How to Shake Your Compulsive Comparison Syndrome
The Prevention and Cure for Millennials with CCS
How many times a day do you find yourself green with envy when you’re scrolling through instagram, fixated on your high school friends beach selfies, wild friday nights or beautifully decorated sea view apartments? We have all been there and we will no doubt be there again, probably the next time we open Instagram.
It’s so easy to compare. There's the friend you graduated with whose career has taken off and you haven't even decided what you want to do with your life. The constant engagement pictures that seem to pop up the very moment you get back from another terrible date. And the ‘meet our new puppy!’ post when you can’t even seem to keep your houseplant alive. When we fall into the comparison trap life becomes a contest. We are suddenly placed in a line up with everyone else our age and judged on every aspect of our lives; relationships, number of friends, social activity, net worth, countries visited, property owned…. the list continues.
But the only judge in this contest is you.
So here’s how to cure your CCS and step out of the line up once and for all.
Realise that Instagram isn’t real life!
You have probably heard this before but it’s very easy to forget when Jenny from down the road has posted another perfect holiday snap and you’re sat at your pokey desk on a Monday morning slogging away. Jenny’s ‘Insta life’ isn't her real life! Just like yours isn't. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly perfect lives people portray to the world. Social media is a vessel that all of us use to show our best selves or the version of us we want to be. Just because someone seems like they are on holiday all the time or appear to have the most perfect relationship, it doesn't mean their entire life is perfect. We don’t know their true reality.
'Comparison is the thief of joy.'
Celebrate what you do have not what you don’t
It’s so easy to compare yourself to friends, or influencers and wonder why you don’t have your own flat yet or your dream job. Why them? We ask ourselves, realising that we are rapidly falling behind in the contest.
But stop for a minute and focus on everything that is great in your life. Yes, maybe you still live at home and maybe you haven't made it to your dream job but that doesn’t mean your whole life is doom and gloom. Make a list of every single thing you love about your life. However small. Your friends, your family, the beaten up little car you drive that has never let you down or that dress you bought last week and can’t wait to wear. Don’t let the CCS cast a shadow over all the good in your life.
Just because you don’t have ‘the perfect’ life now doesn't mean you never will. When we finish school or graduate uni we stop living our lives in parallel to everyone else our age. Up until now we have all pretty much progressed at the exact same speed. But when real life begins we are all thrown off the course and start moving on completely different paths.
The goal post is not the same for everyone anymore so it’s inevitable that we are all going to head in different directions. It may seem like some people have headed straight down the path to success and you may feel like you're stuck in the woods taking the scenic route. But it doesn't mean you’re never going to make it to YOUR goal post. It might just take you a little longer.
Focus on YOU
The only way to get the life you have always dreamed of is to put all your time and energy into YOU. Constantly comparing, analysing and mulling over the lives of friends and strangers is only going to drag you down and stop you from progressing on YOUR life path.
We have all been there. Left feeling a little blue after some heavy Instagram stalking, wondering how everything worked out so perfectly for them. But sulking and adopting the ‘it’s not fair’ attitude isn't going to get you anywhere. You are in the driver's seat of your life and you can turn the wheel whenever you like. So stop focusing on the traffic in the other lanes and keep your eyes ahead. Your destination is the only one that matters.
If you start appreciating everything you have in your life you’ll start to look at other peoples with a completely different attitude. It won’t turn your skin green or make your eyes roll, instead it will fuel you, inspire you and maybe you’ll even be happy for them!
Comparison is the thief of joy. It will leave you feeling inadequate and deflated and won’t get you any closer to where you want to be. Step out of the line up. The only person you should ever be in competition with is yourself. You’ll win that contest every time!