Also known as the all-famous imposter syndrome. I’m a developer. I have social media. Of course I have to deal with this like others, probably most of you as well. And this can easily become really heavy and a burden for you, so it’s important to become aware of it and reflect on yourself.
But first of all: what is it exactly? To keep it short, basically it’s when you have the feeling of not being good enough. And I think this is always the wrong thought. Where does it root? Well look at what you’re spending your time with. Most of us are on social media for a vast amount of our day. And now look who you’re following there? 99.9% of the people arrange their desk, set up extra lighting and edit the photos for their posts. Do you think of this when scrolling mindlessly through your feed? Probably not. Your thoughts are ‘wow that’s a desk/setup I want to have’ or ‘wow he’s working again hard on that thing’.
And there you have it:
The root of all our unhappiness. It’s easy to make up a good-looking post that has nothing to do with all our struggles, the effort we put in, the downs we have. It’s easy to only show the hour we worked a little on our project and not the 5 hours we struggled with something else or just did nothing because we didn’t feel like it.
I think we are not aware of what we cause with this. These posts have their attention, they get their likes, shares etc., their so called numbers and traffic is what makes them ‘succeed’. These people ‘made it’, they’re influencers who reached the goal of having so many followers. These are not my thoughts, these are the thoughts that are in the people minds.
And because these are the thoughts in our minds, we automatically compare these on-top posts with our life. The gotcha here is: we don’t compare the life of the person on the other side to ours. We compare this single post, this edited, set-up capture of a moment with our life. We think this is a real representation of the person’s life.
This is ridiculous. We should stop this.
But I also know it’s not easy. As this happens automatically, it’s hard work to become more aware of this and change these thoughts and stop the comparison. But it’s important, otherwise you will always fall back to: ‘aw I wish I would be there / more like him/her / have this skill already / have his/her environment / mentality / discipline / talent.
Some advice from what helps me to reflect more and overcome these thoughts:
- Raise your awareness: stop just scrolling mindlessly through your feed. Try to realize what all that you see and like there creates for thoughts in your mind. Are they good and inspiring? Are they negative like mentioned above? Is there anything at all 😉? And if they’re negative try to think what’s maybe going on behind all these posts. You really don’t know all of these persons, maybe 1% of them at max. You know nothing about all their struggles, their past and their real life (and that’s good, we don’t need to share everything!). Maybe this will help you to realize what you see there is not the reality and nothing to compare with.
- Reflect on yourself: really sit down from time to time and think about what you already achieved and overcome. This is by good chance a lot and you can be really proud of that. And if you’re not satisfied take time into consideration. How much did you invest? Also think of how much you still got in front of you. Patience is really underrated these times.
- You can use another trick, even if I’m not a big fan of this but it helps to become more grateful and adjust your perspective. You can use comparison, but instead of comparing yourself and your life to people who seem to be further along the way and more successful, compare yourself to people that are not so lucky. People that are on the other hand. That maybe don’t have all the possibilities you got. It can help to become more grateful for where you are in life and switch your perspective in this more humble direction.
- You can simply reduce the time you spend on social media and on things that make you feel not good enough. Rather use that time and learn something new that interests you. Do something that makes you feel good, learn a new skill or improve in a field. If you’re really interested and passionate about it, this will make you feel way better than just ‘wasting’ your time following other people’s lives.
That’s it for now, see you. Sometime. Somewhere. 🤙🏽