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5 min read

Social Media - Managing Self Doubt And Comparison

In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of daily life and we are bombarded by the seemingly perfect and idyllic world of others which can often lead to feelings of inadequacy in our own lives.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
July 8, 2024

In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of daily life and we are bombarded by the seemingly perfect and idyllic world of others which can often lead to feelings of inadequacy in our own lives. While the vast amount of social platforms can provide meaningful and useful connections and opportunities, they can also sow the seed of comparison and self doubt which can exacerbate tendencies of imposter syndrome in many individuals who are already experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety or feel that they are not able to live up to expectations - placed on them by either themselves or others.

Everyone can feel out of their depth at times and this includes within the workplace where demands can be high and it is easy to feel overwhelmed and unable to process or navigate through the workload which can be ever changing and all consuming.

Imposter syndrome is characterised by feelings of inadequacy and self doubt in yourself despite evident success and this can be amplified by social media if you expose yourself to constant images of success and achievement. While these images can definitely have a positive effect and can be a motivating factor for accomplishments, they can also have the opposite effect and can lead individuals to question their own abilities which then go on to create a sense of fraud.

Very few people will post their failings, mistakes and disappointments online for the world to see but they will very much exaggerate how well their professional and personal lives are, their beautiful homes and great job as well as a supportive group of friends and loving family. Well, I have yet to meet one single person who has all of this yet social media is full of them - or so they want you to believe. Real people struggle with various areas in their lives but for many, it is a lot easier to pretend everything is fine rather than to admit that it is far from fine. There are, however, many who do not post on social media but it is not easy to not be lured in by those who are depicting themselves as ‘successful’.

Becoming too interested in how others are presenting themselves can be a major cause of loss of self confidence - believing everyone else has life worked out and this can create unrealistic standards and fuel imposter syndrome.

In order to navigate yourself through any negative feelings you may be experiencing, it is essential to cultivate self awareness and develop effective strategies for managing self doubt and to avoid comparing yourself to others.

It is a good idea to limit social media once you begin to recognise that feelings of inadequacy have been triggered. Set boundaries around screen time and prioritise real life connections and experiences - not virtual ones.

Try to shift your focus from what you lack or wish you owned or had achieved and be grateful for what is in your life now and what your abilities and gifts are as well as your potential to achieve and attain future goals and aspirations.

Challenge your own negative self-talk. When self doubt and negative thoughts appear, challenge them internally with evidence of your successes and capabilities. Dominate any negative chatter into empowering and positive affirmations that you use often and believe. The power of the mind is very potent so try to only tell yourself good things.

Instead of focusing too much on others, shift the focus on to yourself by celebrating and acknowledging in a positive way, that your path is unique in comparison to that of anyone else. Additionally, be kind to yourself and treat yourself with compassion and understanding. Reach out to those you trust who may be able to offer a clearer perspective and can help to provide much needed reassurance.

Your worth is not determined by how many likes, followers, friend requests or any form of external validation you receive but what is important is your own unique qualities and strengths that you possess as there is no one in the world who is the same as you!

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