Every article or YouTube video about being genuinely happy that I've watched brings up not comparing yourself to others. This makes no sense to me or rather seems like an impossible challenge. How are we not supposed to compare ourselves to others? Pictures and videos of what we are SUPPOSED to look, be, or act like surround us. These images are the expectations from society, and how are we shown these expectations? By showing us people that have achieved them.
So, let's say I'm walking in New York City feeling confident in my new clothes and the makeup that I put on this morning. I look up and see an ad of a gorgeous actress or model sporting a new mascara that even if I did buy, there was no way I could look remotely similar to the model in the poster. Now I find myself being a little more self-conscious about my makeup and my overall appearance for the day. It can be as simple as that. Just seeing someone else that is presented as the "ideal" and knowing that what is presented is nowhere near to what is "you."
Basically what I'm saying is because of the combination of what is wanted in today's society and the people we are surrounded by it's pretty darn hard to not compare ourselves to others. Now I'm not saying we are making a Venn diagram and laying out all of our features side by side, but even if we are the most confident person it's easy to look at someone else and pick out something they have that you don't have but do want.
Now for me, it became a little bit excessive. I would look at everyone else and envy how they looked and at that point, it was impossible to be happy with myself because I was so focused on everyone else.
NOW. For the mind-blowing experience I had, well not really, I should have made a change a long time ago.
I was in my room, about to get ready for the day but was still in bed watching YouTube videos and vlogs. I watched makeup tutorials, vacation vlogs, for those other girls out there obsessed with YouTube: GRWM, OOTW, and story times. Anyway, there was a whole bunch of watching going on until I started to feel irritable and annoyed. I looked at the clock and realized literally hours had passed. I had wasted half of the day watching other people's lives.
I knew I was agitated when I started getting dressed and was completely unhappy with everything I tried on.
I began to understand that the mindless scrolling and watching really made me feel shitty. I knew it was always pretty pointless but didn't think about how I felt AFTER I watched the video or AFTER I spent 10 minutes looking at other people's Instagrams.
I've always been okay with confidence but have also really struggled with comparing myself to others. I knew it was becoming too much, and I had to do something to change. I started off with trying to make note of the moments and triggers when it became really excessive. I knew after I had spent a lot of time on social media I was way more likely to pick out things that others had that I wanted, even if it was superficial.
I then made notes on what I thought was really important in life. For me, I have always been really into my schoolwork and making sure that I am truly happy with who I am. It can be hard to notice flaws in who we are but until we do there's no way to change toward the better happier you. This helped me to really put things into perspective.
The last thing I did and am still trying to do is to remember that we don't truly know how others are feeling and what they are going through. Social media can be very deceiving. We are constantly seeing pictures of fun-filled days, but we don't see the photos of everyone's bad days where they don't leave home.
We all have these days, but I think it's easy to forget when we are constantly seeing huge smiles in every single post.
I know it's really easy to say I'm going to stop comparing myself to others, but after doing it for even just a few days I've realized it's incredibly hard. You have to retrain your mind to get rid of those negative thoughts, and if you've been stuck in the cycle for a while, like me it can be even harder. However, after doing it day after day it does get easier and I have really noticed a difference in my happiness and confidence as a whole.