Here is a message we have heard all the time in many different ways. But I think we all need to be reminded of this. It’s easy for this message to be lost in the highly competitive world that we live in…
A UK study conducted in 2017 by the Royal Society for Public Health and the Young Health Movement ranked Instagram the worst for mental health in young people. When we see people sharing “their lives”, going out constantly, taking trips around the world and generally “living their best lives”, it can cause anxiety and depression in many. But why? These negative feelings stem from the fact that these images make many feel as if they are missing out, or not doing enough to make their lives great.
Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others. Assume your own responsibility.
We look around and see that everyone is trying to attain what they believe to be the ideal life. We receive pressure from school, our parents and our friends to measure success by what others have or are doing. A lot of young people seem to find school less and less rewarding, not because it’s not where their interest lies but because a lot are gravitating towards the social media culture. In a discussion with my sixth form students, we were discussing why so many of their classmates were missing from school. One person informed me that some had given up basically on school and were trying to “make it” on social media. Another student pointed out a sad reality, ” many of them are at home with zero subscribers because they don’t really understand how social media works?”
How many of us are guilty of venturing down a path that we really are not interested in beyond, what we can get out of it? When we do things for gain and not because we are excited or passionate about, any success that we may have can never be sustained. A simply analogy is this: if you do something only for praise and to have material gain then the reward will be empty. Do it because you love it, because it makes you happy and others are positively impacted by what you do.
So, don’t be anxious about what others are doing or how much they have accomplished in a short time. If you are able to find your passion and pursue it, you my friend are already a success. You will not be remembered for how well you tried to be someone you are not, the unique qualities that only you possession. Once you recognise that you have been living a life of comparisons, pause and count your blessings. Be thankful for what you do have and what you can do. Remove negative energy by always expressing gratitude. Be thankful also for your flaws, for they have made you who you are and they remind you that no one is perfect. And when you see someone you admire, don’t try to tear them down so you can be where they are. Support and encourage them and others will do the same for you.
Also know that comparisons do not support love for it says in James 3:16:
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. Instead of comparison, focus on your journey Focus on becoming through what you can learn and what you can create independent of the next person. If you remain stuck on what others are doing, you will never know what you are suppose to be doing and what you truly want. The next time you have a decision to make don’t discourage yourself by comparing yourself to others; your purpose has been tailor made for you.