Today I showed my trainer, Ashley Brodeur a picture of a woman I follow on Instagram. This woman has a six-pack. No, she has an eight pack. She is tan, lean and beautiful. I told Ashley that I want to have a body like hers. I asked her “How can I look like that? What do I need to do?”
Ashley politely said to me that most of her body is genetics. I am also in my 40’s, not 25…lol. She then went on to say that I pretty much look like her. I would advise Ashley to schedule an eye check, but that was kind of her to say. While I definitely don’t look like this woman on Instagram, I continue to ask myself why am I comparing myself to others.
Why do we compare?
We all want to look like someone else. In our eyes, the other woman has a better butt, fewer wrinkles, better hair, and the perfect smile. Right?
What we need to do is look in the mirror and get to a place where we are happy with ourselves.
But how? How can we do that when we are constantly scrolling through newsfeeds of in our eyes “perfect” people?
I was recently interviewed by a reporter at Cosmopolitan. She asked me if a certain life event would have been easier to get over if I was not on social media. My answer was heck yes?
As much as I love social media it messes with our heads. We are constantly comparing our lives to everyone else.
So how do we stop doing this? I mean, really stop comparing our lives to everyone’s highlight reel.
I’ve done some research and found a few things that I am hoping will help me and perhaps they will help you too.
Take a Break from Social Media
Do you ever read your screen time report? I’m embarrassed to say what mine is. Disclaimer- I have to be on it for work, but when I go on it for work, I get sucked into “nonwork” things. Does this sound familiar?
But, experts say less social media browsing is the key to alleviating stress. And, we will actually get a lot more accomplished.
Give yourself a designated amount of time on social and then get on with the rest of your day.
The Root of Insecurities
When we evaluate what we are comparing, that may be an area that we need to really focus on improving our confidence. It may even be a sign that you should talk to a therapist I am all for therapy. I personally think that everyone should go.
Focus on What Matters
Instead of stalking the skinny girl on Instagram, focus on what matters most to you. Write a list of things that you want to do over the next 30 days that will make you happy. It can be anything from reading a book or a lunch date with a friend you haven’t seen or jump out of a plane. The sky’s the limit, just make yourself a priority and forget the fake world of social media.
The more things you do to make you happy, the less you will find yourself comparing yourself to others on social media.
I know this is such a buzz phrase lately, but I do believe that the more you are thankful for the happier you are. Now, this doesn’t mean that I won’t look at the woman’s picture again when I am feeling down about myself.
But, I do believe that if I can truly practice the above steps, I may compare myself a little less to others and focus on being happy with who I am.
I am a 42-year-old mother of 3 beautiful girls. I am successful and blessed with good health. I have cellulite. I have wrinkles. I certainly don’t have a six or eight pack. I have scars and my eyes squint when I smile. Some of these I can change and others I can’t and maybe I don’t want to.
We all have flaws, even the perfect girl on Instagram.
I hope someday that I can embrace those flaws. But like everything else it will take time.