Comparison Consumes Our Confidence

By March 7, 2017Counseling

Comparison consumes our confidence. This is the first segment of how we let the shadows of this world overtake our sunshine (confidence).
We are all guilty of playing the comparison game. In one way or another we have compared ourselves, our jobs, or our life to other peoples’. It doesn’t seem like this would have a huge impact on us, but the truth of the matter is it does. When we compare, we limit our thinking, our confidence, our authenticity, among other virtues in our life. When we allow ourselves to be swept over with the emotion of what we wish we had or what we should be.

The way the world is set up has made life a comparison game, always wanting more. There are ads and movies and systems that are in place that allow us to fall in the trap of comparison and wanting. Some of the most common avenues that we compare ourselves are:

  • social media
  • television
  • magazines
  • our friends
  • family members
  • neighbors

There are many different areas that are right at our fingertips that keep us wanting more. Comparison will be around for the rest of our lives, and it will be something we combat nearly every day. The goal is to help you become aware of how comparisons break you down, and to develop the skills to combat the comparisons that we are faced with.

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Social Media

Everything in life is gravitating toward social media, but the truth of the matter is that even though there are some great things about social media there are so very damaging influences produced by social
media. Some research states that people spend almost one-third of their time awake on their phones. This gives us tons of time to compare and envy over things that we want or don’t have. Social media is not always accurate, and sometimes it can put up a very false idea of what is realistic and what is true in peoples’ lives.

The first step is: start by becoming aware of how many times you get on social media, the amount of time you spend, and how you feel after. Change the way social media affects you, start following positive, helpful, and hopeful people to fill your screen with positivity, and begin weeding out the negativity that comes across your page.

Next challenge is: get off and get connected. Start building meaningful relationships that give you light into what true life really looks like. Not the surface level “everything is perfect in my world” kind ofrelationships, but the relationship you can sit down and say “you know what life is hard right now and here is why…” and you are met with compassion and care. Connection allows us to foster meaningful purpose in life and true in-person connection gives us a view of reality that social media cannot. This will help you feel more real, more authentic, and less likely to compare yourself to what is happening on your social media.

“Connection is why we are here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

-Brene Brown.

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Our “Shoulds” and Materialist Thinking

Our “shoulds” are another huge source or stress for comparisons. Our shoulds portray a way that we need to see ourselves, and it puts a large amount of pressure on us to be inauthentic. When we should ourselves it puts us in a place we are not:

  • “I should be skinnier”
  • “I should be married by now”
  • “I should be further along in my career”
  • “I should have it all together by now”

These among other things can trap us, and we need to learn to turn our shoulds into dreams and aspirations. Change the talk from:

  • “I should be skinnier” to “it is important for me to be healthier”
  • “I should be married” to “it is important for me to find the right person to marry”

It takes the pressure off and it puts things into perspective as to why you are where you are and why your situation aligns with you are at your core.

We need to stop looking at all the things around us that others have or that others are doing and stop
putting pressure on ourselves to be like them. Be YOU. You don’t have to be anything else other than what you want to be. Start turning that pressure of being like someone into the desire to be more of who you are.

Start building awareness around each time that you compare what others have around you. Start asking yourself: “Is what I am chasing after represent who I am or does it represent something I feel pressured to be like?” Start asking yourself that question and you will start to understand yourself a little better and relieve some of the pressure you have put on yourself. When you stop living up to other peoples’ standards and start creating and living by your own, your confidence in who you are and what you are doing will increase as well.

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We all fall victim to the comparison trap. This is not an issue that dissipates after a little work. The comparison game is something that is a life long battle. The best way to combat this battle is to build that inner self who is comfortable, certain, and courageous. This issue takes a special type of navigation and validation. If you are looking to start this journey of building your confidence and establishing a more solid framework of who you are contact me. I would be happy to navigate through this mucky waters with you as you begin the journey to a more confident you. Remember that sunshine is what casts out the darkness. We are the ones that have control of our own sunshine, and sometimes finding access to our sunshine is a bit more difficult than other times.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

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Rebecca Frank

Author Rebecca Frank

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