If there’s one thing we’ve noticed affecting us negatively and hampering our progress and personal growth, it’s this: the constant act of comparing ourselves to others. Of course, it’s part and parcel with the human experience, us being a social bunch and what have you, but just take a moment to think about how much bigger a problem it’s become with the advent of social media, the ‘fomo’ mindset and other anxiety inducing acronyms such as ‘ICYMI’ (in case you missed it). Are you any less of a human being because you missed out? Nope.
Facebook – or Fakebook, as some like to call it – is probably the worst culprit. First of all, always remember that people tend to project the best version of themselves on social media, leaving the reality of their struggles and their crap days for private conversations with friends; what you see is certainly not what you get. So while it might appear as though all of your acquaintances are living the high life, travelling here and there becoming more cultured than you (not true) or achieving heights that you’ve only been dreaming of, again, it’s just not true. They’ll have their struggles and their crosses to bare, and there will be days when it is you who seems like the person to envy on social media. If this digital self promotion is nothing more than smoke and mirrors, why put ourselves through the misery of self comparison in the first place?
This year, our new year’s resolutions are all about the self. This includes practicing self love and acceptance and learning to be concerned with only ourselves. Not in a selfish way, but in a healthy way. Another resolution of ours is not to compare our resolutions with the resolutions of others. Sure, some might appear to have 100 plates spinning at once while you’re barely managing to drag yourself out of bed in the mornings but again, who cares? In 2015 it’s all about you.
With a new year upon us, we’re setting realistic, personal intentions that concern us and nobody else. We don’t need to share those intentions on Facebook which will serve only to make other people (who are also guilty of comparing themselves to others) feel inadequate about their own resolutions. So, a friend on Facebook has joined yoga and pilates and the gym and they’re eating clean and they’re up for a promotion AND they’re off to Africa to solve hunger? Good for them. Another friend can party hard, late and endlessly without ever suffering a hangover or ill health? Well, they aren’t you and nobody says you have to keep up. As for us? We’ll decide what works for us, we’ll do our best and we’ll zone out of everyone else’s apparently ‘brilliant’ lives.
As a wise man once said, ‘compare and despair.’ – via @ireneobrien on Twitter.
So, who’s with us?