If you are like me, and you spend a decent amount of time on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you often see both friends and strangers accomplishing great things; getting a new job, saving the world, starting a new company, being featured in a magazine, falling deeply in love, traveling to enchanting far-off lands, or running a marathon.
While we should always be happy for our friends that are achieving amazing things in life, or even when they're just eating brunch or playing with a cute puppy or cutting cucumbers, in the age of social media, it's difficult to avoid the temptation to compare yourself to others. Self-love and self-acceptance are ever-more challenging in a world where, in seconds, your newsfeed allows you to see the top highlights and accomplishments of what the entire universe is doing.
How it possible to remain confident in your own life decisions when you're constantly being bombarded with what other people are doing? Here are three simple strategies I use that will help you build personal confidence and self-acceptance:
1. Know you are awesome
Self-acceptance starts with loving yourself. Self-love starts with finding out who you are, what you value in life, what your unique passions and skills are, and how you interact with the world at large.
So, who are you? No, seriously, who are you? What do you care about? Where do you want to live? Where do you not want to live? What makes you happy? What do you absolutely hate doing? What are you good at? What makes you upset? What is the one thing you want to change in the world above all else?
When you answer these questions, you realize that every single one of us is awesome in our own way, and we each have a unique, essential contribution to make in this world. YOU. ARE. AWESOME. Repeat it three times. And then tell your friend, so she knows she's awesome too. When we're confident of who we are and what our life mission is, when we love ourselves, we're a lot less likely to compare ourselves to others, and more likely to offer our friends support.
2. Commit to daily practices that make you better
When you reflect daily about what you care about, and what is important to you, you become more confident in your own path and decisions, as well as your ability to make positive changes in real-time. Daily meditation, yoga, exercise, and journal writing, are all excellent habits for self-reflection, stress relief, focusing on the present, and increasing productivity.
Setting daily habits leads to personal and professional goal setting, and achieving those goals helps build inner-confidence. If I go for a run first thing in the morning, maybe listen to a littleThrift Shop on my shuffle, dancing while waiting for the light to turn green, I feel unstoppable, as if I'm on top of the world.
When I come back to my News Feed and see all the amazing things that other people are doing, rather than jealousy or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), I instead feel proud of my friends and colleagues.
3. Give and you will receive
Giving is essential for self-acceptance. Much of our formal education, from elementary school through college and graduate school, has trained us to approach life as a competition, the great amazing race to see who can get the best grades, the best job, the highest salary, the nicest apartment, the hottest girlfriend or boyfriend. When you approach life as a competition or compare your success with others, you are neither successful nor happy, but envious and depressed.
Rather than compare yourself to your friends and what they are doing, instead offer to give advice and help them achieve their goals. Find ways you can offer others support, guidance, and assistance, based on your own unique interests and skills. When you offer to give and support, you're more likely to receive; giving is a two-way street. Mutual support allows us to reach our personal goals, and helps our friends reach theirs.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, and feeling jealous on Facebook or Instagram every time someone is doing something cooler than you are (which is probably all the time), self-acceptance will give you the confidence to love who you are and position you to support your friends, who in return, will carry you to extraordinary new heights.
Follow Adam Smiley Poswolsky on Twitter: www.twitter.com/whatsupsmiley