Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Five: Self Esteem Boot Camp


Why does everyone's life look so much better than mine? People are so fake and only share their perfect moments and other wah wah crap is what I've been hearing lately. Summer is prime time for these weird ass complaints because people travel more, are outside doing more, and they're sharing more on social media.

People, why do you do this to yourselves?
1) Everyone's life looks better than yours because they're out there living it, not concerning themselves with what everyone else is doing and
2) We have not entered into a contract in which we have to show each other everything so we know we're all real. Sharing good stuff is not acting like things are perfect. It's sparing each other from things that are really private or really gross. People don't owe you a front row seat to their problems just because you're friends on facebook.
3) Social media channels are places for to share fleeting thoughts and images, something funny or something you think matters. They're not where you unearth your truths or grow as a person. Your real life takes place outside of those networks.

Your issues with what you see on social media are about one thing and one thing only - YOUR self esteem. Self esteem reflects a person's overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Even though you're making it about what others are sharing, it's really about you and how you feel about yourself.

When you feel good about your life and are aware of your value, you don't care what others are doing in any way other than oh, how nice, that looks fun or are they totally insane posting that?  You're too busy enjoying life to compare your life to someone else's. You don't have the time or the inclination to sit around and say they're always doing all the things, it's not fair that I'm not/they always look perfect, I'll never look that good. 

Here's a quick Friday Five Self Esteem Boot Camp.

1. Recognize your triggers. What makes you feel bad about yourself? Respect yourself and don't put yourself in that situation or around those people. Before you say, "But I can't do that," think about it. You can. Might someone's feelings get hurt? Yes. But yours won't. If it's seeing the good of others that sets you off, instead of updating your facebook status in a weird passive aggressive manner, get off of facebook and find something to do that will improve your mood. I am astounded by the number of adults acting like five year olds with status updates whining about their lives or making generalizations about people that we all know are aimed at a specific person instead of just getting some balls and saying something to that person. Stop it. Really.

2. Don't take it personal. Everything is not about you, even though it feels like it is. Things other people do and say and how they react to situations are often about them. Not you. It's hard to get to that realization, but it's true.

3. Don't compare. Be too busy cultivating your life to concentrate on what your neighbor is doing. If someone can inspire you to be more and do more, that's awesome. If you can't gain inspiration without comparing, that's not so awesome. Seriously, you guys. Stop comparing yourself to others. When I see perfectly posed vignettes on Instagram, I think man they spent some time here I'm not into that not my life will never look this good. Recognizing differences is human nature. Comparing yourself to others is self-torture. Everyone is different and everyone's circumstances are different. Just be on your own journey. And good Lord, enjoy it. It's short.
4. Practice self-care. Feed your mind, take care of your body, make time for the things you want to do, let go of the small stuff, know your strengths and weaknesses and work on both, do things that make you feel good. If you treat yourself like the treasure that you are, you'll be less likely to be careless with yourself or to beat yourself up.

5. Love yourself. If you are okay with yourself, it doesn't matter if anyone else is okay with you. This requires total self-honestly - you need to be able to tell what you do well and what you don't do well, and to admit when you do wrong. You have to be fierce with yourself so that if other people are, they're not saying anything you don't know. Your worth and value have to come from YOU - no one else. People can tell you up and down the street all day long how good you are, but unless you tell yourself you're good, you'll still feel bad. People you thought would never leave you can and will - either by choice or by death - and if your entire sense of worth is tied up in others, you'll be sunk when that happens. It feels good when other people love you, but the foundation for accepting that love is loving yourself.
Help me down off of my soapbox, would you? Thanks. In all seriousness though, if you can't work through any self esteem issues on your own, find a good therapist who can help you. You're worth it.

Anything to add while we're on the topic?


