We are ALL guilty of it, the comparison trap – falling into that pit of envy, sometimes it consumes us that we almost become paralyzed by it. We psyche ourselves out, talk ourselves down and become stuck in the negative pattern. I have been guilty of getting so jealous looking at social media that I will just lock my phone, put it in a couch cushion and storm off to stew over it until I forget, pick up my phone do the same habits and repeat the cycle (it’s madness). When am I going to start reminding myself of the “highlight reel” on social media that is now so widely spoken about… I think I will always have weak moments where it gets to me, but I have incorporated a healthier way to deal with it now. We are all a work in progress, that will never change and I will say it over and over and over again WE ARE ALL A WORK IN PROGRESS. Just because your friend Jane bought a gorgeous house in your ideal neighborhood or John had a huge job promotion, or Gloria got 10,000 likes on her photo and yours got 2 doesn’t mean they are better… try to stop yourself and think for a minute – incorporate these 3 “exercises” or thoughts when you feel the envy come on.
Here is a few ways to stop that comparison trap that have worked for me to reroute the mindset patterned thinking:
1 – Think about the REALITY – common sense I know but really think about it.
CERTAINLY Jane, John and Gloria have other aspects to their life that they may not be so happy and successful in. Maybe Gloria is super lonely and fights with her mom, John has a secret exercise addiction (maybe?) and perhaps Jane cheats on her husband and eats cake at 2 am every night and is rapidly gaining weight. I mean really ask yourself these questions… How do you know so and so is doing great? How do you know they are happy? In all honesty we don’t really KNOW what happens behind closed doors and off social media – so why do we always assume we do know?
2 – Think and acknowledge your own goals and successes in life
Remind yourself over and over that it’s all a highlight reel, yeah we can get envious without social media, but it is so much more prevalent these days and becoming more of an issue- people not feeling worthy or successful enough due to social media. Check yourself about it, what’s good in YOUR life. What successes have YOU had, stop focusing on others for a minute – break the cycle asap. Maybe you got your degree in a field you’re passionate about; maybe you went on a dope vacation to Japan. Maybe you have a boyfriend who rubs your feet every night. These little bits of gratitude will help you re-route your brain. If you make a habit to re-direct your brain it’s going to get easier and easier to not get deep into that “pity party” comparison trap (I know from experience!)
3 – think about WHY you are jealous and use it as motivation
This is my favorite tip right here. When I catch myself feeling envious of someone else I really try to remember to ask myself WHY I am feeling that way. My friend recently got a new exciting job that lets her travel internationally and I was a little jealous, I avoided reading her social media posts and didn’t even want to congratulate her (I am such a dick). I took a step back and asked myself WHY I was jealous. It’s because I want to be that excited about my own job, I want a job that sends me to cool places … rather than hate on her about it, I decided to stop. I congratulated her, and started thinking about my next dream job and what kind of moves I need to make to get there…. I also realized while thinking about it for a while, that I wouldn’t WANT her job anyways because she’s gone for a month at a time and that would suck leaving my friends and family behind for such long periods!!! After all is said and done I really WASN’T jealous or envious after reflecting on it for a moment and I felt like a chump for reacting that way. I used to get jealous of all my friends getting married and having babies… and now looking back on it, I remind myself “I am not ready for those commitments, I want to travel and have no strings attached, THAT’S why I don’t have babies and didn’t have a big wedding yet. I have wanted to work on myself before working on a marriage and raising kids” these were MY choices so after that pep talk I no longer get envious and haven’t in years.
Do yourself a favor and start doing these 3 things next time you get caught up in that comparison game and you will find that you are a lot better off than you thought you were 5 minutes ago.