Comparison culture—we all face it daily, especially on social media. So, how can we silence the voices that make many of us feel not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, or not successful enough? Here are four helpful tips.
Social media wields a tremendous amount of power and influence in today’s society, including creating the tendency for us to compare ourselves with the filtered, seemingly perfect images and lifestyles that come through our feeds on a daily basis. For better or worse, social media is here to stay, so unless you plan to completely unplug, you will need to learn to navigate the content that we are constantly bombarded with. I hope to share some powerful insights and practical tips for handling those messages that often make us feel “less than.”
1. Invest your time wisely.
How we spend our time influences how we think. So, when we find those rare moments that allow us to pause and take a break from our undoubtedly busy lives, are we going to spend those precious minutes filling our minds with content that makes us feel inadequate or with content that helps us to grow?
I made a decision years ago to only use social media to build up who I am. Trust me—there is so much good online inspiration to be found if you only seek it out.
2. Be intentional about who you allow space for in your thoughts and your life.
Imagine if I gave you a gold button that once you touch it, it says “unsubscribe.” Imagine that I then told you that you have to hit this button for every account you follow that creates feelings within you that are contrary to building your self-esteem and confidence.
Like many other people, social media started to influence my thoughts in ways that made me compare and have the “I wish” syndrome. I made a decision to look at social media as a source of inspiration. I decided to hit that unfollow button.
The sad reality is that I have received countless messages from young adults and their parents that are quite alarming. It literally brings me to tears knowing the pain that so many people, especially the younger generation, face because they do not see their worth. They are caught in the web of social comparison. We all know of those lifestyles and photos that imply that perfection is real and attainable. It’s so easy to compare when we see others having amazing experiences, success after success, and wonder why we are failing to live up to what we are seeing. Those toxic comparisons are amplified in our mind as we consume the highlight reel of someone else’s life.
3. Create specific criteria for all social media accounts.
It’s vital to take control of who and what is on our feed. I decided years ago to only follow accounts that added positivity to my life. We must unfollow the things that make us feel bad and flood our feeds with things that are building the foundation of who we are. Seek to follow and subscribe to those accounts that make you feel good, inspired, and motivated. It’s like an invitation to your life. Who are you granting access to?
Before making the decision to follow a social media account, I ask myself if it meets three basic criteria:
1. Does it inspire me?
2. Does in impact me in a positive way?
3. Does it empower me as a person in my goals to build myself daily?
You may want to change or add to the criteria above to suit your specific needs and circumstances. What’s important is that you set clear standards for yourself and only follow those accounts that meet those standards.
4. Live authentically—even online.
Most of us would agree that it’s time to get rid of comparison culture and put the “real” back into social media, but it’s easier said than done. Being real means being vulnerable. Even so, I have made the commitment to share real life that is perfectly imperfect, messy, full of hard work, and centered on building myself and others every day with positivity and gratitude. I encourage you to do the same. Don’t be afraid to share the real you!
I constantly strive to show myself, my company, and my brand as authentically as possible. To be honest, I know that I would have more followers if I posted differently, and I’m okay with that. So many people follow influencers in an attempt to be more like them, but the only person’s story that really deserves the bulk of our attention is our own.
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