“Why don’t I drive a Range Rover?“, “Will I ever look that good in a bikini?“, “How much savings do I need before I get to tour Iceland?“, “Why wasn’t I blessed with dimples so that I’ll look cute when I smile?“, “How comfortable would my feet feel in those gorgeous pink Louboutins?”
Those questions could all pop into my mind in the span of one minute after scrolling through Instagram. If there was an invisible self-esteem meter at the top of my head that drops a level every time I see a picture that made me jealous, it would’ve already been broken by now.
Truth be told, I’ve lived a life that I’m pretty proud of. I have a family that pampers me, friends that make me laugh and a grounded upbringing that I’m thankful for. With that said, it’s still not easy when you’re bombarded with #wokeuplikethis, #cleaneating, #travelgram and #rkoi images everyday that makes you question your self-worth.
I’ve learnt things the hard way that it’s okay to have flaws and compare my life progress to others as long as it encourages me to strive for the better. Why are we assuming that everyone else is living a picture-perfect life when in reality they probably had to go through 100 pictures before they could select the right one to post on Instagram? I, for one, know that I am guilty of doing that.
We’re all imperfect, so the sooner you realise that, the sooner you’ll be able to pull yourself out of this game of emotional social media roulette.
Five ways to practice self-love:
1. Allow you to be you
Don’t change who you are just because you’re craving for the attention you think the influencers or bloggers are getting. Why not build your own unique brand instead of following another person’s footsteps? Not only will you stand out from the rest, you’ll also be staying true to yourself.
2. Count your blessings
The next time you catch yourself feeling down about how your rich friend has (yet again) bought another handbag, start a journal, write down all the things you’re thankful for and focus on all the things that bring joy to your life instead of feeling envious all the time. As the saying goes, “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything!”\
3. What you own is not who you are
Then again, if you’re the one with the expensive bag, always remember that it does not define who you are as a person. It’s hard to break out of the rich kid stereotype once you’ve put it out there, so take a step back once in awhile and ask yourself, “What do I gain from posting a picture of my new haul?” If it’s solely to make your followers jealous, then ask yourself again why do you need to show it off. Does having an image of your expensive purchases online increase your self-esteem? If yes, then why do you need the likes to prove it? It’s about time to stop letting materialistic things take over your life!
4. Compare within your means
Theodore Roosevelt once said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It doesn’t matter whose plate of grilled chicken has more fries or whether a colleague is able to pull of that Zara jumper better than you. We all compare ourselves to others on a daily basis; it’s just a matter of to what extent. Thus, the next time you wonder how you can ever measure up to that older friend who owns that too-cool-for-school pad in Mont Kiara, just remember that it’s not fair since she’s probably saved up more from her years of working compared to a newbie like you.
5. Go on a social media detox
I know it sounds hard, but baby steps help. Start by filtering and avoiding all the profiles that make you self-loathe because what else can you gain from looking at them besides sadness? Don’t let the fear of #FOMO get the best of you and opt to sign out from Instagram once in awhile. Trust me, it’ll do you more good than harm in the long run and your outlook of life will be more positive as the days go by!