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Mindset StrategiesSelf Care

How to stop negative self-comparison

By August 2, 2018 21 Comments

Hey champ,

Have you ever experienced this?

You’re going about your day, feeling good, and then while you’re waiting for your coffee or to pick your kids up from the bus stop, you automatically find yourself scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.

And then, five or ten minutes later, you put your phone down and realise you somehow feel a little worse.

Maybe you can’t put your finger on what exactly you’re feeling, but it’s definitely not the carefree, feel-good mood you were in before.

Sometimes, scrolling through social media can be a really funny or empowering experience. And sometimes it can be like a time machine, only instead of taking you to cool places and times in the future, it takes you to the mental equivalent of a sh*tty abandoned carpark in the middle of nowhere! 😂

The thing is, it’s easy to feel down about your life when you’re constantly comparing it to others on social media.

But, you’ve gotta remember that you can’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlights reel!Tweet it!

Have a quick think about how you’re feeling just before you jump on social media, and then check in with how you feel after.

If you don’t feel good, it’s time to change something up.

As our mate Theodore Roosevelt once said, comparison is the thief of joy. So, we need to combat it whenever we can.

Here are two strategies you can use to overcome negative self-comparison:

  1. Change it up!
    Change up your social feeds so you start seeing heaps of posts from people who inspire you, make you feel good about yourself, make you laugh or help you get some perspective. Chuck them a like or comment so you keep seeing more of them in your feed. Try following @kurtfearnley @emmawatson @bethanyhamilton @serenawilliams @nationalgeographic and, duh!, me @turiapitt. And by the way: if looking at someone’s feed makes you feel bad about yourself, derrrrrrr, unfollow them stat!
  2. Do a social media cleanse
    No, I’m not talking about a detox tea being promoted by someone on Instagram! 😂 I’m talking about giving yourself a little time off social media.
    You can either give yourself a few days where you don’t check social media at all, or you could work at cutting down the time you spend there each day.(FYI, the average person checks their phone around 80 times a day! I installed an app called Checky to measure how often I check my phone, and I’ve been working on getting this number down. These days, I’m down to 10 a day which I still think is too much, but it’s an ongoing process!).

So, give those strategies a go.

And, I want to hear from you:

  1. What social media accounts make you feel empowered, happy and strong?
  2. What other strategies have you tried to cut down on negative self-comparison?

👉Let me know your answers in the comments below👈

Remember, thousands of people stop by the blog every week, and your answer could really help someone else!

Here’s to you, behind-the-scenes and all!
Turia x

Join the discussion 21 Comments

  • Great post Turia (as always). I usually feel worse about myself at the end of each month when the business I’m part of infiltrates FB with posts on how great consultants have done. When I haven’t done so great, those posts don’t make me feel any better about myself. I will try and limit my FB checks at the end of month to avoid seeing these posts.

  • Giannella says:

    So true Turia, Comparison is a thief of joy!!! We underestimate our value and self worth especially looking on social media. We forget we where put on this earth for different things.

  • Monique says:

    Hey Turia,
    I actually deleted my FB account a long time ago, Facebook was just killing my life in every way possible lol I have kept Instagram which I like as I find it a bit more personal, and I have Pinterest and am absolutely addicted to Pinterest! I will constantly refer to my Pinterest boards, for my favourite quotes, Beauty tips, exercise routines, basically anything X

  • Lucy says:

    Your email just prompted me to go through all the people/businesses I follow and do a big clean up. You’ll find you’ll wonder why on earth your following some of them. Then go round 2 and do it again, guaranteed they’ll be more. A freeing feeling.

  • Richie says:

    Funny. I just deleted Facebook last week cause of a negative rant by someone on a post I put up
    I can find myself engaged too much in it due so waiting time at work on night shift.
    I’ve found more useful tools while waiting for my truck to unload by walking around it and stretching.
    👍👍 richie

  • Claudia says:

    Dear Turia,

    Once again your thoughts are crystal clear for me. I once in a while disconnect all the social media accounts, because I want to look through the window of the bus while commuting home and watch my city instead of sneaking my nose into others’ public life.

