We all know what comparison is – in fact, I’m pretty much betting you have compared yourself to another person at some point in your life. It almost seems to be human nature to compare ourselves to others and the fact that we are our harshest critics doesn’t help. I’ve been SO guilty of comparing myself to others and the worst thing is that although I compare myself, I’m never doing it consciously – what seems to be a harmless Instagram scroll or Pinterest search soon turns into a comparison binge of criticizing every part of my life and wondering why I can’t be like Suzie Q. Sound familiar?
Whether you’re conscious of it or not, at some point in your life there will be times when the comparison game takes over. It opens the door to a world of judgement (from yourself) both on your life and the person you’re comparing your life too.
Comparison doesn’t start out that way though – It’s quite rare that you would ever scroll through social media with the full intention of making yourself feel like crap, right? It starts off as INSPIRATION. We’ve all been there – we follow people that inspire us, that motivate us and who’s life we love to escape to every once in a while. Social media can be brilliant (for all of those reasons) and I LOVE that like-minded people can connect even though they live thousands of miles apart from one another. However, inspiration can very quickly be replaced by comparison and that’s when things start to go south.
After all, without inspiration would you even take that first nudge in the right direction? Whenever you make a major change in your life or the direction of your journey, there’s always a source of inspiration that pushed you to take that leap. For me, my main sources of inspiration have always been:
I love getting lost in all 3 of those things and find that my mind wonders and gives me the inspiration I need to take the next step on my journey. While so many people seek inspiration on social media, through magazines or pictures, I know that it’s not the right step for me. Even sources of inspiration are bio-individual!
Inspiration should never lead you to comparison!
Inspiration is about creating positive change in you and your body, whereas comparison is about judging and putting yourself down.
The two can’t work together – it’s as simple as that.
“If you find that your mind starts to lead you to comparing yourself to your ‘sources’ of inspiration then they’re not actually inspiring you! ”
Take ‘#FITSPO’ for example:
I see so many people getting caught up in this idea of Fitspo – of finding people on social media that they feel inspire them on their fitness journey. They might start following these people because they aspire to have a body like them, or because they inspire them to get out of bed and go to the gym in the morning. Seems innocent, right?
But what happens when 8 weeks into that fitness journey you start questioning why you don’t have a 6 pack yet, or why you haven’t managed to lose that 2% body fat you’re still holding on to? What happens when it’s no longer about fitness but turns into a comparison game of their social media life against yours? That initial source of inspiration turns into a source of body shaming AND life shaming as well. Think about this: Would you feel happier if you weren’t always comparing yourself to others? Would you feel more free and open? More likely than not, your answers to those 2 questions are a loud YES!!
As always there’s a good and a bad side to everything and some people really work well off Fitspo but some people don’t and it’s for those exact reasons. When you follow someone on social media, or if you pin a picture on Pinterest, those images SHOULD be inspirational! They should motivate you! What they shouldn’t do is make you second guess yourself and make you question every decision you make. They especially shouldn’t open the doors to body shaming. After all, that’s going against every core part of you! You should be your biggest cheerleader and reel off 100 reasons why you’re amazing, not put yourself down.
“Being on a health journey of any kind should come from a place of love, not a place of shame.”
Now, let’s take #GIRLBOSS as another example:
Maybe you want to start your own business. The idea of being self-employed, doing what you love and in a time frame that suits you might be crying out to you (I know it did for me!). So naturally you look for inspiration and social media is calling out your name. You start following like-minded ‘girl bosses’ and ‘boss babes’ to see how they managed it, what they’re up to and the whole time you call it ‘market research’ or ‘inspiration’.
After a few weeks, you start noticing your followers haven’t increased and question why your sources of inspiration have thousands. You start doubting yourself because someone else is doing what you want to do already. You put yourself down because there are other people that seem so much more qualified and experienced than you are. Yet, you keep looking at these social media accounts because they ‘inspire’ you.
