It’s a guilty feeling in the pit of your stomach when you hear of someone’s success. Especially when that success is something you desire. You force a smile and pretend to be thrilled for them, but its a facade and you don’t want to admit the resentment that is growing inside. I think it’s true to say that most of us have encountered this. We all harbour insecurities and often struggle to eliminate self-doubt. Comparing yourself to others can be a true monster.
Comparison is the thief of joy, the pillager of profits and the pickpocket of prosperity. Why? Because time spent comparing yourself to others means precious time not spent on more productive and enjoyable things. – Marie Forleo
The feeling of jealousy is not new, but with the rise of the digital age and the world we live in today, social media is smacking us in the face with it. Everything is curated and edited carefully before going public and in doing so, the desire for approval becomes so intense that we end up believing these edited lives are the only end goal. Comparison spreads like a disease. A disease that people are universally suffering from every day, but it can be cured, and that cure starts with you. All it requires is a change in mindset and the acceptance that these feelings are stealing precious moments from you every day.
How to eliminate self-doubt within yourself and find fulfilment elsewhere.
Hide the triggers: out of sight, out of mind
Comparison is an addictive bad habit, that often needs to be dealt with, cold turkey. Find and identify your triggers, whether it be certain accounts on social media or websites you follow. Unfollow, hide and remove these triggers from sight immediately so that they’re not visible on your devices. By practising a minimalist approach and removing what is not important, your mind has a chance to detox and find clarity.
Think practically. See it as time lost
Think carefully of all the time you have spent looking at others on social media, pondering over why you think they have a better life than you. Hypothetically, all those hours added up should only be seen as one thing: a complete waste of time! If that same time was instead spent on something productive, at least you’d be able to move forward with the confidence that you were making your own progress, rather than remaining stagnant. Sometimes it is easier to remove the emotional connection and simply think of your jealousy as units of time, that you are wastefully using up.
Acknowledge that your path is not their path
Learn to view others’ success as completely different to yours and accept that you do not know or understand the path they may have taken to reach it. Social media fails to show the hardships or low points of someone’s journey, and it’s important to realise that everyone has struggled at some point in their life. No one has the same unique blend of qualities that you do, and everyone has a place in this world to thrive.
Use the opportunities to better yourself
Alternatively, comparison can be turned from a positive to a negative by acting as motivation. Finding an opportunity to work on improving something or using the motivation to start a new project is a great way to change your mindset and give you drive.
This is the path. You find the things you’re struggling with, and learn to work with them. Learn to shift your perspective. Learn to see what’s tripping you up, and turn it into an opportunity to practice new skills. – Zen Habits
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If you can work to eliminate self-doubt and the triggers that cause these insecurities, perhaps it will help to focus instead on creating your own successes! What methods have you tried to find contentment in your life?