It is normal to compare ourselves to others and it may even be necessary, to some extent, so that we have aspirational people and ambitious goals to aim for in life. Comparing ourselves with others could drive us to improve our behaviour and circumstances so that we raise our educational achievements, our living standards and even our philanthropy. But it does have a downside too!
Comparison anxiety is growing because of our constant and easy access to the lives of others via social media. It seems everyone else is more successful than us, more rich, more beautiful and happier than us - going by their social media posts! But we forget, that most people only post the positive things in their lives i.e. a holiday, a promotion, a birthday party or some other happy occasion. We may have no way of knowing what else is going on in their lives or what other challenges they are facing. Which is why I do have to question why some people feel the urgent need to show off when they are having a good time. Could it be an indication of their own insecurity? i.e. is their behaviour online the result of their low self-esteem, anxiety, depression or narcissism, offline?
For some people these constant comparisons can be so overwhelming that they cause anxiety and depression. It is also true that people with low self-esteem spend the most time on social media. That means that people already living with low self-esteem are indulging in something that could lower their self-esteem even further. Thus it is a vicious cycle.
So how could you counter all this?
· Acknowledge that you are comparing yourself with someone else. Step back, pause and practice some self-compassion.
· Accept that we are all flawed and imperfect. Furthermore, each and every one of us feels their imperfections and inadequacies at times. This is human nature.
· Embrace your individuality and your own unique life journey. The chance of ‘You’ being ‘You’ is 1 in 400 trillion. You are a miracle.
· Practice gratitude for all the good things in your own life.
· Rise above the material self and embrace your spiritual self and develop your spirituality.
Here’s a piece of Sufi music to help your soul sing:
This deeply spiritual piece reminds us that we seem to have lost the true meaning of success: Contentment. We strive from one goal to the next, when it isn’t really making us happy. Even when we acquire greater wealth and a higher status we are still not happy or content. Instead of striving for material goals, we should strive for contentment i.e:
(Transcend into a greater realm, to discover the soul’s gem)