Is the grass always greener on the other side?
We live in a day and age where our lives are much more exposed and in the open than ever before. The power of social media often offers us a glorified, enhanced and filtered version of one’s life which might be just a fraction of what is happening in reality.
Seeing others doing well, having a better job, great partner and circle of friends, gorgeous, big and always tidy house, going on amazing holidays and so on, may make us put more pressure on ourselves to change things for the better or strive for more, which in some cases may turn out be a good motivator. In other cases, this pressure can demotivate us, make us question our abilities, look for imperfections in our lives and effectively impact our mental health. It is easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others’ and constant lack of satisfaction which can lead to negative feelings, envy or loss of confidence and motivation.
So, what are some ways we could deal with it?
- Accept your reality.
Maybe the best way to start is actually accepting our reality. You may not be 100% happy with it, but it is your reality and you are the only one responsible for it and the only one who can take action to improve or change it.
- Practice gratitude.
Sometimes bad and unfortunate events make us realise how fortunate and lucky we actually are, but rather than waiting to have this realisation, it might be worth taking time to think about what we have rather than what’s missing. Sometimes life tests us and puts roadblocks in our way, but I hope you will agree that most of us experience difficulties at some point. What divides us is how we deal with adversity when it happens... Some bounce back and some give up or blame others for their misfortune. No matter how bad your day or life is, there are probably people out there who would love to be in your shoes and have your “bad” days.
- Mental workout.
Just like the muscles in our body need exercise to make them strong and toned, our mind needs positive input and thoughts to stay healthy and strong. Build awareness of your thoughts and start neglecting the thoughts that make you feel bad, and increase those that make you feel good. Sometimes that's easier said than done, but one thing is certain, practice makes perfect.
- Stop comparing.
We are all different, we all have different values, goals and different circumstances.
We create our perception based on what we see and hear, despite the fact that our impressions are not always accurate and pixels don't always reflect reality. People rarely share things that go wrong or make them unhappy. Only those who lead their own life know the truth. A study conducted by the University of Utah actually found that young people's satisfaction about their own lives declined the more they looked at Facebook. If comparing yourself to others makes you feel inferior, then that's not going to make you feel good about yourself and your situation.
Is the comparison worth sacrificing your mental state?
So, is the grass actually greener on the other side?
Maybe it is time to start watering your own lawn, as the grass will only be as green as you make it.
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About Roksana Anning
Roksana is a confidence, motivation and career coach and trainer based in Horsham (West Sussex). She is passionate about helping others realise and use their potential as well as providing them with the tools to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of achieving their goals.