You, whoever you are reading this, are amazing. And nope, I don’t mean it in a cheesy way – I truly believe that every person has something unique and valuable to offer to the world. I am convinced that everyone needs to embrace who they are and always compare themselves to themselves as they were yesterday – not other people.
I would be silly of me to deny the evolutionary benefit of comparing ourselves to others. As social animals, we learn all kinds of things by comparing ourselves to others, however when this natural reaction becomes the reason why you feel inferior to other people and lose faith in yourself, something needs to be done.
Here are 5 practical tips (can’t stand those ‘just try to focus on what you like about yourself’ advice) how to stop comparing yourself to others in a way that causes you stress and harms your confidence.
Yup, jumping right into it:
1.Check closely who you follow on social media. Do you ever get a feeling that someone represents that unattainable goal when you look at their pictures? And after just looking at them, you feel that your mood drops 10 points instantly, despite that the pictures are nice? Yes, they are the people you need to unfollow. They aren’t bad people or anything (by no means!) – it’s just the common effect of social media.
Despite what we might think, we aren’t very rational creatures. We know that they’ve spent hours doing makeup, dressing up, taking selfies, and then editing that only one that looks right, but all your brain is telling you is ‘omg this person is so much more beautiful/rich/successful than I am’ and this is what harms you. Kylie Jenner said in her interview that she takes hundreds of selfies to get the right one!
Now please hear me out on this: social media account is nothing more than a peek through a keyhole into someone’s life. They show only the good things, like anyone would. If following these people somehow negatively affects your confidence, it’s time to move on.
2.Find icons and role models that are famous for their substance as human beings first – then their appearance. Appearances are deceiving and temporary. That’s not to say that they don’t matter – they definitely do! However, the substance of a human being matters so much more – immeasurably more. If a person is famous just for their body parts, then it’s more of a museum specimen – not a role model.
I can tell you though that there are many iconic people who combine both substance and beauty – you can see my personal role models in my ‘Icons’ category. Once you start paying attention to human qualities of these people, their appearance will become secondary. Dita Von Teese is a living piece of art, but it’s not why I admire her. Same applies to Eartha Kitt and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
3.Write down your long-term goals. It can be anything – one-year goals or lifetime goals. It also can be any goals – from writing a book to traveling somewhere, from spending more time with family to getting a pet – anything that your heart truly desires. Then write down the steps you’ll need to make to reach them.
After you write it down, think about how spending time looking at someone else’s life fits in there. I’m guessing it doesn’t. The truth is that social media makes us waste too much time watching someone else live, while this time is ours and it will never return. Make your life and your time be about you.
4.Embrace your own taste. Think about an outfit, hairstyle, makeup, or even one item of clothing that you consider ‘badass’ – I’m sure you’ll instantly visualize it in your mind.
Next time you go shopping, try something badass on. Or finally get those badass sunglasses you’ve always wanted. Let yourself be a rebel a bit and let your inner sense of taste shine – despite the current fashion trends, what people say, etc. It can be something small like a hair accessory or just makeup look that’s a bit bolder than your usual one, but one you’ve always wanted to try. It doesn’t have to even cost anything – it can be just hairdo.
You’ll see that once you let your own taste reveal itself, you’ll feel empowered and immediately stronger. You’ll also see that embracing your own taste feels so much better than trying to chase the trends or someone else’s style. Shift the focus from the outside to inside.
5.When in doubt, workout. Well, this one is simple. Working out boosts serotonin production and release, so you’ll automatically feel better. If you make it into a habit, working out will also tremendously help your body stay healthy. If you combine it with healthy eating (at least exclude junk food) you’ll be investing in your own future. It can be yoga, weight training or a walk – it doesn’t matter what type of activity you choose. What matters is that you’ll shift the focus from someone else to yourself and your own well-being.
I suggest we all rejoice in embracing our own goals and using the time we have to live the lives we really want instead of comparing ourselves to others!
See you in my next post,
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