I’ve been having a major case of feeling inferior lately. I follow all of these women on Instagram who are incredibly fashionable and have beautifully decorated homes. Every picture they post seems perfect and Pinterest-worthy. Some days, I find myself looking at my life and feeling like it’s a little “less-than.”

I wouldn’t quite describe myself as “fashionable.” My clothes are simple and more often than not, I dress for comfort. I see these women posting pictures of their stylish outfits, posing in huge mirrors in their beautifully decorated walk-in closets. I live in an old, small house that literally had one tiny closet when we first bought it. We’ve added a few more since, but a walk-in closet is still something that exists only in my dreams.

I see breathtaking photos of women in the most gorgeous spots in nature and long to travel the world too. We haven’t been on a real vacation in quite some time, as life seems to keep getting in the way. I dream of going on adventures far away from my everyday surroundings and exploring places I’ve never seen before. But that’s just not a priority right now.

So why am I telling you all of this? I’m not trying to complain about my life or make you feel sorry for me in any way. I’m telling you this because I bet you’ve found yourself on social media at some point, looking at someone else’s perfectly filtered photos and feeling that little pang of envy. Perhaps you’ve also felt those feelings of inferiority in your own life.

But the amazing thing is that we don’t have to remain in that state of mind. There are so many ways we can change our perspective and feel better about ourselves and our lives. If we’re willing to do the work in our hearts and minds, we can shift from a mindset of lack to one of thanks and satisfaction.

If you find yourself feeling inadequate in any way, you can change this by shifting your perspective and remembering a few important things.

  1. Practice gratitude for what you do have in your life.

I believe one key way we can fight feelings of jealousy and inferiority is by practicing gratitude.

By shifting our focus from feeling envious of others to taking stock of all that we do have in our lives and being thankful for it, we can become so much happier and more content.

By making a list of all the things you do have in your life, you can really change your perspective and mindset. I may not have the most perfectly decorated home but what I do have is so much love in this little house I’ve been blessed with. I have a husband that loves me fiercely and the most affectionate, loving dog. I’m so lucky to have so much love in my life.

  1. Realize that what you have in your life could be something that other people dream of.

When I really stop to think about it, I realize that I’ve been blessed with things that others may wish they had. While I may not have the biggest house, there are plenty of people living in small apartments who would love to have a single-family home of their own like I do.

When I worked as a case manager for low-income Medicaid recipients, most of my clients lived in tiny apartments in bad neighborhoods. It was eye-opening how little some people have and made me appreciate what I have so much more.

I’ve also been so blessed with the love I’ve been given in my life because I know that it’s something that not everyone else has. My husband is my best friend and I realize that some people would give anything to have that.

  1. Remember that social media tends to be a highlight reel of people’s lives.

Those pictures that we see of people on social media are not an accurate representation of their life as a whole. Everyone has bad days and messy areas of their life. Most people choose not to share these things. They tend to share the best pictures, often beautifully filtered and designed to fit a certain aesthetic.

I follow a lot of accounts on Instagram with beautifully curated feeds. Every picture looks perfect and dreamy. But I like to remind myself that this is not real life. Real life is messy and unpredictable and difficult at times. But who wants to highlight that in their Instagram feed? People tend to post the best parts of their lives on social media.

  1. Keep in mind that everyone is battling something we know nothing about.

Everyone has fears, insecurities, and problems that we don’t see when we look at them. No one in this world is perfect.

That woman you follow who seems to have the best body and most fashionable clothes? She could actually struggle with body image issues.

The couple who looks so perfect and in love? I guarantee they have their share of problems. I know my relationship with my husband is strong, but it’s far from perfect. I just don’t post about the fights and disagreements we have. I post about the happy times, and most people tend to do the same.

Everyone has difficult things they deal with behind closed doors. When you’re feeling like the only one who’s struggling in life, try to remember this.

  1. Take a break from social media for a bit.

If you really find yourself struggling with comparison and feelings of inferiority, it might be helpful to take a break from social media. Try setting aside a “social media free day” where you don’t check Instagram or Facebook at all.

Spend that day and the time you would usually waste online focusing on self-care and interacting with the people you appreciate in your life. Call your parents, check-in on a friend. Be more intentional with the time you spend with your significant other. Practice being more present in your actual life, not your world on social media.

Remember that you have a choice in what you let influence your thoughts and feelings. And you have the ability to change your perspective.

We really do have the power to feel more happy and satisfied with our lives.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Try to remember this. And remember that you are a beautiful creation of God and that there is absolutely nothing inferior about you.

Samantha DeCosmo

Samantha DeCosmo is a wife, rescue dog mom and writer who believes sharing our stories can help others feel less alone in theirs. She writes about living your best life in the midst of challenges at www.apurposeinpain.com.

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