One of the hardest things to do, I find, is to stop comparing ourselves with others. Whether it be their appearance, their body, their success, their relationships, their grades, their instagram dinner… it just comes naturally. With everything we do, everyone we meet, we often compare it automatically to someone else/’s. Its tough. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re so surrounded by social media today documenting our lives and reading about other peoples that we compare so easily to other peoples, but I know it’s one thing I struggle with greatly even when I know there’s no good to come of it.
So I’ve been trying to find ways to stop comparing myself and making myself feel bad and trying to see things for the better and there are a few ways I’ve come up with;
1. Try and remember that what people post online is usually made to look better than it is.
I know I’m a culprit of picking the best out of about a million photos to post on instagram or even here on my blog. There are many photos I’ve taken which I wouldn’t in a million years people to see (not that anyone really cares how disgusting I look when snapchatting ugly selfies to my best friend). I’m sure most other people feel the same. They get the best angle and the right lighting to pose for these pictures we think make them look amazing when no shadow of a doubt, they have their lazy-no shower-pyjama-no makeup days too.
2. Unfollow the inspo accounts / cut down on the social media
A tough part of making a change is letting go and moving on. A part I’m still coming to terms with. But, small a step it may be, choosing to unfollow these accounts or even just using social media less, means I don’t look/read about the things I don’t have. And not looking at them doesn’t remind me to compare myself to them. Sometimes a few is good, as I guess they do give you some sort of inspiration, but sometimes it can get unhealthy and just cause you to develop self-loathe, which is never good!
3. Think of things that you like about yourself, that maybe other people wish they had.
Now I’m not talking water and shelter, although it’s still a very valid point (because they just make me feel guilty for feeling bad, when everyone should be allowed to feel bad every now and then). I’m thinking of just little things like achievements you’ve been proud of or friends you really love, just things that you maybe wouldn’t have/have done if you did in fact have the life of ‘so and so’. They don’t have to be big things, just acknowledge the fact that even though you’d ‘give anything to have Katie’s legs’, Katie might ‘give anything to have your hair’ for example.
4. Use these people or achievements as motivation not a reason your life is any less worthy.
Another implication of comparing ourselves and our lives is that sometimes we get so used to it that we automatically think that we can’t be like that. Sometimes it takes a moment to remind ourselves that just because ‘Chloe got an A doesn’t mean that I can’t get an A too’. Or that just because one person is successful doesn’t mean that we can’t be just as successful. This one’s difficult because sometimes it’s easier and less effort to just dwell on our misfortune than to work harder and be better, but it’s worth trying. Use that person or their achievement as a role model and see it as your future self that you can work towards.
5. Accept yourself as you are.
Again, probably the most obvious, and for me the most difficult. But when I’m in those occasional moods where I love myself and am really happy, nothing anyone else does or has phases me one bit. That’s just difficult to carry on all the time. I’m afraid I have no easy answer to this because it’s something that I still haven’t mastered, but hopefully some day I will and I’ll be sure to share it with you every step of the way.
But for now, I’ll say that it’s ok not to be on top form every day. It’s ok not to be happy all the time. It’s perfectly normal to want to sit in your room all day and watch TV and eat chocolate. Or to get a question wrong in class or a bad mark on an exam. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t go out tonight… or do go out tonight. As long as it’s what you want to do.
You’re still beautiful whether you’ve got perfectly clear skin, or spots on your nose, a muscley toned tummy or 3 chins (maybe even a fourth that shows up in your selfies), dimples when you smile or the laugh of a retarded seal – I think you’re beautiful and somebody else does too(even if you don’t think so).