Stop comparing yourself to others.
Do you ever have these random nagging feelings that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t? That everyone has a better job than you, they always look great and you don’t, that they are having more fun in life than you? These ‘random nagging feelings’ aren’t as random as we think. There is a good chance that they have popped up after you’ve chatted to your parents about how their best friend’s kid has just got the best job and bought them some amazing gift or that you have been scrolling through social media and comparing everyone’s ‘Best bits show reel’ to your boring every day. You may have even be taught to compare yourself to others to make you more competitive and motivate you. But constantly comparing yourself really doesn’t work.
Why comparing ourselves doesn’t work.
As already highlighted when you compare yourself to what someone else chooses to share with the world you are usually sharing your weaknesses with their strengths, not many people are out there on Instagram sharing their nitty gritty. That’s obviously going to make you feel that you aren’t doing great. What does that do to your mood? Does it put you in a great ‘go getter’ mood? No, it makes you feel like shit and looking for a quick way to change that mood (e.g. buy something, eat something whatever). Even if the situation occurs where you come off better in the comparison, it is only a short term boost to your ego, the feeling of “At least I am doing better than Miss Jones” can easily be crushed when Miss Jones updates her status to say she has a fabulous new job, leaving you feeling even worse than before (“Oh great, even Miss Jones is doing better than me now”). This will lead you to resent any success that Miss Jones or anyone else in your life has. This will only serve to stunt your personal growth, because when we cheer others on, they cheer us on in return.
Ways to stop comparing yourself to others:
Noticing that you are doing it is the first step. Maybe you’re scrolling through social media and you think “why am I not doing that” or “why do I not look like that”. Just notice it. You are comparing yourself and you know it isn’t good for you.
Discover your triggers when you start noticing that you are comparing yourself with others, ask what has made you do that, is it a certain person? A certain situation? A certain page on social media? Start to research yourself, keep a notebook, list when you have found yourself comparing yourself to others, what made you do that, how the thing that triggered you made you feel negative and why feeling that way is a waste of your time.
Redecorate your surroundings I don’t mean paint your living room here. But address those triggers! A page on social media pushes you to compare – click unfollow! Same with people on friends lists. If someone in your life triggers you to compare yourself, that’s where it becomes a bit more difficult. Attempt to let them know how it affects you.
Be OK with who and where you are right now We are not rolling the end credits right now, this is not the end of your journey, you can have goals and still be grateful for who and where you are.
Practice gratitude keeping a gratitude journal can really ground you and make you aware of just how important you are to the world and the people around you.
Have you ever had that feeling of sheer panic of having a Facebook notification pop up that someone has tagged you in a photo? It seems ridiculous to some, but for me and many other women that I have spoken to over the years that notification was enough to make your heart rate increase and your chest tighten.
But why do so many of us hate photos so much? Why do we hate the thought of the people we know seeing an unflattering snap of ourselves? After all most of the people on our social media know us, they already know what we look like? What are the reasons for us not accepting ourselves in photographs?
Firstly, other people may know what we look like but we don’t, the image we most often see of ourselves in a mirror is inverted, the same goes for selfies, it just isn’t the same as what we’d see in a photograph that someone else would take of us. We really aren’t used to seeing ourselves as we really appear, so the image of ourselves in a photo someone else has taken is going to look not quite right to ourselves.
Secondly, like me, you have probably participated in decades of negative
self-talk, where we have told ourselves that how we look isn’t good enough and therefore it never is.
So that covers what could make you hate pictures of yourself, but what can help you to start accepting yourself in photographs?
Just a heads up, it may take some time. If you have spent years being heavily critical of how you look in photos, chances are that this won’t be an overnight fix. But here are some things that can help you find acceptance.
Happy new year!
The biggest sign of us entering a new year is that adverts for yummy treats have been replaced with ads for protein shakes and weight loss programs.
It's a weird ritual we all go through every year, enjoy yourself in December but be sure to shame and guilt yourself about it in January.
I've spent so many December's not moving very much (It's bloody cold) and eating until I felt uncomfortable, then writing myself a grueling regime for January and by the 3rd week either burning out , feeling more rubbish about myself than before or both.
I'm not going to tell you not to exercise or not to eat a little healthier if that is what you are happy to do but I am definitely not going to add to the many voices urging you to pay some sort of penance for having a nice Christmas. Take some time to figure out what you want for yourself and speak kindly to yourself!
This Is me:
I’m Emma, I train women (Offline and Online) who may struggle with their confidence and self esteem. I believe that women need more options that suit different lifestyles and needs, some of us don't have time to stick to a rigid plan, some people are to scared to even set foot in a gym (I have been there).