    Unfortunately, I keep comparing myself with other women, should I be that thin? that healthy? that gorgeous? that funny? popular? etc, and the count goes on and on. Then I disconnect and remember, yey if I’m a lucky, blessed woman, I’m expecting now my first baby girl, I try to read or listen to empowering books (yours is in the queue :)) daily and just “stop and smell the flowers”, talk to the people, watch their faces or try to understand my and their emotions. I know social media can be a powerful resource to raise our voice and to fight for what we think is right, but let’s be clear if we keep comparing our lives with the life of people with different values, our thoughts about ourselves may change and in consequence, our identity and what makes us “unique” will be lost. Thanks for open up discussion once again! and thanks for being so strong and by reminding me how important is to take care of one’s feelings!. XOXO from Barcelona, Spain.

    • Kerry says:

      I’ve tried this recently and have been much better for it! My strategy was to remove Facebook and messenger from my phone altogether (I tried turning off notifications but that wasn’t enough). I’ve left them on my iPad so I now only check at home at a time of my choice, with a cup or tea or maybe a wine! It’s much better than the constant distractions of before. I’ve found I’m more engaged and present during the day, and I’ve now got all this spare time! I’ve filled it with 3 X smiling mind practices a day, and I have downloaded couch to 5km app and am working towards running 4km in the city to surf with my 8 year old. My mental well being has improved almost immediately. I can highly recommend this! I’m starting to get my life and focus back.

      Do it!

  • Sara says:

    Your emails always seem to arrive at the perfect time! They are always short, sweet and on point!

    I love using instagram and follow friends and people who inspire me, I’ve unfollowed accounts that have a negative impact on me. I’m on Facebook and Twitter but rarely go on them these days – these are the 2 that make me feel frustrated with my life, I don’t even know why really.

    There are still times when I will avoid checking social media altogether as my mood might feel a bit low and I know it only takes one post for me to drop a bit lower. Instagram has a positive affect on me but I try to only go on it once or twice a day. I run my own business so have to be on social media otherwise I’m come off everything except Instagram – it just seems like a happier place for me.

  • Nanette says:

    I am pleased to say that for about a year now , I have not intentionally read, listened to, or watched any news. And the world is a much nicer place. I know that’s not social media but I think it’s a similar idea.
    I don’t listen to commercial radio so that helps and I find people tell me the important things like when Prince Harry got engaged 😂. I still have to stop some people who can’t resist telling me something horrid but I just ask “and how does that information improve my day?” It’s not about shutting down. It’s about embracing the goodness in people and our world. (And yes, I have used it to protect my mental health. So far it’s been a positive experience.)

  • Jason says:

    Hi everyone the best thing I have done recently is delete all social media ,
    Its been weeks since I deleted them and I feel a thousand times better I’m having more real relationships I’m reading exercising living more in the real world I highly recommend deleting all your accounts
    You can still be inspired by others don’t forget social media is using your private details without your permission don’t be fooled by what they say they are doing I will never trust Facebook Twitter and Instagram
    Join me in the real world its awesome

  • Bárbara says:

    Hi Turia, i just wanted to say that your email came in a great timing!

    I was watching black mirror this week, and i cant stop thinking about how social media is so important to everyone, but actually is just meaningless photos that dont represent peoples real life and how i got so dependent of it. I think its time to people realise that life goes on out of smartphones, and i keep thinking that “when the service is free, youre the product”, so it means that we dont show our real life on social media, we dont see peoples real life, so whats the point? and I get the feeling like i think i know more about someone i never meet then about the ones right next to me, and i never felt more like i product then now. That thought really makes me sad, so i am trying to change my habits following your advice, i downloaded the app and unfollowed almost half people i was following, and im gonna try to slow down, so who knows maybe someday i wont need any kind of social media.

