In this week’s episode, Lauren discusses a common concept in today’s digital world, known as the comparison trap.
We know that comparing our life to someone else’s isn’t healthy, so why do we still do it?
Why are we specifically susceptible to this right after a breakup?
Lauren will walk you through exactly what the comparison trap is, how to avoid getting caught up in it, and what to do instead.
What’s up my friend. How is it going? I hope you’re having a great start to the week. I’m I’m so excited to have you back here on comeback class. And I have a really interesting topic that I wanna talk about today, and that is the comparison trap. Now this is something that you’ve likely heard of before, and it basically just has to do with comparing yourself and your life to other people, whether those be people that, you know, in real life or people that you follow on the internet, like influencers and celebrities and people like that. Now, back in the day, this also used to be referred to as keeping up with the Joneses or basically trying to compete with, or be on par with other people. So this is definitely not a new concept, but it’s something that has sort of been exacerbated by the prominence of social media in our everyday lives.
So it’s something that I think a lot of us suffer from, from time to time. But there are ways to sort of get around this. And I think it’s really important to talk about this. If you are experiencing a breakup or some kind of major life change that may be disappointing, or you may be having a hard time. So you just have to be mindful when you are online and you are on social and all of the input that you are absorbing now, social media can obviously be great for a lot of different reasons, but I also think we, when you are in a situation where you are sad and maybe your self esteem is not in the best place, then you really do just have to be careful because sometimes seeing other people and what’s going on in their lives and maybe having that little bit of, of jealousy will just add fuel to the fire and is likely not going to serve you in terms of your healing process.
Now, something that I did, which you, you certainly don’t have to do, but that I found helpful was I did a complete social media detox for probably at least two, two and a half years. So I did not use any social media for a very long period of time. I didn’t use Facebook. I didn’t use Instagram, nothing. And during that time was really when I started to work on my personal development and I read a lot of books and I listened to podcasts and I found other ways to fill my time because I really just needed, I didn’t wanna add all that extra mental chatter. And I didn’t want to put myself in a position where I was feeling worse about my situation, because I was seeing all of these other people doing things that I thought that I should be doing, like, you know, hitting major milestones in their life.
And I was a, at a point where my life was kind of at a, at a standstill and I wasn’t I wasn’t heading in that direction anymore. So for that period of time, I did choose to not use social media. And I wanna let you know, that is an option for you. You certainly don’t have to, but you also don’t have to be it if you don’t want to. And you can take a break if you want to, whenever you want, that is totally available to you as well. So I want you to decide what is best for you. If you decide that you want to keep and use your social media accounts, I’m gonna give you some strategies so that you can avoid falling into this comparison trap and actually use it to serve you and be beneficial to you. So here’s the first thing that I want you to understand about social media.
And this is something that you’ve probably heard before, but I just wanna reiterate it. Most of the time people’s social media accounts are simply a highlight reel of what is going on in their life. And sometimes it is even fabricated to the point where everything looks amazing 100% of the time, and it could, it could be the complete opposite, you know, on the inside of things, you don’t really know what’s going on in someone else’s life, unless you are directly a part of it. So take everything that you see on social media with a grain of salt. When we start seeing people that are doing things and accomplishing things and achieving things that we want, then it can start to create a lot of negative thoughts about ourselves, which can also cause us to do things that we maybe shouldn’t be doing, for example, and this is just a hypothetical situation, but you could be on social media.
And you know, it seems like every woman, you know, that’s, your age is getting married and you’re constantly getting bombarded with images of these beautiful weddings and these be relationships and whatnot. So then you could just run out and go settle for the next Joe Schmo that you meet, because you want to be in that club because you think that’s where you need to be right now. But this is what I wanna remind you of is that your timeline is not the same as anyone else’s timeline. Your timeline is completely unique to you and you are not gonna be able to control when everything that is meant to happen for you is going to happen to you. So again, recognize that everything you’re seeing is probably not a hundred percent, the way things are all the time. Number one, right? And then number two, remember that other people’s timelines and their lives are not your time for your life.
I remember a time when I was seeing friends and people that I know going through all these major milestones, like they were getting married, they were having a baby, they were buying a house, they were getting a dog, they were doing all these things. And I felt like I’m not doing any of these things. So is, is something wrong with me? Like, am I behind what is going on? And it caused me an immense amount of stress, which was totally unnecessary. Once I started to accept that the timing of my life was going to be much different than some of the other people that, that I was surrounding myself with or the people that I was following online. Even that I had a calling in some other areas that I needed to fully embrace before I could do all of those other things. So I wanna remind you that there is really, truly no need to rush your life.
And you have to just relax and trust that God’s timing is the right timing. So how do you navigate this process? How do you use utilize social media in a way that is going to serve you? So the first thing that I would recommend you do is just do a social media audit. If you’re, let’s say you’re on Instagram. I want you to take a look at your, of the people that you are following or the accounts that you are following. And I want you to ask yourself is following this account, serving me, or is it hurting me when I look at this account’s posts or photos or whatever is it inspiring me? Is it making me laugh or is it making me feel bad about myself, or maybe making me feel jealous that my life is not the same as this person’s or maybe that this person is having, doing, experiencing things that I want to have and do in a experience, but I’m just not at that point yet.
