The most requested topic you girls ask me to write about is social comparison.
Imma gonna get straight to the point: YUP, you got it – in our culture, comparison definitely feels pretty much inescapable. *Especially* with platforms like Facebook, Snapchat & Instagram acting as tyrants over our smart phones (and maybe lives…joking, but am I?). Being a blogger, sometimes I get lost in a black hole of “what ifs,” “she has,” like-counting, comment-scoring, and the never-ending competition of who has and who has not. But the the 24-year-old very-single-girl-in-me who lives in the 21st century wakes up and realizes everyone is dating someone, engaged, or married…already? My gosh, I’m only 24! But let’s twist it the other way. We could play the grass-is-greener picture when it comes to careers, blogs, jobs, resumes, yada yada on and on. So what picture did I just paint? It’s one big intermingled, tangled-up mess of a web of “haves” and “have nots,” brewing social anxiety that starts with the simple seed of — yup, you guessed it: comparison.
First things first…
There is no winner in this game. When we finally grasp one thing, there’s the next thing. When we get what we’ve been waiting for, there’s someone else doing it better. That person isn’t going to go away, and guess what? Social media is here to stay (It makes me frightened for my future kids, but that’s a whole nother blog post, ammright?!) but what must change is your mindset. I’m gonna get to that below.
Underneath comparison is a deeper issue: Let’s dig way deep under any jealousy, self pity or coveting and what do we find? It’s often a heart issue; it’s an insecurity, a judgement, a past hurt, maybe sadness, anger, or a fragile spot. Getting down to really what’s making you feel “less” inside is more productive than putting the other person or thing on a “higher” pedestal. Remember: we are our own worst critic – and awareness of that is a big, hard, and difficult step.
Once you’re aware, blinders are crucial: Put on your blinders, sisters, because this is the hardest part. I overheard a 60 Minutes segment that my Dad was watching about how smartphones are hardwired to make our brains addicted to them. How in tha world am I supposed to put on my blinders, Jessi, if I am inadvertently addicted to my phone? That’s a great question. I can’t magically snap my fingers and everyone reading this no longer deals with comparison (side smile: wouldn’t that be nice?!) In all seriousness: this is a boundary you have to set with yourself. Yes, you. This takes work; there’s another word for it and it’s called self-control. The temptation to compare will never change, but how you handle it can change. Here’s how to practice it:
- Take a day off social media once a week. For the last few months, I’ve chosen Fridays. Although I can’t completely escape, this day is dedicated to me and staying present. I’ll share a secret: it’s my favorite day of the week. This is an overall refresh and recharge system and it works miracles.
- Hobbies and pastimes are totally underrated. Getting out and doing things, breathing in fresh air, playings sports or getting in that workout gets our minds focused on having fun and staying healthy. And mentally, it’s so much healthier than scrolling through our Facebook feeds.
- Every time I feel myself starting to compare, I ___. Fill in the blank, y’all. Every time I start to walk down a black hole of comparison, I pray. Every time I start to check Instagram for the 5 billionth time that day, I play fetch with Chloe or read the Bible. Training yourself to find an alternative is a step forward.
- Count your blessings: This is my favorite — y’all. One of the best ways to stay grounded in love and not social comparison is to remember and feel thankful and blessed for what you do have. Count those blessings, and keep yourself in a state of praise – which will help you combat any negative temptation towards social comparison.
Try to remember…
There is only one you. Use it to your advantage: I feel like one of the worst parts about comparison is that it brainwashes us to be more like someone else or strive for something else. However, in the blogging industry, your individuality is what takes you apart from the millions of girls trying to do the same thing out there. My life coach last year suggested the word “robotic” for the blogging industry – as suddenly every person starts to look and act the same. People will follow you when they see you for you, not someone else in you.
People remember character, not the # of likes you have or what you did last weekend: We all know those people. It’s the blogger buying likes (it’s so sad how big of an issue this is with the new algorithm update) – or the old friend who feels like he/she needs to prove how exciting their life is 24/7. BUT… all those “things,” “snapchats,” “likes,” and “efforts” are quickly forgotten. What is remembered, however, is a person’s character, and humility through it all. Remember that.
Things aren’t always as they seem: I couldn’t stand by this more, especially being a blogger who knows exactly what goes into an “effortless-seeming” #ootd photoshoot. Guess what: there is nothing about what I do that is effortless (LOL). The idea that the grass is greener on the other side is easily believed when today’s pictures don’t convey reality. Keeping grounded in a state of truth is key.
YOLO. BC we only live once. I know that walking down the path of jealousy or comparison can take a LOT of pasttime and do absolutely nothing with it except make you feel worse. So next time: think YOLO; I bet your bottom dollar that you can spend that precious time elsewhere sister. Try and keep that joy and peace and foster it — not deplete it.
Hope you girls loved this! How do you tackle the comparison game? Would love to hear from you! XOXO <3
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