Social media has become part of our everyday lives. We see updates from family, friends, and even people we barely know. Most of the pictures and videos that we see are about vacations, food, glamorous outfits, fitness activities, and many other exciting things that others do. Seeing these may sometimes leave us comparing our lives with theirs.
Comparing our lives with the lives of others can lead us to envy others’ strengths, successes, fortunes, and lifestyle so much that we begin to resent our own lives, lose our confidence in ourselves and our abilities, see and magnify the things that we lack, and become ungrateful for what we have. When we give in to these feelings, we lose sight of the joys in our own lives. We put our lives on standby and try to live the “perfect life” others are living, allowing ourselves to believe that such a “perfect life” really exists.
If we have fallen prey to this, it may be time to evaluate our desires and goals. Are we living our lives in a way that is pleasing to God? Or are we living it to please other people—a good number of them we barely know? If our lives resonate more with the latter, here are some ways we can claim back our lives from this trap.
Find a role model. Following everyone’s updates and stories on our social media could consume many hours in our day, not to mention that it becomes exhausting when we compare our lives with each of theirs. Find a role model instead—someone we look up to, a person we want to emulate, someone whose values resonate with ours. When we have a role model, we usually do not compare ourselves with them and envy what they have but they become an inspiration to help us further improve ourselves. Once we find a role model, we can assess our current state, our abilities, strengths, and areas we can improve to see how we can progress and become like the person we look up to. Once we see where we can improve, then we roll up our sleeves and go to work. The advantage of finding a role model is that we can spend just a small portion of our day following one or two people and spend the rest on improving ourselves, which is a lot better than spending hours wishing for what others have.
Align our improvement efforts with the Lord. We must not forget that, more than our efforts to become like our role model, our ultimate goal is to become like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. On our journey of improving ourselves, we must seek God’s help and guidance because He does not intend for us to improve alone, unless we choose to. God desires for us to continuously improve ourselves. He is happy when He sees us doing our best to become better versions of ourselves every day. When we reach out to Him, He will not only strengthen us but also elevate our efforts to help us reach our goals.
Accept that perfection does not come in this life. Life on Earth is not perfect, nor will it ever be, although sometimes we let ourselves believe that some people seem to have achieved it. But the bottom line is, we all have struggles, they may differ in degrees and forms and it may not be very apparent on social media, but we all have battles we are fighting every day. However, all of us also have moments of joy, blessings to be thankful for, friends and family relationships that we treasure, and most of all, we all have a loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ whose love for us never falters. So let’s celebrate our joys and the joys of others and continuously seek to improve ourselves, keeping in mind that we cannot attain perfection through our efforts alone.
Life is too short to be spent resenting our lives and wishing we had the life others are living. Let’s embrace the life we have been given, find the little joys that each day brings, and celebrate milestones along the way to becoming better.