04 February 2014

Building Self Confidence: How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

You open Instagram. And you see this.

 People having an awesome time with their best friend.
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People travel to all the cool places in the world.
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Paris.

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China.

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Dubai.

People get huge bouquet of flowers.
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People flaunting bikini body with beautiful scenery in the background.
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People on vacations, while you're stuck at work.
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 People who seem totally in love.
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 People with designer bags.
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 via the Hashtag #fashionismypill.

 People with their cute kids.
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Did you ever feel depressed after looking at other's people photo on Instagram? Did you ever feel jealous to see how great their lives are? Honestly, I did. They say 'a picture is worth a thousand words' and that is somehow a photo implicit cues of people being happy and having fun, how they're spending all of the money they're making, and how they're getting married to fabulous people and having adorable kids.

Well, maybe I'm alone here. But my point is why compare yourself with others? While comparing yourself to others can be a healthy means of motivations and growth, it can also makes you focus on your weakness and it will frustrates you. For example your diet buddy loses 10 pounds. When you start comparing yourself to your friend this might makes you feel like a failure. You'll end up feeling frustrated. All that comparison can easily turn into negative self talk — the little voice in your head that focuses on why you CAN'T do anything.

Then how do you stop comparing yourself to others? Iyanla Vanzant has a great write up on Oprah concerning this topic:

1. Get clear about you.
A sense of self lets you see others' successes and become better, not bitter. List words that describe you: smart, strong, kind; mother, friend, visionary. Value yourself and you won't want to be like anyone else.

2. Seek meaning, not approval.
When you spend your life chasing recognition, you can also expect to spend it worrying about who's passing you by. If you work to advance your dreams, your place in the pecking order ceases to matter.

3. Know that everyone has her own strengths. 
Our parents told us, "Sit up straight like your brother. Clean your room like your sister." The result? We learned to measure what we do by what others have done. But that isn't useful when every individual has unique gifts.

4. Emulate what works. 
When someone does something well, assess what made her succeed and figure out ways to incorporate those traits in your own life. If that's possible, great! If not, refer to #1—and keep doing you.


It is a mistake to compare yourself to others because you really don't know what's happening in the other person's life. While it's true 'a picture is worth a thousand words' but we also have no idea what else is happening around the image. A couple on holiday could be posting beautiful images while arguing the whole time. Don't envy anyone. Be your best. Follow me on Instagram @honeybeegeb.

Now your turn, leave in the comments: 
What things you usually share on Social Networks? 
Don't forget to leave your username or links to your Social Network. I'd be happy to follow.  



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12 comments:

  1. This post is great!!! My preacher preached on this very thing a few Sundays ago. Its like we look at someone and we could be seeing their middle and comparing it to our beginning, For example the happy couple- she may have been in an abusive relationshipo for years before she met him... Just a thought great post!!!

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  2. Toya: Thanks for sharing your insight here. i believe that one of the biggest reasons we're not content with ourselves and our lives is that we compare ourselves to other people.

    Cohen Ilan: Thanks for commenting.

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  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog :) And I love the advice here: stop comparing yourselves to others and start realizing and embracing yourself for who you are...we need to start realizing our value.

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  4. Great advice! I am very guilty of sharing annoyingly cute pictures of my son on social media; not with bad intentions, but I'm making a conscious effort to do that less. Social media is tricky! It's so easy to envy what other people have or what they're doing when, really, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

    Your post reminds me of Galatians 6:4; "Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else."

    Amy @ http://livinglifetruth.blogspot.com/

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  5. Very good advice. It is so important that we stay true to ourselves. Everyone has a different journey and you never know what is going on behind the scene of what someone posts.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jen MH, Amy Will, Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often: Hey, I just wanted to personally thank you for taking your time to leave your valuable comment here. It’s feedback like yours makes blogging completely worthwhile.

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  7. I'm always super slow to adapt to the changing social media. When I finally found Facebook, it felt like I was the last one on. I'm just barely playing around with Instagram and don't have a Twitter. I know I try to share only the positive ... not in a "look how wonderful my life is" kind of way, but rather trying NOT to complain and be negative. I just assume that others are probably doing the same, showing the best, keeping the bad stuff more private, but that everyone has their own struggles. Then again, I'm a bit of a frugal, introverted homebody, so when I see things like what you posted ... that doesn't inspire ANY jealousy in me at all! :)

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  8. Hi Jen B, thanks for your feedback. Facebook and Instagram sometimes provokes envious feelings. I completely agree with you. We should be excited when seeing the things our friends post on social media. Finding beauty in everyday life, that's positivity! If you're jealous of your friend’s perfect life as it looks on Instagram or Facebook, the problem is not social media — it’s you. Glad you stopped by.

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