It’s an ugly way to feel – unhappy because of someone else’s success – but human beings are often ugly – Emma Straub.
In the age of social media with its likes, followers and picture perfect scenarios, it is difficult not to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others and feeling jealous. We can envy someone else’s looks, intelligence, success, wealth, mate or educational background. No matter how hard you work for something or how good you look, there is always going to be someone better, right? I think we all, often subconsciously, compare ourselves to others and feel the jealousy when they achieve success. Well, what if we could change that mindset into being positive, instead of letting our jealousy and insecurities define us? Here are five tips on how to overcome jealousy in the age of social media:
1. Be proud of yourself
It might sound easier said than done, or even naive and banal, but it is truly important to be proud of yourself and all of your achievements. In the pursuit of everything you don’t have but feel like you need in your life, it is easy to forget to be grateful of what you actually do have. We all have people around us who care for us, we all have our own unique style and personality and we all basically have the ability to do anything we want in life if we just work hard enough for it. Aim to be more aware and proud of your achievements and success in life, and start to focus on the positive instead the negative.
2. Be proud of your friends
Even though it is easy to get jealous of celebrities with all of their fame, money and followers, that is not really where the big issue normally lies when it comes to jealousy. It is easy to understand that you and those celebrities live in “two different worlds” and therefore we can distance ourselves from that fame. But when it comes to your friends accomplishments and looks, jealousy can quickly come upon us with questions like “why is that not me?”. Instead of feeling proud and happy for that person, we feel envy. This can result in us undermining that person and letting the jealousy get the worst of us. But instead of feeling and acting like that, we should be proud of our friends for their achievements.
3. Turn the jealousy into something positive
Jealousy is normally seen as something negative. But what if you could change that feeling into something positive? Whenever you feel the familiar jealousy or envy creeping up on you, instead of letting it bring you down you should “embrace it”. Not saying you should accept not feeling good enough, but the next time you feel the nasty jealousy messing with your head, really feel on what it is that is troubling you and how you can change it. Why are you not feeling good enough? Is it because you could have done something better, you did not give it your all or you are not truly being yourself and happy? Try to really figure out why someone else’s achievements are bringing you down instead of motivating you to do better, and aim to change that mindset of yours.
4. Stop seeking approval from other people
An important step in overcoming jealousy, is to stop seeking approval from and comparing yourself to other people in everything you do in life. Stop obsessing over and measuring your (online and offline) life in likes and comments. Stop letting it define you. Do not feel like you have to be someone else to be accepted. It is so easy to fall into that trap, but you need to find your way out of it. You are you and that is damn good enough, don’t ever doubt that.
5. Be grateful for the little things
Every day in your life you will experience small great things, but if you don’t appreciate and really think about them they will quickly be forgotten. Take a moment to stop what you are doing, close your eyes, think about your day and smile for the little things, the kind words, the small achievements. Doing this will leave you with a smile on your face and a gratefulness you can keep in mind the next time jealousy comes creeping.
By following these five simple steps, hopefully you will be able to overcome the hurtful and unnecessary feeling of jealousy, especially when it comes to matters of social media. Yes our lives on the internet might be measured in likes, comments and followers, but you should never confuse those numbers with your real life and worth. Instead, we should all become better at being proud of both ourselves and the people around us, keeping an encouraging spirit and embracing positivity both online and offline.