Social media is often a place where people share their highlights. Their best bits, their happiest memories, the parts they're proud of. They give the impression that their lives are perfect, beautifully encapsulated in pretty, edited (and sometimes filtered) squares.
It's not usually a place where people share their darkest days, their worst moments, the photos where their houses look like Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat In The Hat have run riot. Because of this, you can (often subconsciously) begin to compare your life to the ones you see online.
If you're not in a great place mentally (or even if you are!), this can be really damaging. You could compare your real life to someone else's highlight reel, and start tearing yourself down:
"They can do it, why can't I?" "I wish I was like them." "I wish my face/body/house looked like that." "Why isn't my life like that?" "How do they do it all?" "They're doing this - should I be doing that too?"
You could be comparing your whole life, warts and all, to something that isn't even real... or that isn't the real story or the whole picture. When you look at someone else's Instagram, you don't see how they're really feeling or what they might be going through.
Your favourite creators could be posting the most beautiful photos, in the most amazing places in the world, with the most expensive outfits and makeup and jewellery... they appear to have it all, the perfect life, 'living the dream'.
But are they truly happy? Are they struggling? Is it really as easy as it looks? You don't see the hard work it's taken them to get there, the days when they've considered giving up, the tears they may have cried, the things they may be dealing with behind the closed doors.
So, even though it's hard, it's really important to try not to compare yourself! Remember that there is no set time to do anything in life; you have to go at your own pace.
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is your past self, and only to look back and see how far you've come and how much you've grown!
Take the photo below for an example: a year ago, I was terrified to wear certain clothes (anything tight fitting, crop tops, anything that showed my arms etc), to have my photo taken, for people to look at me and judge me. I had no self-esteem and no confidence. I wanted so desperately to create content, take photographs, film videos, write blog posts and be creative, but I didn't for so many years because I was scared of being laughed at and ridiculed.
Flash forward to a year later and I have so much more confidence, I've stepped out of my comfort zone and I'm concentrating on living my life for myself by doing things I've always wanted to do!
How do you stop yourself when you realise you're comparing yourself to others online?