Comparing Yourself To Others & Self-Esteem:

We've probably always done it, yet comparing yourself to others has hit boom time with the rise of social media. I like to think that, had he been alive today, Shakespeare would have changed his sonnet from 'shall I compare thee to a summer's day' to 'shall I compare how I feel and my own self-worth to your instagram and facebook profiles.'  

Now before anyone accuses me of blaming social media for leading us to compare ourselves with others, I'm not, and I should know it's been around longer because it's something I used to do incessantly before I'd ever heard of instagram, twitter, facebook and so on. There were times I could barely force myself out of the front door because of my anxiety-fuelled comparisons with others and worry about what they might think about me (and it was never something good).

Yet there's no denying that these days it's easier than ever to compare our own thoughts, feelings, perceptions and levels of self-esteem with the filtered, published results that someone chooses to portray online. We compare our inner self worth with someone else's carefully selected public profile. And if you are going through a hard time right now, then those images of smiley, happy people enjoying every moment of life can only make you feel a bit worse (after all, how come everyone else is so happy and you're not, right?).

It's something that comes up in my office, and I can reference a recent client where such a thing was adding to her feelings of low self-esteem.

In her case, it was seeing a photo of her ex-partner looking happier than ever with his new partner. As she wasn't in a good place when she saw the image, it added to her thoughts of not being good enough or worrying that she would never find a new relationship where she could be happy. But of course we know that just because someone doesn't share it, EVERYONE has their own issues, challenges, worries and stresses. Behind every (carefully selected and filtered) photo and post, you will find the same insecurities, worries and stresses that affect us all at some time or other.   

I've talked a bit more about comparing yourself to others in this short vlog: 

comparing yourself to others self esteem hypnotherapy ely newmarket

Watch Comparing Yourself To Others on You Tube

So when you do find yourself comparing yourself to others, remind yourself that you are comparing everything about you with just a little of what they share about themselves. 

Sometimes we also find ourselves comparing in real life too (rather than just online). I've had times when I've found myself envious about someone who can run faster than me at running club or someone at bootcamp who can two burpees to every one of mine! It could just as easily be someone who you think presents better or is more organised or seems to get more done or any other form of comparison that leaves you feeling worse. Yet of course they can never be you - the unique mix that makes you individual (you're the best at being you in the whole world! I guarantee it!!).

So instead of thinking they are better than you, take some time to ask yourself what you can learn from how they do things. what can you learn from their mindset and behaviours that could help you move towards your goals? And then once you have these, start to incorporate them into what you do, in a way that fits with who you are and who you want to be. 

You can only ever aim to be better today than you were yesterday. What someone else may or may not do is something you can learn from so that you move forward and you get to feel better from comparing yourself to others.

To you happiness

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

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