Saturday, 21 January 2017

Comparisons can be bad for your health

Social media! Do you use social media? If you are reading this I am guessing that you have some kind of profile somewhere.

What do you use?


OK. So you use some or all of those. Good.

Now, second question. How many of you would classify yourself as shy or introverted? (By the way, they are not the same thing. Click herehere, or here for more information about the difference.)

OK. I see a few of you out there.

Right. Here is the next part and I want you to listen up and listen carefully. OK? Are you ready to do that? Right, here goes:

DON'T and I mean DON'T compare yourself with other people out there. It will, and I apologise for my language here but it needs it, it will fuck you up big time.

I'll give you an example. I like Facebook and I have found it a way to keep in touch with family members and people that I went to school with. However I find that I get a little bit down by some of the things I see. Photos of holidays in exotic locations and big houses and flash cars and the like.

One guy that I went to school with has done incredibly well. Actually I knew from when I went to school that he would be a success. He has become a well respected medical professional. He has his own practice that seems to employ a large number of people. He has a beautiful house. He is married to a beautiful, intelligent woman and he seems to be away on exotic holidays every month. (Maybe some of that is work related, I don't know. Unfortunately people don't post photos of their meetings on Facebook. They only post photos of them standing on isolated beaches.)

So what happens when you start comparing yourself with other people on social media?

Well, quite a bit actually.

1. You take your eye of the ball. You forget about what you are doing and think about what the other person is doing and you completely lose focus. What you have to remember is that people post good stuff. As my friend said to me a few days ago, "I just want someone one time to write "I spent all day today lying on the couch in the foetal position sucking my thumb." Hmmm, what is the chance of that happening? Slim, I would say.

2. Comparing yourself to others can erode your confidence. You might think you are going along OK but then you see other people in their multi-story 6 bathroom house (yes I wrote bathroom instead of bedroom, that wasn't a typo) and you think that you are no where near them but you have no idea what they have done. All that you can do is concentrate on what you are doing.

3. As I have eluded to in the two above examples, you don't know the full story. Hey, that Lamborghini looks really cool and I am super jealous but what you don't know is that the guy is in debt for the next 53 years paying it off at a ridiculous interest rate.

Another thing about photos on Facebook and this is a common one. They might all look happy but they may have just stopped an argument and as soon as the camera is put down they will be off again.

4. There is always someone who is better than you. There is always going to be someone who is more successful than you. It is a fact of life. Get over it. I'm sure that someone out there will go past Sachin Tendulkar or Usain Bolt or Richie McCaw or Roger Federer. That's life.

Focus on what you are doing and you will get the results that you want. Don't compare yourself to other people on Instagram, Facebook etc. You don't know what they are doing. You know what you are doing. Keep it like that.

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