I think I’m a pretty tough guy. I don’t complain much. I thought I pretty much had everything together – until the other night when I found myself having an unusual feeling. It’s one that I haven’t had in a long while: I started getting that sinking feeling you get when you compare yourself to other people.
I found myself comparing my life to that of others on social media – looking at the places they have seen; the people they know. It was tough because I actually didn’t know how to outwork all of these feelings in a healthy way. So I did what every person dreads and tried to open up to someone. For me it was my girlfriend. As soon as I did it, it was like a waterfall of frustrations and feelings – ones that I didn’t even know I had. I decided to try and outwork these feelings in a sensible way.
The first thing that I had to make peace with is that this apprehension to tackle a problem like this head-on is normal to a degree. Sometimes we feel that we can’t open up to people – especially when it comes to the subject of comparing ourselves to others. But we have to understand that this happens to all of us, and we need to be able to face it and discuss it.
The second aspect to understand is that things always look better on social media. Some people’s lives look great online, and often taking these images and posts at face value can cause us to begin comparing ourselves to these idealised pictures, which distracts us from our own journey. Your journey is the only journey you will ever have.
The third thing is to understand the importance of confiding in a trusted friend or family member when this issue presents itself. Often, we think that we are okay and that we can deal with this without the help of people. However, I’ve learnt that I am more in control of my emotions when I have great support behind me.
I hope this helps you on your journey.