If you're reading this blog, there's a good chance you're seeking some sort of wellness and balance in your life. Perhaps you've felt uneasy with your current path and are trying to re-align with who you are. Today we are going to talk about something that may be significantly standing in the way of self-discovery: you.
Well, not so much YOU, as much as the way you interact with those you come into contact with--whether that be in person or via social media. I think many of us can agree that being motivated by the successes of others can help inspire us towards our own success. But what happens when envy and comparison creep in? These thought patterns can actually hinder our own wellness.
Psychology Today identifies two types of comparisons: downward comparison and upward comparison. Downward includes a pattern of thought in which you compare your circumstance to those less fortunate than you. As stated in their article "the perils of comparing ourselves to others", this type of comparison relies on others misfortune to feed our own self-worth. Beyond being a very unsustainable source of "drive," it can also harm your ability to look at the strengths of others, which can create strain in relationships.
Conversely, upward comparison looks to those of a perceived higher status than you. For example, this could range from Beyonce to your favorite Instagram influencer. And while this type of comparison can sometimes be a motivator, it can also create feelings of unworthiness and failure.
The danger in both types is this: it takes the focus away from yourself and onto those around you. How can you make progress in your own life if you are not present in your own life. You will never be your best self if you are trying to be someone else.
Here are some tips to help you live your ultimate life of wellness without all the guilt and comparison slowing you down:
1. Take frequent social media breaks: while social media has many positive attributes, it can also be the primary breeding ground for low self-esteem. Remind yourself that what people post goes through a very selective process. It's everyone's best foot forward and very little vulnerability. This is not an accurate depiction of reality.
2. Put a positive spin on comparisons you make: if you are going to make comparisons to others, don't let it distract from your goal. Use it as positive motivation! And while you're doing this, maintain genuine happiness for the person you're looking up to.
3. Cultivate gratitude for what is: it's very easy to get caught up in what you want. Take some time to be thankful for what you have. If this involves making a tangible list, then even better! Hang it up in places that will remind you of what you're grateful for.
4. Take moments to focus on the inside: what we are exposed to is the outward shell of individuals. If we are just comparing our own appearances, we lose the meaningful introspection needed to truly better ourselves. Growth and happiness often have very little to do with what's on the outside, and almost everything to do with the person that's inside.
If you have any other tips and tricks to stop comparing yourself to others email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to be YOU!