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37 comments:

  1. This is such a great post!! I totally agree that people don't owe us anything to show us just how messy their lives are and I for one enjoy seeing the beauty of people's lives because we all have problems, issues and what have you so why not enjoy the pretty people put out lol! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  2. this post wins the internet today; i love it so much. PREACH, GIRL. thank god people i follow on FB don't whine about other people's lives or hint at their jealousy of others (they just start drama over BS which is equally annoying) because i'd unfollow those folks asap. ain't nobody got time for that bullshit.

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  3. YES TO EVERYTHING IN THIS POST. I don't even know what to do with those types of comments. I don't even understand it. Why are we upset that people are focusing on the good instead of sharing all the bad?! If I want bad, I'll turn on the news. PLEASE TELL ME THE GOOD THINGS GOING ON. I don't need to compare myself to you for them either... oy. We are such strange animals.

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  4. Another good post, really good. Social media has helped and hurt. I do not like to post anything negative, ever. I saw a quote that said something about the traits you dislike on others is a reflection of ourselves. The voice in my head tells me to stop when I am not thinking good thoughts. We are all a work in progress. Thanks for a potent read. Happy weekend to all. Love, your Momma

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  5. Perfect. It is human nature to look around us and view the world. When the "C" words enters in run like fire ants are marching your way. One of my pet peeves is when people regularly post quotes about self esteem and not comparing yet they continue comparing and not working on their self esteem. As you said live the life you have.

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  6. Yes I totally agree. Maybe if you're feeling a bit down it's not a good idea to start scrolling through facebook and seeing everyone else off on holidays or having an amazing time but instead go out and meet friends or just live your life!

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    1. "live your life" - what too many people are NOT doing.

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  7. Damn you. Why did you not post this yesterday so I could share it with my 12 readers because this post is the best one I have read all week.

    The social media thing? Preach it! I know a woman who, just the other day, posted a scathing status update scolding people for not liking the photo she posted of her daughter and instead liked someone else's photo. It was ridiculous. No one owes you a like or comment. It's amazing the stock people put in FB and IG as a measure of their lives. How does that help you, as you said, cultivate your own life? It doesn't. It's superficial nonsense that will never, ever measure up to what you want it to be. So step away from FB and spend time with the that daughter you're so proud of instead of wasting time yelling at people on the Internet.

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  8. I don't know why people complain about other's perfect social media lives. I for one don't want to see bitchy whiny ass posts every day, I'd rather everyone brag about how awesome their lives are.

    I rarely feel social media envy because I know most people don't share their entire lives online.

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  9. Such a nice uplifting post. And good reminders. Don't take it personally... Story of my life. Def need to work on that!

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  10. I get caught up in it all sometimes & feel like everyone's world looks so much better then mine... but I'm always reminded of that saying that what we see on social media is the 'highlight reels" - if you say the 'behind the scenes' it would look different.

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  11. Sing it, sista! I totally agree with you that social media is a trigger for people to start comparing. "Grown adults acting like they have no control over their lives pisses me off." <<- I totally agree! Ok, so here's me and social media. Mother's Day, two years ago, I see post after post about how husbands had made their wives extravagant breakfasts and made them feel like queens, and I'm sitting in the kitchen making my own coffee and breakfast. I felt terrible and resented my husband. I knew right then that social media was a trigger for me. My life is actually great and my husband does his fair share around the house every single day. So maybe those husbands feel like they have to go over the top on Mother's Day because they're not present the rest of the year. Who knows. What I know now is that I can't be on social media focusing on someone else's life. I have to focus on my own. Also, I have to tell my husband what I want to happen on Mother's Day. It just makes everyone's life easier, no??? Hehe. And second, I saw 2 of my friends get together at an event (she posted on FB) without me and my family. We usually hang out, all 3 families. My previous self might have been mad and felt left out. But the new me is like "eh". So what? I went to the event with another friend and didn't invite them. Sometimes we aren't as close with people as we thought and that's ok. Sorry for the long comment. I feel very strongly about social media and its pitfalls. Though it has many redeeming qualities.

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  12. This is great! I don't think I have low self seteem but I could definitely work on some of these areas.