“Once you’re putting yourself down, you’re no longer in a creative place to feel inspired!”
Comparing yourself to others when it comes to starting your own business is possibly the most detrimental thing you can do – I’d go so far to say it’s a death sentence to your business. Why? Because you are doing YOU in your own way! You have value to give to the world and the more you get stuck comparing yourself to someone else that has already made it, the less energy you have to put into your business.
For you to be a #BOSSBABE you have to have faith in yourself and self-belief that you have value to share – without that, no one is going to buy into you, your product or your brand. If you’re comparing yourself to someone else and constantly putting yourself down then where is that self-belief? Your so-called sources of inspiration that have already made it spent years working for it before they even saw any results and dedicated themselves to achieving their end goal. They didn’t sabotage their chances by comparing themselves to other people.
When I was a young teenager I played The SIMS on my PC (bear with me here). For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a computer game where you create characters and run their lives. I would make my sims run on the treadmill to get their fitness levels up. I would make them go ice-skating so their skill level would increase and they would be able to jump. I would make them sit for hours in their university library, studying so they would pass their exams.
Until one day I realised something. I was making simulated characters do all the things I wanted to do! I had compared myself to so many people and managed to convince myself that I wasn’t capable of achieving the things I wanted. By comparing myself over and over again to the other girls in my year, I had started to believe I would never be able to do the things I wanted to do. When I realised this, guess what I did? I got off my backside and went for a run on the treadmill! I started to take back control over my life and do what I wanted to do without letting my inner mean girl take the reins.
The thing is, I never sought out to compare myself to the girls in my year – in fact, I looked up to them as sources of inspiration. I wanted to BE like them. The problem was, the more I realised I wasn’t like them the more I would compare myself to them. The more I compared myself to them, the more I put myself down and lost belief in who I was. So I hid myself away in my bedroom, playing The SIMS on my computer.
They’re a total waste of time and energy and are going to hold you back from achieving what you want!
You have so much to give to the world and so much to share, that spending time comparing yourself to others is the biggest waste of time.
If you want something then you have to go and make it happen. Answer this:
Will your dreams come true if you scroll though social media, putting yourself down?
Will your dreams come true if you lose faith in yourself and your purpose?
Social media SHOULD be a source of inspiration – it should be a platform that you go to, to make yourself excited and motivated for the future; a platform where everyone boosts each other and supports each other to be the best version of themselves.
If you notice that you’re starting to compare yourself to others on social media and if you notice that inner mean girl starting to come to the surface then it’s time to realise those accounts are no longer serving their purpose – they’re no longer inspiring you.
If you notice you’re spending longer and longer scrolling through accounts and comparing your life to theirs, then you’re wasting valuable energy that could be spent making your own life epic!
I’m not telling you to delete all social media – I in fact LOVE it! I just think it’s important to be mindful of how it’s affecting you and if the accounts you’re following or the pictures you’re pinning really inspire you or if they are sources of comparison.
To be the best version of yourself you need to be inspired every day. Ask yourself why you’re inspired by certain people. Is it for:
Also, start looking for sources of inspiration OUTSIDE of social media. I shared my sources of inspiration with you at the start to give you an insight into what drives me and opens my creativeness up. Figure out what works for you. Sources of inspiration are bio-individual and what motivates us is unique to every single one of us – take advantage of that and discover who you are.
After all, we are all on our own unique journey so there is absolutely no point comparing your life, your body or your mind to someone else’s because no matter how hard you try you will never be anyone else but YOU – and you are absolutely perfect just as you are. All you need now is to truly believe that yourself and go take on the world.
Inspire yourself to be the best version of yourself. The more self-belief you have, the more your source of inspiration will come from within you; when that happens comparing yourself to others will disappear. Until then, make sure your sources of inspiration lift you up, add purpose to your life and most importantly serve you. Notice when something no longer serves you so that you can continue being your beautiful self without any distractions.