In our social media mad world, people compare themselves to others constantly. It’s super prevalent. Yet it impacts our confidence in powerful ways, often squashing us down rather than building us up.
In my world, the women I meet invariably want more confidence. The ones in group mentoring, the women’s network group, those doing one on one mentoring with me—they all want more confidence for whatever it is they’re planning to do and be.
Yet they all make the same mistake. They keep jumping onto social media at times when they shouldn’t.
It’s so ingrained now to have a look on social and instantly compare ourselves to everyone else’s lives. And it seems that someone else is always doing more. They have more. They’re spending more time with their kids. They’re on a holiday, so ooh, they must be doing really well. And, of course, all of this is so disempowering and depleting because you are then looking at what others are doing from the perspective of your own lack.
I love Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, ‘comparison is the thief of joy’. Spot on. Comparing ourselves to others, especially via social, means we’re often left feeling inadequate and unhappy because we start to focus on what we lack rather than what we have.
It’s a feeling I sometimes have on social. You start off having a look and feeling really good, then when you’re finished, you’re deflated. The inspiration you were perhaps looking for has been replaced by another feeling.
Of course, I know nobody is ever going to give up social media, me included. It’s a valuable business and connection tool. What I am saying is that you need to understand what is zapping your confidence because it can be very, very easily dinted, for some people. You want to search for a funny cat meme to cheer them up but get people doing fabulous stuff or see the number of people holidaying in Europe (that may be just me!) where you want to be, and it doesn’t serve you at that moment in time.
Not buying into it isn’t jealousy. It’s self-preservation.
My advice is to pick the times when you can safely look at social, when it will serve you and be something resourceful. I remember when I was recovering from my operation in 2021 at a time when everyone was coming out of lockdown in Melbourne. I was thrilled for them, but it didn’t make me feel better that everyone was doing stuff when I couldn’t. I was lay up on my bed unable to walk! So, I stayed off social until I felt stronger to deal with the complicated feelings it brought up for me.
To build confidence, you need to stop comparing yourself to others. So just really understand what the social platform is. It is a time waster and it can be an energy zapper. You need to gauge how you’re feeling on any given day and protect your state of mind.
On vulnerable days, give it a miss. Do something else—run, read, watch Ted Lasso.
Do things that make you feel awesome, not awful.