Why you shouldn't compare yourself to others and how to stop doing it
How often do you succumb to the powers of social media and get sucked into looking at other people’s lives? We promise ourselves we’ll just have a quick look and then an hour later we wonder where the time has gone. It’s interesting and fun to see what others do, wear, eat etc, but at the same time, this act of comparing ourselves can be self-destructive – it can make us insecure, stressed and drained thinking about how our live isn’t like someone else’s. So mentally and physically it can consume us, and that simply isn’t healthy. And, often the reality behind a lot of these stories and images is very different to what you see, so is it worth you worrying about how you compare? Probably not, no.
Using an example of how a celeb supposedly ‘got back her body’ just 5 weeks after giving birth. Why we shouldn’t give a crap:
a) celebs often have an army of nutritionists and fitness trainers at their beck and call, as well as childminders to palm their baby off onto while they get fit. All this gives them much more time than it does us normal people. b) just because they manage to do it in that time frame doesn’t mean it’s the right and safe way to do it* and it’s not necessarily the most sustainable. And most importantly c) we all have different genetics – we will react to things in different ways and at different times.
Yes, it’s great to have someone to look up to, but don’t let it consume you. Appreciate what you have and work with your own body. By all means try the things that they say have worked for them (be sensible!), but again don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work for you.
Of course, it’s not just about celebs and social media, we’re all guilty of getting jealous of a colleague who’s got a promotion or a friend who’s just bought a huge new house. Again, their lives may look perfect to you and they’ve got these amazing things, but they may have their own struggles to deal with. And, they could potentially envy you too. For example, people may envy the fact that my work is flexible and I’m my own boss, but they probably don’t envy the insecurity of it all. Likewise I often envy my friends that get to travel loads and see amazing places, but I don’t envy the instability and not getting chance to relax at home with my family for more than a day at a time. So, when you next have this feeling of envy rise up, think about the things you maybe don’t envy that much of that person – it may balance things out!
How to get past this bad habit of comparison
It’s tough, but these tips may help:
Appreciate yourself more – focus on what you are and not what you’re lacking. Look at what you’re good at, what you’ve achieved (no matter how small) and what can you offer the world. Don’t just look at the superficial factors, go deeper and work out what your drivers are and where you want to be – what is success to you? Then plan your route there.
Appreciate your friends/family more – if we get jealous of their successes it can hamper our relationship. Envy and jealously don’t play a part in a friendship – you need to find joy in their accomplishments and be happy for them. Your time will come.
Remind yourself no one is perfect, no matter what it looks like from the outside – everyone has their own insecurities and issues. There’s no such thing as perfect. Just be the best person you can be.
Remember also that life can be unfair – some people are born to wealthy families so potentially have an easier start in life and some people are just lucky (to be in the right place at the right time or know the right people). We have to live with that, as that won’t change. Try and be happy for them. You never know, their luck may rub off on you one day!
So to summarise - stop wasting time thinking about others and instead concentrate on your journey and how you're going to reach your goal. Work on focusing on YOUR life rather than wasting precious energy on someone else’s. You are enough and don’t forget that!
*you shouldn’t start any exercise plan before 6 weeks if you had a regular birth or 12 weeks with a c-section.
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