It’s nearly unavoidable. Not only that, but it follows you everywhere—in the store when you’re trying on clothes; when you’re working on a project for your internship; when you get your grade back on an assignment. It makes you question your skills and talents, and worsens your self-confidence on days you’re already feeling down about. It’s comparison, and it wreaks havoc on nearly all aspects of your life.
(Photo via @sarahgargano)
While I don’t want to bash on social media, it’s undeniable that the 24/7 stream of highlight reels we’re viewing each time we open an app is taking a toll on us. While we lounge around in our sweatpants avoiding homework, we stare at pictures of perfectly winged eyeliner, a new dream internship acceptance, and edited, styled, and perfectly-angled “candids.”
(Photo via @lykaday)
Although I understand from my own pictures on Instagram and pins on Pinterest that everything is carefully curated, I and so many others somehow forget this when we look at others. That’s when the biting, toxic self-doubt starts. Wow, my legs don’t look that good. I could never get an internship like that. My hair always looks horrendous, how is hers always so perfect? I have so much acne; her face is glowing! She double majored, got a 4.0, AND had three internships? When will I ever be good at anything?
(Photo via @mar.elekes)
It’s hard to understand why we do this to ourselves. The moments we spend resting and recuperating or slowing down are automatically pitted against the high points of our friends’ lives. We rarely ever take the time to stop and think of all the incredible things we’ve accomplished.
It’s a painful habit that I know so many of us can relate to. And while I personally have a lot of work to do on this, there are a few ideas I think we can all use to halt this cycle. Starting with taking a break from social media. If it’s the only thing we’re exposed to, what we see is going to convince us more and more that it’s reality (when in fact it’s not). Hang out with your friends, and spend a day running around outside without your eyes glued to a screen. Another point to remember is the importance of taking the time to contemplate the work you’ve done, the obstacles you’ve overcame in your life, and the dreams your ambitious, beautiful self has made happen.
(Photo via @stylebyalexis)
Lastly, practice self-appreciation in any and every way you can. Try to stray from the notion that everyone else is competition—allow them to inspire you. It’s a funny thing when the whole world sees your intelligence, beauty, and power, but the person behind it doesn’t. You deserve to acknowledge your strengths every single day.
(Photo via @amandaskrabucha)
How do you not let the competition effect you? Let us know in the comments below!