There are many reasons you shouldn't compare yourself to people on social media. Read the post to understand why you shouldn't be comparing yourself.

Let’s be honest. Who hasn’t looked at someone’s photos on social media and thought to themselves – I want his or her life? Who hasn’t compared themselves to someone on social media?

I’ll know I have. For me, it’s usually about a blogger running a profitable online business or someone traveling the globe and seeing amazing things that trigger comparison.

Having the odd ‘I want what she’s having’ moment is fine as long as it doesn’t turn into anything obsessive, resentful, or negative.

But if coveting other people’s lives stops you from living the best version of your own life then there is a problem.

As much as I enjoy using social media, the simple truth social media can be deceptive. People exaggerate, sugar-coat, filter the crap out of things and downright lie.

Let’s have a closer look at some of the reasons you should not compare yourself or your life to what you see on social media. For this particular post, the focus is going to be specifically on images and photos.

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What you see is often not what you get

Quite frankly in the days of Photoshop, any image can be dramatically altered or changed beyond recognition.

Altering images has been around for a long time. Airbrushing was all the rage when I was younger. Making images look different from the original is not new, it’s simply a lot easier to do.

It’s important to understand photos get altered to look better than the original.

We need to drop any notion of something or more dangerously someone looking and being ‘perfect’ because of what we see in photos.

Trying to look like a certain celebrity is madness, considering the celebrity doesn’t look like their touched-up photo in the first place!

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It’s about business

If you are a professional photographer and you don’t have great-looking photos on your Instagram feed, I would be worried. People will be less inclined to buy from you since taking great photos is your job.

The same could be said for interior designers, website designers, and a whole bunch of other professions that are highly visual.

If you’re an amateur photographer, you shouldn’t be comparing yourself negatively to a professional one. The professionals are in business to make money.

While we are on the topic of business, a trap we often fall into is comparing ourselves to business people at different stages of success. If you are just starting you shouldn’t compare yourself to someone who has been in business for a long time.

I once went back through one of my favorite blogger’s archives to look at some of her earlier posts. I wanted to see what they were like because I was freaking out about the quality of my work and comparing myself unfavorably. Her early stuff was exactly what I expected. It wasn’t very good. She had to learn how to be great.

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Life filtered

I’m not talking just about photos being filtered. Life, in general, is filtered. Other than the news which still tends to go with the  ‘if it bleeds it leads’ angle, much of what we see is filtered in some way to look better.

It’s important to be aware of the stories going on in the background and in particular the stuff that doesn’t get shown in pretty pictures.

As an example, let’s have a look at my two earlier envy-triggers. Travel and successful online business people.

I’ve done enough traveling to know that there are down days on the road.

We don’t see many Instagram photos of someone who has picked up a stomach bug on the Laos border and then had to take an 11-hour bus ride from hell. There are probably not too many Facebook photos of someone catching the flu in Madrid (in the middle of a heat wave) and being so sick they can barely move for a week. I’ve experienced both of these situations traveling in case you were wondering!

The same thing can be said about the successful online business owner. You probably won’t see photos of frustration and anxiety when their site crashes in the middle of an important launch that needs to bring in much-needed sales or when their site has been hacked.

In both examples, people will most likely write about their trials and setbacks but these moments won’t show up as photos on their Instagram feed.

Photos and images show just one part of the overall story – but there is always a lot more to the big picture. Don’t compare yourself to a tiny part of the story.

A fantastic book for getting real about what’s important to you and what’s not is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k by Mark Manson. I absolutely love this book! This book will make you think, challenge you, and have you looking at things differently.

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Stop comparing

Our lives are different from other people’s, not better. Different is good, after all, how incredibly dull and boring would it be if we were all the same?

When it all comes down to it, this post isn’t just a rallying cry not to compare yourself to people on social media, it’s about not comparing yourself at all.

The more you focus on your own goals, dreams, and your own version of success the better off you will be.

Learning from people who have achieved the level of success you are striving for is a great idea. It’s a fantastic way to accelerate your growth and move forward. It’s when the coveting of other people’s success holds us back from our own that there is cause for concern.

Related post – 16 Thought-Provoking Comparison Quotes to Help You Stop Comparing Yourself 

Your self-worth should never be measured against images of someone else’s life.

You are worth so much more than that! Focus on what is important to you.

Admire that gorgeous social media photo – use it as inspiration, use it to motivate you – then get back to doing what is important in your life.

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