Hi, my name is Rebecca Shain and I am a workaholic. I am a full time student who is triple majoring, when I am not doing my university work I am most likely binge watching series, or catching up on sleep. I will occasionally do the odd yoga session, go to the gym or go for a hike, but trust me when I say, “occasionally.”
Perhaps if you checked out my Instagram account you might have had a completely different idea of me, you might think that I am super social, or that I am always active, or that I have lots of friends.
By looking at my Instagram account you won’t be able to tell that I suffer from anxiety, that I have a disease called Multiple Sclerosis, that I used to have a negative relationship with food, that I feel lonely often and don’t have many friends. You won’t be able to tell any of that, because I trickle my Instagram with tiny squares that show a very positive, and somewhat upgraded version of myself.
I am sure most of us have been online at one point in our lives and thought, “Wow, I wish I had their life,” while forgetting how privileged and lucky we are to have the life we already do. We forget how privileged we are to have access to the internet, to have phones, laptops, IPads, or whatever other gadget you do your wishing on.
We also forget how problematic and detrimental it can be to compare our everyday life to the best version of other people’s life.
You are looking at what people choose to show you.
By comparing yourself to the tiny squares on Instagram accounts, you are forgetting that you are just as incredible as they are.
I saw the perfect quote today that says, “Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it’s their time,” posted by Ralph Smart (Infinitewaters on Instagram).
I find this incredibly relevant today.
I see posts online that say that social media is triggering depression, I have friends who have disabled their Facebook and Instagram accounts, I too get sad when I look at how “perfect” other people appear to be.
Instead of being proud of how wonderful people’s lives look, I get sad within myself and compare my life with theirs.
Yet there is no way to compare someone like me, who is a full time student, with someone who is a fulltime yoga instructor. We are both doing awesome things – they can pull off crow pose and I can write an academic essay that unpacks a complicated topic.
We are living two completely different lives and we are both shining in our own ways.
Their crow pose does not retract from my ability to debate.
Their beauty does not retract from my beauty.
- You are shining in your own way every single day.
- You are an individual, you are original, there is no one else like you – that is what makes you unique, you should be thankful that you’re not like “them”
- Do not compare your low moments with the highlights that people choose to show you
- Do not compare your reality to someone else’s reality
- Be grateful for what you do have, and understand how lucky you are to have the life you already have – many people are not as lucky
- You are worthy
- Achieve your own dream, not the dreams that others are achieving (do what you want to do)
- Just do it. If you want to do paint, play the cello or be a poet – JUST DO IT. Be whoever you want to be.
By Rebecca Shain
My Blog: The Helping Hand