Have you ever had a great day and felt good about yourself until you went on Facebook and your self-esteem took a hit? Have you noticed that everyone's life looks picture perfect on social media?
Most people don't post the various challenges they face everyday. I know I don't! Why would we? Unless someone is coping with a major loss, I rarely see negative or depressing posts on Facebook. Many of us post the very best pictures out of the hundreds we take. We post the vacation photos, fun outings with friends or our significant other, baby photos, wedding photos, new homes, proposals, new jobs, accomplishments, new cars, and other life milestones. It makes complete sense to do so!
This is where the comparison game begins. It's easy to compare ourselves to others and question our worth. We may even start to internally beat ourselves up. I've talked to many talented peers about how easy it is to feel 'not good enough' in society.
These may be some of the questions we ask.
"What am I even doing with my life? Everyone is so much further along than me."
"How come I don't have enough money to buy a home? I should by now!"
"I'm making way less money than my peers."
"Should I be getting married and having kids?"
"Everyone's life looks perfect!"
What's the point of internalizing everything and beating ourselves up? There isn't much point at all. We may even be wishing to have something that we don't want simply because of how perfectly it's being portrayed on social media. Thankfully, there are ways of changing our perspective of social media.
Understand that everyone wants different things.
We all make our own choices. However we are living our lives, we created it! Any of us can change our path simply by the decisions we make. I've spoken to peers in financial services who are making a ton of money but don't feel a sense of purpose. I've also talked to peers in social services who enjoy their rewarding job but don't make enough to pay the bills. It's hard to find the right balance. But, the point is, no one has it all. If it looks like someone does, it certainly isn't just because of the luxuries they have. If someone is living an incredible life, it is because of the perspective they have. I've met some of the poorest people who are by far some of the happiest people I've ever met. The traditional path may be for you, but it also may not be. It doesn't do us any good to compare ourselves to others because everyone is unique and everyone wants different things.
Use Facebook as a positivity outlet.
Could you imagine if Facebook was a depressing as the news? Life isn't fair and we learn about horrible events happening in the world everyday. Facebook can actually be a positivity outlet. I believe everyone is doing what they can to cope with life's tragedies and create a beautiful life. It's nice to be happy for other people and everything good that is happening in their lives. I have yet to meet someone who isn't facing any challenges. We all have some stressors in our lives. We have the ability to filter through the negativity and post only positive experiences on social media. It's actually quite remarkable. We can use social media as a positive resource in our lives if we allow ourselves to stop playing the comparison game.
No one has it all. It's all about perspective.
The only way that anyone can 'have it all' is by believing they do.