Compare and despair
We are more aware than ever of what is going on in other people’s lives. Social media and the internet has started a revolution in social sharing and social comparisons. It can make life incredibly difficult though when we aren’t feeling good about ourselves and can make us feel worse about ourselves. This is the process that therapists call “compare and despair”. This is what happens when we compare our ‘behind-the-scenes-footage’ to other people’s ‘highlight reels’.
In effect, we look at everything in our lives that isn’t making the grade, all our insecurities and failures, and compare this negative picture to the seemingly perfect picture that other people show us. It’s an inaccurate comparison that leads to real feelings of misery and despair.
Usually, we have no evidence for these comparisons but we carry on regardless. Get into the habit of noticing when you compare yourself to others and make a concerted effort to stop engaging in this type of thinking. Inevitably most of the comparing we do involves us seeing ourselves in negative light. It’s okay to compare yourself favourably to others as that can help inspire you and lead you to feeling happier. In effect, it’s abouot making your thought processes work for you. Positive comparisons are useful because they lead you to feel more positive and hopeful but negative comparisons serve no purpose other than to make you feel miserable – very unhelpful.
Instead of focusing your energy on what others are doing, turn that attention to yourself. What are you strengths? What do you do well? Hone in on your values and your goals – this is where your power lies. Find your own individual path and stop comparing. Also remind yourself that life isn’t linear and that success comes and goes – we are all different and we all have to get through this thing called life. We all experience different phases – focus on getting yourself to your next goal and stop diluting your focus by looking at what others are doing.
Trust yourself. believe in yourself.
theblurtfoundationWe have more access to the ins and outs of people’s lives than ever before, which makes it incredibly difficult to not feel lacking when we’re at rock bottom and doing what we can to get through each day. We can understandably feel left behind but it’s important to remember that social media is mostly a highlight reel; it’s mostly used to post about the brilliant and rarely the mundane nor painful.