Happy New Year! As usual at this time of year, I am sure that you have thought about what you would like the year ahead to look like, what changes you would like to make. Think about your resolutions. Are your resolutions what you really want to do or are they what you think you “should” do? Are your resolutions realistic or are they what you believe your life “should” be like in comparison to others. This new year, I challenge you to be different. I encourage you to focus on yourself and stop comparing yourself to others. Because comparing yourself to others is a battle that you will always lose.

In this social media age of Facebook and Pinterest, do you ever feel inadequate? If you answered no, you are lying. Let’s be honest. Your Facebook news feed is filled with pictures of happy families, promotions, travel, and all that jazz. Did you see my post yesterday when I commented that I had a horrible day and decided to drown my sorrows with a double cheeseburger (with fries), a pint of ice cream, and a bottle of wine. Of course you didn’t! Now, I really didn’t have a bad day yesterday but that is beside the point. We do not post such things. Through social media, we project an image to the world and most often that image is filtered through a positive lens. Face it, we don’t turn to social media to hear about everyone’s problems…we have enough of those of our own. We all have someone we know who is a constant downer, posting a list of complaints daily…and we’ve blocked them from our news feed.

So, with that being said, let’s talk about how to stop comparing yourself to the unrealistic images of life that we are constantly bombarded with.

– First and foremost, remember that no one’s life is as perfect as you may imagine. We all have bad days, weeks, and even years. When you start to hear that voice in your head that says, “Why can’t my relationship be like so-and-so?” tell that voice to “Shut the H*#@ up!”.

– Focus on the positives in your life. Yes, this is cliche yet true. You have the choice what lens you view your life through. You can choose the blue or the rose glasses. Granted, this will not make all your problems go away but changing your thinking can help to put problems into perspective and can give you strength to carry on.

– Figure out what you are unhappy with (and I mean truly unhappy, do not revert to the “should”) and get off your bum and make changes. This is not comparing yourself to others. This is taking steps to live the best life that you can live, a life that is yours and yours alone.

– Embrace your quirky individuality. Think about it, if J-Lo wanted a backside like so many others, she’d be getting liposuction. Instead, she plays to her assets. Those unique parts of you are what make you you, so stop that inner negative dialogue and instead give yourself a big hug of self-love.

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” – Unknown