be mindful of what you’re thinking and consciously steer it back to focusing on what’s important – what’s happening in YOUR reality. And the more you practice this, the easier and quicker the compassion you’re doing with others will disappear.
The only time you should be comparing your life to others is if you use their situation for inspiration. For example, if you want to lose weight and they’ve the figure you desire, or they’ve started up their own company and it’s something you want to do. By all means, use their situation as motivation, but make sure it’s not envy. Use them as role models, someone to look up to, not a reason for you to feel rubbish about your own life. It’s all about reframing the negative to the positive and adding a pinch of reality in there too.
If need help with changing your mindset about your own life and developing positive habits, feel free to get in touch for a 30 minute complimentary call to see if coaching can help.