How comparing yourself to others can lead to low self esteem

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How comparing yourself to others can lead to low self esteem

Do you compare yourself to others and instead of feeling good you end up with bouts of self-doubt, anxiety and believing you are not good enough? Are you obsessed with keeping up-to-date and following friends, family and colleagues on social media and often think that they are having a better life than you? If this sounds familiar, it’s time for a much-needed self check.

Social media is a great way of staying connected, it’s also the perfect arena to showcase your work and share your points of view. On a personal level, we see people posing for the camera, sharing their amazing time with family or friends, trips out, holidays and high days. We see an edited version of their reality and sometimes a distorted reality. We don’t see the emotional turmoil, the need for escapism or the longing for acceptance.

Whilst I am an advocate for social media, be mindful to not believe everything you see. At its worst it can reinforce a need for approval and external validation, which leads to comparisons – seeing others as having more fun, being slimmer and fitter, wearing nicer clothes and having better and more successful lives than you. Using social media as a benchmark for your own worth is not healthy and can even lead to depression and self-destruction.

Being human 

Comparing ourselves to others is part of being human. Most of us do it in some form or another. We put ourselves down and see others on a pedestal; or worst, we become so jealous of their perceived success or lifestyle that we start to bitch about them.

Have you ever stopped to consider that someone you know or have friended on social media may be doing the exact same thing about you?

Do flowers compare themselves? They bloom in their time without worrying about whether they are brighter, taller or more/less beautiful than their neighbouring blossoms. So why do we do it?

There are so many beautiful people in the world, some do amazing things, and it doesn’t mean you are less beautiful or capable of your own happy and successful life, your way.

Proud to be you

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde

Remember that you are good at being you – nobody can do it any better. Focus your energy on what you’re capable of now; what you’d like to do either differently or in addition. Explore your qualities, those amazing ingredients that make you the person you are.

When you catch yourself going for comparisons, press pause, and acknowledge the other person’s qualities, capabilities or beauty and then see them in you.

Redirect your energy

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt

If you find yourself struggling to overcome your comparison mindset, don’t panic and give into your inner critic. Therapy can help you to become aware of and avoid your triggers, helping to remind you that other people’s lives are not better than yours, they are merely different and are perhaps being reported in a distorted manner. To book an appointment today, call Carla Devereux on 0121 745 9044.

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