September 26, 2015

Your Compare & Despair Survival Guide

Compair and Despair

Picture this: You wake up. It’s beautiful out. You feel like you’ve accomplished everything you needed to the day before. You’re ready for an awesome day and are excited for all of the things you have planned. Life is good!

Until… you pull out your phone to check facebook, instagram or your “drug of choice” and realize you didn’t make the cover of your favorite magazine, you don’t have a boyfriend who just proposed to you, and you chose gluten free pizza over green juice last night.

Let the compare and despair begin.

Have you ever heard that term before? Compare and despair? I’ve been hearing it for years from various thought leaders in the wellness space–everyone from Oprah to Elizabeth Gilbert to Brene Brown. The consensus? It’s totally toxic to our health and well-being.

In this day and age, where social media is intertwined into everything we do, and the things that trigger us are quite literally ALWAYS in our faces to see, it’s no wonder we’re more inclined to compare than to be content.

As a recovering compare and despair-er, I’ve come up with some secrets to kick this very bad habit.

  1. Admit you have a problem. If you don’t first acknowledge that when you open up that Instagram app, you immediately check what everyone else is up to only to find yourself sulking about your own life, then you certainly won’t realize you have a problem to begin with. Making it that much harder to make a change. So be honest with yourself and start to track how often you mindlessly review your feeds and feel like crap!
  2. Unfollow your triggers. I wrote a post not too long ago about all of the Instagram peeps I follow that only uplift me. This is what you want to fill your feed with, not accounts that are a constant reminder of what you don’t have. We’re not saying it’s their fault or that there’s something wrong with them, I’m simply asking you to acknowledge that it’s not healthy for you. So those 3 or 4 people you follow that always seem to get under your skin–it’s time to say buhbye. Send them love and unfollow them immediately.
  3. Post and let go. I know some of you may be feeling like it’s hard to disengage from social media because it’s part of your job or important to connect with the people you love. I totally get it and still want you to be on social media if it makes you happy. But do it mindfully. Instead of spending 20 minutes caught in the social media time suck, just post and get outta there.
  4. Go straight to gratitude. Sometimes even when you practice these methods, there’s a residue of insecurity left behind. The most effective way to rinse off those bad feelings is to practice gratitude. Challenge yourself to name three things that you are truly grateful for. It will shift your mindset in a flash.

The next time you find yourself getting triggered by your Instagram feed, use one of these tips to get you back to what’s real.

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Have you been experiencing compare and despair? If so, what do you do to get yourself out of it? We want to know your secret

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I respond to every single comment myself, please leave me one below so we can chat!


  • sherry

    Wow-what I needed to read right when I needed it; thank you; I catch myself and have to slap my own wrist for feelings of envy from what I read/see on social media that leaves me feeling left out or less accomplished or successful etc; I am happy for friends successes and activities but sometimes there’s just that little twinge and I have to stop, breathe and look at all my abundance…..thanks for confirming I’m not alone in that and sharing your steps to dealing with compare and despair.

    • Nitika

      I don’t know how i missed this comment Sherry – but THANK YOU for sharing with me + sorry it took me so long to respond. Sending you so much love + hope you are doing well on your healing journey!! xx

  • Pamela Pekerman

    I adore you! Glad to know I’m not alone. Great tips for getting out of the compare and despair zone. I’ve also heard that the best way to swim faster is to avoid looking at other lanes :-). We are all so very blessed in our own lane of life.

    • Nitika

      I adore you!! And no you are NOT alone. Not at all. I love that quote too by the way – so good!! Lots of love xoxo

  • Michele Morales

    Great Post Nitika! Compare and despair is so common and it feels just awful. It really takes effort to not fall into it. For me, I try to keep myself in an attitude of thankfulness and acceptance and just being patient with myself.

    • Nitika

      Yessss patience with ourselves is SO key here. Love that Michele! xoxo

  • marshah

    Thank you for such an inspirational post. I just discovered your blog and bookmarked on my pc. Blessings!

    • Nitika

      Thanks so much beauty, that means a lot. Lots of love! xx

  • Sandra

    Post and let go!! ??that’s what works for me! I shut down my accounts for over a year to “detox” and came back with a different email , and started following only positive, uplifting, fun people. No guilt of leaving family out, or letting friends go. What happens is amazing !!
    Different issue: I was just diagnosed with psoriasis (had it for a while but didn’t know what it was) and right now my face is looking very “not good” I have a big spot on the cheek and another on the eyelid!) I know you have struggled with this, I’ve been following you for a while… any tips?!
    Thanks! Love you!

    • Nitika

      So cool that you were able to take a break – that’s beautiful!!

      As for the Psoriasis…I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with this. I am not a medical doctor, so I can’t give you medical advice. However, I can tell you that as someone who has had Psoriasis for most of my life and in a way that was completely debilitating…it isn’t about the symptom. It’s about what the symptom is trying to tell you and what is happening underneath that. The more you can let go of anger and try to lovingly investigate yourself, the more healing will take place. Hope that’s helpful. Wish you so much luck! xo

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