Have you ever noticed how everything everyone else has seems oh so desirable until you get it yourself? Whether it’s a new pair of shoes, a cool job, blonde hair, or a new boyfriend, it always seems to lose its sheen once we acquire it for ourselves.
Not only is this phenomenon a product of the idea that external circumstances can’t make you happy, but it’s also living proof that we tend to think the grass is always greener. Just because you don’t have something instantly makes it more attractive, and we become way more likely to feel jealousy towards the person who does have it.
Sometimes I catch myself thinking this way to a comical extent. I’ll even feel jealous of people for things I know deep down I don’t want and that aren’t good for me. For example, I remember when I was in high school, I watched the “cool girls” fighting with their boyfriends and thought “wow, I would love to cry over a guy like that.” What? Why would I want that? It doesn’t even make sense now that I think of it, but in the moment, I just wanted it because I didn’t have it.
It’s the same thing in every other area of life from careers to appearances to lifestyles. We look at other people and think we must be doing something wrong because they’re doing it differently, or because they have _____ and look really happy.
I don’t want to blame social media for my own tendency to compare myself to others, because I know it’s up to us to use platforms like Instagram in positive, healthy ways. But at the same time, Instagram has made comparing ourselves to others all too easy. Almost every day, I find myself scrolling through my explore page, looking at other bloggers and thinking “I should be more like this.” It’s hard not to do because there are so many talented and beautiful creative people out there, developing their own unique styles and aesthetics and finding their voices.
Just yesterday, I was talking to my friend, who’s also a blogger, and we were both complimenting each other on our blogs, but neither of us wanted to believe the other! The conversation went like this:
“Your blog is so great.”
“No, yours is! Mine sucks.”
“No, mine does!”
How crazy is that? We seem to only be able to see other people’s beauty, creativity, and magic, but not our own. Admiring others for their positive attributes can be so inspiring and uplifting, but the key is to do it without questioning your own identity. We are all completely unique and beautiful in our own ways, and this is what makes the world interesting!
Next time you feel yourself looking at someone else and feeling bad about yourself because you don’t have the same hair, or career, or body, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and tell yourself you’re perfect just the way you are. Because you are! Comparing ourselves to others doesn’t make sense and it will never bring you joy. Stay in your truth and feel grounded in love and acceptance for yourself and you can’t fail.