It is harder than ever to ignore the naysayers and the haters because of social media and the pressure to look great and do great things.
This can wreak havoc on a person’s self-esteem, and it can cause people to question the value of their own existence when they constantly compare themselves to others.
There are lots of self-help books and podcasts, blogs and movies about trying to look inward instead of looking outward, but if you learn these two strategies from Stoic and Buddhist Philosophy, you’ll be able to stop comparing yourself to others starting today.
Check in With Yourself
According to Buddhism, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to check in with yourself and see how you are doing.
If you stay tuned into how you are feeling while you are checking in, you can talk yourself through the bad and find the good.
For example, if your neighbour just put in a pool and you are feeling sorry for yourself because you don’t have a pool too, you can check in and see why you are feeling that way.
What’s so great about a pool? You live near the ocean, couldn’t you swim in the ocean? Isn’t the ocean amazing and beautiful, and free? You are lucky to live near the ocean.
When you check in with yourself you will find that things are not always what they seem and when you question what you think you believe about yourself you might find that you are doing much better than you thought.
If you feel bad for yourself because you think you can’t afford a pool, a better way to move forward is to say you could afford a pool if you wanted it. So how bad do you want it?
Reframe the Situation
The stoics say that reframing is one of the most important skills you can have in society, especially since people are hellbent on making their lives look better than yours at every turn.
If you find yourself falling victim to the poor me symptoms of social media or society in general, remind yourself that those people are just doing what makes them happy and you should be doing what makes you happy.
So, instead of obsessively following people online, let some of them go. Decide who you want to see online or in your life and ask yourself how you can take more control over your situation so that you don’t feel bad about it anymore.
What is good that is going on in your life? What if you were just happy for those people sharing their lives all over the internet instead of feeling badly about yourself?
Do you think they are posting those pictures to make you feel bad? Probably not.
How we interact with our environment has a lot to do with how we are feeling so when you find yourself feeling less than stellar about your situation, remind yourself that no one is making your feel that way, except you.
Take some responsibility for those feelings and consider how you can make yourself feel better, instead of continuing down the path of self-loathing because that is easier.