‘Real life is not filtered’: Why you should stop comparing yourself to others — especially on social media

·4-min read

The Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It! is about helping you stop unhealthy behaviors and start prioritizing your own self-care. Follow along with us as Danielle LaPorte shares how to change your outlook for the better and work on forming healthy habits every day this week. This is Day 5 of the 5-day Stop Doing It! Challenge.

It’s hard not to compare ourselves to others — in fact, people do it all the time whether or not they’re conscious of it, especially when it comes to scrolling through social media. But falling into that comparison trap can take a toll on your self-esteem. As the saying goes, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

In partnership with the Yahoo Life Challenge: Stop Doing It! author and inspirational speaker Danielle LaPorte — who is a member of Oprah's Super Soul 100 and offers meditations on everything from love to healing and spirituality on Sounds True — is challenging people to stop habits that leave them feeling “overwhelmed” and stressed and instead work on cultivating “some peace and some happiness” in their lives.

On Day 5, Danielle LaPorte challenges you stop comparing yourself to others. (Photo: Anastasia Chomlack)
On Day 5, Danielle LaPorte challenges you stop comparing yourself to others. (Photo: Anastasia Chomlack)

On Day 1 of the 5-day challenge, LaPorte offered advice on how to gracefully say no rather than overcommitting yourself to make other people happy. On Day 2, we worked on how to stop complaining and instead replace that with what you appreciate instead. Day 3 focused on stopping negative self-talk, while on Day 4, LaPorte encouraged carving out time even on super busy days to rest and take a real break.

Today is the final day of the 5-day challenge, which is all about how to stop comparing yourself to others. “We are here to talk about no longer comparing yourself to anyone or anything ever again,” LaPorte tells Yahoo Life. “Comparison is like this spirit crusher. It's so toxic for the heart.”

While comparing yourself to others happens every day in real life — whether you realize you’re doing it or not — social media can make matters even worse, as you scroll through the filtered, carefully curated images. “Social media has just created this epidemic of comparison,” says LaPorte. “We're just scrolling through everybody's filtered feeds and thinking she's all that and I'm not any of this.”

LaPorte describes social media as a “comparison grinder,” adding: “You just insert your life and it tears it all to shreds.”

She encourages people to stop comparing themselves to others, particularly on social media, starting today. “You don't even have to give anybody any notice,” LaPorte says. “You can just celebrate your life, the mess, and the beauty that it is. Real life is not filtered. Everybody has their struggles and their gifts.”

Here’s your call to action for today: When you notice that you’re comparing yourself to others, counter it by thinking about something you appreciate about yourself or your life. “Gratitude dissolves comparison in a heartbeat,” says LaPorte.

Next, “Before you go onto your next thing, I want you to list 10 things about yourself that you're grateful for — yourself, your life, how good of a listener you are, how great of a leader you are, a good cook, how you tuck your kids into bed at night,” LaPorte says. “And then I'm inviting you to go one step further and bless the people that you feel envious of. Because love doesn't need to compare.”

Missed any of the previous challenges? You can check out Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4. “Remember you can come back here anytime for some love, for some clarity, for some inspiration, and remember that in terms of success and happiness and wellness, sometimes it's more about what we stop doing instead of what we start doing,” says LaPorte.

For more great advice, check out Danielle LaPorte on Sounds True.

Video produced by Stacy Jackman.

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