Social media is meant to stay social with each other even despite the distance between people. But what happens when it just leaves us feeling less than? Somehow after we leave the app, we’re even more dissatisfied with ourself more than ever.
I love Instagram, but one thing is for sure: It can be toxic if you don’t pay attention to who we are following
Why we compare ourselves to others
We compare ourselves because we want to escape our life. The possibilities of being another person seem to look appealing only because we don’t know our self and we don’t know our worth. Girl, when you start to know your worth, you will wish you had never compared yourself to X with the skinny body on Instagram. You have that power within you.
Just remember, the grass isn’t greener on the other side.
Let’s talk about the Instagram game
Let’s paint the picture for a second: the girl we’re looking at seems to have her life all put together. She has a “snatched” body, has the best clothes, and oh the matching set— to die for. She just seems to have everything going on for her.
And there we are. Staring and staring long enough until we ask ourselves why we don’t look like that. We read the “Be happy” caption and “stay positive, guys” when everything in your mind is spiraling over how you can achieve THAT body.
They tell you to follow X, Y and Z to get the body of your dream. But what if those posts didn’t have to affect your fitness progress just because someone offered their opinion on Instagram?
Don’t get me wrong. It’s nothing wrong to wanting to being fit and wanting to look better physically, but more often we do so with the wrong intentions.
I was one of those people too. Promoting a workout program (not my own obviously) while all I could think about while following it was “Why isn’t my body becoming what I want?” Obsessing over all my flaws: my wobbly stomach, my thick thighs, my skinny arms, my butt which appeared to be flat to me (it wasn’t).
I started to become even unsatisfied with the parts of my body I had never even had issue about.
I would beat myself up about not seeing “results.” I looked at other girls Instagram and seeing their flat stomach and abs who were doing the same thing as I was doing but I just didn’t look like that. Why is that?
It’s so easy to say don’t compare yourself to others or to spur out the words “comparison is the thief of joy” but how do you actually do that?
How do you stop the comparison?
The answer is in you.
You have to know yourself first. You have to know your strengths, your weaknesses, your why and everything that makes you— you. But focus more on your strengths.
1. Love the body you are in now
You see, I was never truly happy with myself until I started accepting the body made peace with the state that I was in. I started thanking God for giving me thick thighs that are full and strong. I started thanking Him that I even had legs and arms which allowed me to move. I started seeing all the ways in which my body could move rather than focusing on what to change.
That was seriously a whole game changer. As soon as I did that, my joy for exercise rejuvenated. Working out didn’t feel like a chore to me anymore.
2. Know why you decided to be on this fitness journey
I realized that this is my journey and if my reason for going on this journey is to be strong and healthy, why does it matter that my body doesn’t look cookie cutter like all the other fitness Instagram influencers? After some deep internal searching I found the answer:
3. Unfollow or mute the source
You are being affected by every image that you see, every caption that you read can alter your belief system. You need to be careful about swallowing everyone’s opinion so much so that you feel like their way is the only way (spoiler alert, it’s not).
If it takes you unfollowing that person or muting their posts, so be it. If it means that you have to take time off of social media to regain yourself, then do it. And before you worry about FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), there will always be trends going left and right.
There is always something to rave about so you’re not missing much. Nothing is more important than your mental sanity.
Realize that your journey isn’t the same as someone else.
4. Replace jealousy with compliments
And if you see that girl’s picture with the body you wish you had, start saying to yourself “I am happy for her.” Start being happy for people and know that the same can happen for you if you put in the work. Take it as motivation if the person is the right example for you, rather than thinking “that could never be me.”
Comparing yourself to others will only bring you 2 things: dissatisfaction and low self-esteem. I know you’re worth more than that. I know that you are strong and beautiful the way you are, but you have to believe it for yourself. You have to appreciate the body you are in right now in order to grow.
You cannot stay stuck in this comparison trap on social media.
5. Finally, compare to your past self, not others
If there is anyone you should compare yourself to, it is your past self.
Focus on putting the work in yourself and reaping the benefit. You can do that by subscribing to my mailing list and being part of my Strong and Fierce community. Where you get all the support you need right to your inbox and we focus on mind rather than body because that is where the change starts.
You can change your mindset and become strong and fierce or you can keep swallowing the pill of bitterness from the comparison game. I’ll leave that up to you.
Comment below any thoughts or questions you have about this topic. Does being on social media hinder your fitness progress?