Posted in advice, Family, Goals, self worth

How To Avoid the Comparison Trap

Social media has become one of the most prevalent parts of our society.  We are addicted to it.  We have to develop apps to force us to be off of it and actually enjoy our families from time to time.  Social media is a great way to stay connected, but it can also be damaging to your feelings of success in your life.  Have you ever noticed that people’s lives on social media seem so perfect?  Everyone is getting married, having babies, climbing mountains, biking cross-country, running marathons, or starting businesses.  Meanwhile, I’m over here just trying to have a clean house, get my work done, and keep my kid happy and healthy.  It can certainly feel like everyone is living their best life except you.

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is so real.  We get jealous of others who seem to have more success in their life than we do. We want what they have.  We see someone complete a marathon and think “I want to do that!”.  But running a marathon was never something you thought you’d want to complete before seeing 4 of your friends doing it.  This is a natural way of thinking.  This is why trends are a thing.  Someone seems happy doing something and they’re feeling accomplished, so we want to do it too and get those same feelings.  But, once we do whatever is, we don’t feel the same satisfaction.  So, how do we avoid this comparison trap?  How do we interrupt this natural way of thinking?  How do we remember that everyone has their low points and things are never as perfect as they seem?  Fear not, faithful reader.  Momma Caped Nerd is here to help you.

1. Develop Your Own Metrics For Success

When we see someone else be successful in running a marathon, we think “Wow, how awesome! I want to feel that way too.”  But if we aren’t a runner and running is not a thing we’ve had interest in before, will we really feel so successful at the end of the marathon?  I’m certain that there will be some level of accomplishment felt.  However, would that be all it takes to make you feel successful?  Probably not.  It’s important for us to develop our own metrics for success.  For instance, one person’s feeling of success could come from making a certain amount of money.  Another person’s feeling of success could come from raising happy children and keeping them safe and healthy.  You need to decide what your own values and metrics for success are.  You need to figure out what’s important to you and what your goals are, everyone else aside. This will make it easier to remember that your path to feeling successful is your own and will differ from those random folks on your news feed.

2. Remember What People Who Are Truly Happy Do (Or Don’t Do)

Have you ever seen a couple that post on Facebook every 10-15 minutes about how in love they are?  They post beautiful stories with one another and acclamations of undying affection.  Then, 2 weeks later they’ve broken up. Well that changed quickly.  I’m certainly not saying that there can’t be couples who post on social media about their undying love for one another that are truly happy.  It’s just a rare find when they are.  Studies have shown that most people who are truly happy in their relationships rarely post on social media about it. Why is that?  Probably because they’re too busy being in the relationship and doing their thing to remember to post about it.  The point is that your news feed is generally filled the high points of people’s lives and relationships, so going through your feed can sometimes make you feel like a failure.  But, everyone has their issues and their baggage, just not everyone airs it out on social media.

3. Curate Your Feed To Things That Lift You Up

If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re following a bunch of fitness people that have 0% body fat and live to shame fat people, your news feed can’t make you feel very good. If you look at someone’s posts and always feel envious or shameful of where you’re at in your life, you need to unfollow them.  We get enough feelings of failure from our society as a whole, we don’t need to maximize these with social media.  Try going through your news feed being hyper aware of your emotions around each post.  As you scroll through, do you feel happy or inadequate?  If you’re not feeling inspired or enjoying a cute dog meme, unfollow and unfriend.  Make your news feed like your living room.  A safe place that you only invite people you actually enjoy interacting with into.

It’s difficult not to compare ourselves to others.  But we need to find our own metrics for measuring our success.  Only then can we truly be happy. No go forth and live your best life, not someone else’s.

Much love and productive vibes,

Momma Caped Nerd ❤

Selfie

Do you have questions or suggestions for Momma Caped Nerd?  Did this post inspire or help you in any way?  Let me know by leaving a comment below or by visiting my Contact page. I’d love to hear from you!

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My goal is to help parents get more done so that they can focus their time on the things that really matter to them.

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