    Of course there are some good things about social media, (thats why im here) but i just wanted to share this thought whith you, and ask why is so crazy for us to imagine living whithout any kind of social media? i dont know anyone who doesnt have instagram or facebook account.
    Sorry about the english, im from Brasil. And thanks because writing this to you kind of made me feel better.
    Love, Bárbara.

  • Nathalia says:

    Hi Turia! I started following you in Instagram and at the same day I made the subscription for reviving your emails. Unfortunately I don’t check all of them but for sure I open my instagram and WhatsApp many times per day. Facebook I’ve already reduced to one or two, just to see the birthdays comings or any event that I’d like to go. Things that I did that I think helped me a lot to not check all the time:
    – there is no notification in my blocked screen for social medias
    – there is no numbers or alerts for Facebook and Instagram so I will not die handeling with my curiosity, once I have time to check, I will do it;
    – and finally I follow a lot of good vibes , positives, self knowledge instagrams and they make me feel better at the end of the day or if I’m not good, they help me to up my feelings!

  • Olivia says:

    I gets inspiration from Facebook and I just joined Turia last month ago from Gmail and I am getting something I really need in life from her and the team.
    Some of the strategies I myself tried it to be helpful to avoid negativity is to MOVE AWAY FROM THE ENVIRONMENT I AM GETTING ALL THIS and
    STOP THINKING ABOUT WHAT I HAVE HEARD or SEEN.. Because the more I think of it, the more I get hurt. Thank you.

  • Nicole says:

    Hi Turia I really enjoy all your inspiring posts. I have also gained so much inspiration and empowerment to feel happy and strong from Alyssa Azar, Adventure Professionals (who I just did Kokoda with) and Building Better Humans Project (Glenn RAzor Azar). You may already follow them. Keep up the awesomeness!

  • Sam King says:

    HI TURIA ! Love your work ! Thank you!!
    Being mostly off Facebook helps and looking at funny or nature focused instagram accounts or motivational podcasts help me a lot. eg Soul sessions, where Oprah interviews various fascinating people who have positive things to say or Bang On a hilarious podcast in which Myf Warhurst and Zan Rowe from Triple J and Abc radio, talk about all sorts of news or pop culture topics etc with a hilarious slant ! LOVE IT !
    Alternatively having a break from social media and going outside into the Winter sun or for a walk or in the garden or walking along the beach helps reduce the negativity you feel upon comparison on Social media.( which is futile and I try to do as little as poss!!)
    Cheers Sam

  • Kathleen Flanagan says:

    I like looking at Kristen Bell. She so real but in a good way. Yours is awesome too, Turia, Love your wit. Makes me laugh. Also I like the pure life. Happiness is addictive when you feel a little blah 😉

  • Claudia says:

    Thanks for your great work, Turia. I love following your feed- a daily inspiration for me.
    I for one would never follow a celebrity (Serena, Emma Watson). Their lives are incredibly glamorous and how can anyone feel good about themselves while watching their reel of beautiful photos.
    I follow people who have a spiritual message, maybe good information about food/wellness, or other painters whom I admire or am atleast a little curious about. I do not follow my friends (except for a few). I also do not follow anyone who posts about politics.
    SO, for the most part, my IG feed makes me happy!

  • Bahat says:

    Elephantjournal is a nice account to follow on instagram. Goalcoast is also one the insprational ones.

  • Tanya says:

    Your Insta Posts lift me, your wit gives me joy. Keeping it real and simple! Have a great day 😊

  • Cristi says:

    Hi Turia! I just joined your newsletter, I find you so inspiring! Thank you for your words! ❤️ Very well put, comparison is indeed the thief of joy, and social media can be uplifting and/or destructive, depending on our mindset, which accounts we follow and how much time we dedicate to it… I would love to translate your post and share it with my friends and family here in Ecuador, South America, would you mind?

  • chad says:

    Turia is very motivating and special
    Nature is my nourishment along with…
    Compassion and gratitude
    Great comments!
    Miss Australia
    Love to Jassy!

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