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  13. needed this today more that I want to explain. why shouldn't we post pictures of what is good or pretty? just do whatever you want. wnt to post a picture of your baby crapping? great. i don't wnat to see it but you gotta do you.

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  14. love this post Steph. I used to struggle with this.. but I don't anymore. I don't know it is because I'm getting older, or I'm living my life more or happier, who knows. I see things and think oh that's cool or ooh I want to go there, but I don't lose sleep over it like I used to. I have had 3 separate people tell me recently that they are struggling with comparing especially with social media, and I just don't understand it. Of course we only share what is good and fun. Why would anyone want to see that the scale has gone up in the last couple of weeks, or see my white cat with shit all over her because she had an accident? No-one wants to see that and I don't want to take photos of it. there's nothing wrong with sharing the good and why can't we all just be happy for one another? I really wish I had learned all of this when I was 18, of course, but 28 isn't bad lol.

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  15. Awesome post and I'm especially loving #4. That's something I've realized a lot lately... I'll feel just really down in the dumps and sometimes get caught up in the comparison game, when really it's just me not taking care of myself. A lot of that stems from when we were paying off debt and I never, ever 'splurged' on anything for myself. Now I'm realizing it's a-okay (and good, in fact!) to treat myself to a pedicure, a massage, a new shirt just because I like it, a coffee date alone, etc! Doing things to make myself happier/feel better are normal and acceptable! Always something I have to remind myself of.

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  16. STEPH. Where is my "preach hands" emoji when I need it! I had a rough time with social media this week because of passive aggressive and immature things that were happening and it sent me into a spiral for sure. So THANK YOU because when/if that happens again I am going to pull up this post and read it again and again. You are such a wise little buddha. xoxo.

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  17. LOVE this! So much yes to everything in this post girl! My biggest flaw is comparing myself to others, and I need to stop!

    Happy Friday <3

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  18. So true on so many levels. I need to be so much better at all these things. Love it!

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  19. I'm tucking this bad boy away for a rainy day when I'm feeling like shit. Thank you. :)

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  20. I think everyone could use a little check on self esteem and awareness!!! We all should be focusing on taking care of ourselves (and families) and not comparing our lives to others. The grass is always greener on the other side because you don't realize it is fertilized and we all need to take the time to water our own grass :) Preach it Steph!!!

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  21. This post seriously ROCKS!!! I have a huge problem with ALWAYS comparing myself to everyone, it's so dumb!! Love #2, too. I love that "not everything is about you!" I tend to take things too personally and have been trying SO hard to work on that. You are awesome for writing this!
    xo, Candace | Lovely Little Rants

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  22. Great post girl! So true, comparing yourself to everyone else does nothing but make you miserable. You just have to live your life and be happy with where you are at, in that moment.

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  23. "Recognize your triggers" Blogging/IG/etc has been a huge trigger to me lately so I've been intentionally burying myself in work because it's more "me" right now. And sometimes self-care is more important than getting a blog post up everyday anyway.

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  24. Lol yoo seriously I was having this conversation with a buddy not too long ago. Social media is to highlight events in your life, not the shitty ones. I NEVER get on Facebook - like seriously. And that's just becuase I'm living life and don't feel the need to blast it all over my profile. It gets updated MAYBE once a year, IF that. Because I gots ish to do. Twitter and all those accounts are for blog purposes and they're not meant to "show off" or "showcase" anything because we all have great things going on, whether we acknowledge them or not; and we all have shitty things going on, which we're more quick to complain about. If you don't like it, if it bothers you: turn it off. Don't look at it. I don't because if someone really wanted to know what's up with me: they'll send a text. :) Have a great one Stephanie! -Iva

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  25. I love this so much. Great post Steph. I have to work on #2 more than I'd like to admit. Sometimes I see other people's snapchats or instagram posts and take it almost as a personal challenge: "This his how much fun I'M having, and if you don't post something as awesome YOU can't be having nearly as much fun." It's so destructive! I like to think for the most part I do pretty well balancing real life and social media, but I do work myself into mentally negative spaces sometimes. Human error. But thanks for this post, I'm going to tuck it away :)

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  26. Great post & great advice! The older I get, the easier I find these things.