Now, if these are people that, you know, personally and people that you care about and that you are genuinely, you know, friends with you can still follow them and choose to not let them enjoying their life, prevent you from enjoying yours. Right? So if you see, if you see someone that let’s say you wanna get married, right, but you are not with anybody right now. And you have a friend who is with this amazing guy and they have this beautiful relationship and they post pictures on the, all the time on Instagram, instead of, you know, maybe rolling your eyes or thinking like, oh my God, this is so annoying or being jealous maybe of what she has, even though it’s, it’s something you want instead of doing that, choose to be absolutely thrilled for her and, and be genuine about it, right? I mean, obviously if it’s your friend, you’re going to be happy for her anyways.
But if you sometimes, you know, we are happy for our friends, but we do feel this little ping of jealousy. Like, oh, I, I wish I had that too. So instead of feeling that, just allow yourself to ill, immense happiness for her and gratitude that she is in such a wonderful place in her life, because what that does, what you project outward is what is reflected back onto you, right? When you project genuine love and kindness, the, and that is what will be returned to you. I want you to be able to think, wow, that’s so amazing. I’m so incredibly happy for her. And you know what, my time is coming, my time is coming and it’ll happen exactly when it’s supposed to. There is a beautiful quote by Helen Keller that says, be happy with what you have while working for what you want. I just love this because it’s such a great reminder that while we are working for the things that we want in life, we do not have to be sad or suffer.
In the meantime, you know, the fact is that despite what you may think that your life is lacking, there are likely a lot of things you have to be grateful for. So you have to recognize that another quote that I really love from Tony Robbins is this. And it says you can not be fearful and grateful. Simultaneously gratitude is the antidote to fear. And I just think this is so beautiful. And it’s so life changing is it’s true. When you really start to just feel grateful and appreciative for all of the things that you do have and all of the things that are coming to you, it really alleviates a lot of self-imposed suffering. Also, when you learn to make decisions from a place of attitude, you create more positive things for yourself. It’s when you make decisions from a place of scar scarcity, that things become misaligned.
And when that happens, then you are pulling yourself away from a place of genuine and happiness, because you are trying to keep up with everyone else instead of measuring your life in comparison to other people’s lives. What you need to be doing is deciding whether or not what you are thinking, and what you’re doing is serving you. You need to come up with your own vision for your life and your own goals and dreams, and you need to make decisions that are based off of those things, not based off of other people’s goals and dreams. And I wanna be honest and tell you that the moment that you stop letting other people’s life circumstances determine how you’re going to feel about yourself and your own life. It is so freeing also, when you stop seeking validation from comments likes and those sorts of things when you stop caring so much what everybody else thinks about what you’re doing, that is also extremely freeing, and I’m gonna be a hundred percent honest with you and tell you that people likely do not care as much about what you’re are doing as you think they do.
But that’s also a good thing because it means that people are also not judging you as much as you think that they are. So basically my point is that use social media so that it serves you, right? So I want you to follow accounts that inspire you, that make you happy, that make you laugh, that you can learn from and learn not to compare yourself to other people. It just, it just doesn’t serve you, you know, be happy for the people that you care about and for what’s going on for them and trust that, you know, when it’s your time, the things that you want will come to you because they will. And in that, during that time, just continue to be grateful and appreciative of the things that you have as we continue to live in a world where everyone is so connected by the internet and the, and social media and everyone gets this inside glimpse at other people’s lives.
It’s important that you learn to set boundaries for yourself. And you also remember that you don’t have to do anything. You Don have to follow anyone. You don’t wanna follow. You don’t have to be on social media. If you don’t wanna be on social media, you don’t have to share personal aspects of your life with other people, if you don’t want to. And that’s another thing I I’m gonna say is that living a private life is so underrated. like, it’s, I, I have tried to do this now for the last few years. I’ve just kind of been quieter, I guess and just sort of minded my own business and kind of kept my head down, focused on my goals and the things that I wanted to accomplish. And it’s taken away a lot of stress. I mean, I feel stress for other reasons, but you know, it’s taken away a lot of that comparison, stress, and worrying about what everybody else is doing and what I’m not doing.
So just remember that your life is unique and you’re life is your own, and that everything will happen when it is supposed to happen. And everything that you’re going through is preparing you for what is meant for you. And when you really just believe that and trust it, it will give you so much peace. I promise you if you found this episode helpful today, please let me know by leaving a review. So that I know that you are enjoying the podcast and that the information is helpful to you. As I mentioned last week, you can always send me a DM on Instagram at the heartbreak nurse. If you have any suggestions or topics that you’d like to discuss or learn about definitely send those to me. Also be sure to follow me on Instagram, if you’re not already I have some really exciting things coming up within the next couple of months, I am completely revamping my course.
So I’m gonna be re-releasing that very soon. And then I also have a beautiful, beautiful website that’s being built. That’s gonna have some more resources, so make sure you stay in the loop with that as well. I wanna thank you as always for joining me and for listening to the podcast, it means so much to me. You, when I get messages from you letting me know that you are listening and that you’re finding it helpful it really just means the world to me. So thank you so so much. And I look forward to seeing you next week.
ICU nurse by day,
breakup coach by night.
After dealing with a devastating heartbreak that turned my world upside down, I made a conscious decision to pursue the life of my dreams and never settle.
Now, I teach other women how to do the same.
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FUN FACT: MY FAVORITE PIZZA IS HAWAIIAN (AND I'LL NEVER CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT IT!)
"Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”
- Dalai Lama
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