The Comparison Hang-Up

We’ve All Done It

Most of us have no problem admitting that we’ve spent hours scrolling through Insta. It’s become somewhat of a joke these days, “going down the rabbit hole.” However, most of us don’t want to admit that sometimes going down the rabbit hole leaves us feeling horrible about ourselves and our lives. We didn’t spend those hours looking at and buying new shoes for that really cute outfit we just picked out for girls’ night on Saturday. Instead, we were slowly breaking down our confidence by comparing ourselves to the beautiful people on social media.

It begins innocent enough. You tell yourself it’s just a couple of minutes before you get out of bed in the morning. You see a new person to follow. Then it happens. She’s so cute! Oh, I love that outfit. Her legs look amazing. I wish mine looked like that. And so it begins. What was just a couple of minutes of social media fun turned into 30 minutes of comparing yourself to a person you’ve never even met.

How Society Contributes

I’m sure many of you have heard of Rachel Hollis. If you don’t, she’s this little fireball of awesomeness. In her book Girl, Stop Apologizing, she mentions the fear of judgment that many of us have. Why do we do things the things we do? Typically out of fear of judgment. And sometimes they really are judging us, but who do they think they are to crush our dreams? And who do we think we are to let them?!

When we worry about this judgment, it puts us in a place of fear and doubt. We begin inventing stories about how others will react to our decisions in life. We begin making excuses for why we should or shouldn’t do something, behave a certain, a make a certain decision. Then we can’t move forward; we’re frozen in fear.

So What Can You Do About It?

First, it’s important to remember that no two people are alike. Comparing is just a natural part of who we are as humans, but we don’t need to take it to a bad place, and the scales should be balanced. There are three things that you can do to make your comparing a positive experience:

  1. Remind yourself that comparisons should be accurate. If that guy or gal on Insta is 20 years younger than you are, there is no comparison there. Is she prettier than you? Why is she prettier? Are you looking at her wrinkle-free skin? Remember, your skin looked like hers at one point, too. Let’s tackle a more difficult subject. Is he more successful than you? Take stock and ask yourself some realistic questions. Did you have all of the tools available when you were his age that he has now? Chances are that the answer is a resounding no. Does he have children that are grown or about to enter college? Probably not. Don’t compare your life to someone else’s completely different life. Put things in true perspective, not fear perspective.
  2. Don’t be one of those people who tears others down. I love following fitness gurus on Insta. I could happily scroll for hours, not mere minutes. I’ve learned that comparing myself to them in a negative way serves no one. First, some of them were once in a bad place. They made something of themselves, and that is something worthy of learning from and emulating. Not comparing. Second, the people who are thin, athletic, beautiful, and seem to have been this way their entire lives have worked hard to be there. I would be doing them and their hard work a disservice to think that it all comes so easily. And I get really upset when other people make negative comments about their posts saying how they make others feel bad about themselves. All I have to say about that, love, is that taking out your own fears and insecurities on others is just a rotten thing to do.
  3. Don’t sell yourself short. Just because someone might be farther along on their journey than you are does not mean that you haven’t had successes that are worthy of notice. Think about where you are compared to when you started. Maybe the scale hasn’t budged but your clothes feel different. Maybe your thinking has changed and you have fewer negative thoughts. These are worthy of celebration! Don’t sell yourself short just because you’re in a different location on your journey.

See Things From a New Perspective

These people you are comparing yourself to are strong, powerful people. They have worked hard to get where they are. By comparing yourself to them as you are in time right now, you are selling them, and yourself, short in your journeys. You have not done all that they have done to get where they are. You absolutely shouldn’t be where they are. They didn’t become successful over night, and neither will you. Instead, learn from them. Share your own journey. Get rid of the comparison hang-up. Who knows? Maybe you’ll become the next Insta sensation.

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