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  27. This is a great post filled with excellent reminders. I've always struggled with self esteem issues (even as an older, wiser woman who knows she shouldn't let herself get caught up in that shit). I compare myself to others much less now than I did when I was younger (it happens, but not often), but the "love yourself" thing often trips me up. There are things about myself that I don't love, and it's especially difficult to love those things if I'm in the depths of a depressive episode. It's definitely a work in progress.

    The social media thing is so true, though. I generally look at perfect Instagram or blog photos as evidence that I just don't have as much time or energy to devote to those sorts of things. Sometimes I wish my pictures were better, but most of the time I shrug and move on. I have grown to pretty much despise Facebook, though. My feed has become a strange combination of political debates, passive aggressive messages, "woe is me" status updates, and the more general life updates and pictures. I rarely use it anymore because I don't have the patience to "unfollow" or "unfriend" every person I don't care to read about.

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  28. I love this, especially the advice to not compare. Sharing life's crappy moments is airing your dirty laundry which I personally think is tacky. And who wants to see cryptic status updates? When it comes to FB, if I have nothing nice to say, I stay far, far away. I honestly think the only time I've gotten envious of others on social media is when someone has a young child but their living room looks like a Pottery Barn catalog with light furniture and every decorative piece in place.

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  29. I used to feel like this a lot when I was younger... I was easily impressed by others and I wanted to be someone who could impress people, too. It's a shame that there are people who never seem to grow out of it... BOTH ways.

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  30. Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy - thank you to Kacey Musgraves for those wise words! This weekend, I finally bought myself a bottle of Grey Goose, because I decided that life is too short to drink cheaper vodka just because I'm at home. I deserve the good stuff!

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  31. First off I really really love this post! Second number one was a huge issue for me and finally about a month ago I realize what my triggers were and I stop following those blogs, stop following those Instagram accounts, stop following their Twitter. If it's just gonna make me feel bad then why am I reading it? Also I am really starting to appreciate the fact that I don't have to care what everyone else thinks my life is mine and I'm going to live it the way that I need to!

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  32. This is amazing!!! I really love that blooming flower quote. One of my friends watches FB more than anything else in her life. Then she texts me about people and what they look like, where they went, what they ate, etc. I honestly do not care! People can live whatever life makes them happy as long as they aren't hurting people. Sure I'd like to travel more or buy nice purses, but I'm doing my best and I'm content. I have another friend who complains about all the marriage/baby announcements on her timeline. I just want to shake her and say, "Stop being such a grump and you might find love!" Haha! I love the beginning too, where you explain why you don't have to show the negative side to life. If I have a problem, I can talk about it with people closest to me. Like, actually call them up, send an email, or go to lunch and talk. I don't need people online to side with me or validate my feelings.

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  33. So I'm super late to the party, but I was trying to compose my thoughts. While I mostly agree with you on this topic, I don't agree full-heartedly. I agree that we shouldn't play the victim by comparing our less than perfect lives to those "perfectly displayed," and often staged, pics frivolously shared on social media. However, if it isn't overwhelming, I think it sparks something in some of us (or maybe that's just me?). If I see a friend out exploring the Maldives on IG, I don't think "Ugh! Life is so unfair! There's no way I could possibly do that!" but rather, "I want to do that too. How can I make that happen?" It's motivation. At first, it's happiness for my family/friend, then a little anger and jealousy, but then, if it's something I discover I REALLY want, I try to find a way to get it, or whatever other thing it is that I really want (a car, a job, a vacation, etc.). Or maybe I just read waaaay to much into your post. I do like your quick five for overcoming negative self esteem- very well thought out and helpful content!

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  34. THIS. everything about it. I'm sharing this to my FB page right now. I freaking love it.

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  35. I LOVE this and missed it last week. Awesome. Thank you for the reminder.

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