Facebook Stalking, the Comparison Trap + 8 Other Things Not to Do if You Value Inner Peace

  1. Social media stalk. I happen to think Facebook is one massive social experiment gone wrong and a breeding ground for phoniness, self indulgence, and meme madness. But it’s also a necessary evil, an important business tool and a way to keep in touch with friends and family members we wouldn’t keep in touch with otherwise. But it should not be a place to investigate exes or that girl from the 8th grade who you haven’t spoken to in twenty years. I promise: nothing you find will change anything that happenedStep away from the screen and do something nice for someone.
  2. Fall into the comparison trap. This is a tough one, especially if you have a large social network and/or a history of codependency that leaves you hungry for external validation. There’s no quick fix here but limiting your time online and around other triggering people can help. Instead, spend time doing things that affirm your desires and passions. Your journey is precious precisely because it looks nothing like anyone else’s.
  3. Break your own boundaries. I’ve had to learn this one the painful way. Whether it’s a toxic family member or a work situation that you can’t keep your paws off, it’s helpful to understand your limits. For instance, if you know being around Aunt Susan for more than a couple hours makes you crazy, don’t stay for coffee and dessert! Sounds obvious but it’s easy to cave if you have a hard time saying noJust remember, you’re the one that has to live with the emotional aftermath.
  4. Excessively watch the news. Ok, I still do this one a lot, but I’m working on it. Yes, it’s important to be informed, to have a sense of what’s going on locally, as well as on a national and global level. And not just because it makes you a more enjoyable dinner guest. Having a grasp of politics and cultural events expands the mind and enriches your life, but watching the local news several times a day or being glued to your twitter feed will just make you feel bad.
  5. Be seduced by online personas. You may notice a theme emerging here. Look, I love social media as much as the next gal. It’s just that I also know how destructive it can be; the ways in which it becomes obsessive and sadistic in nature and before long, you’re an hour deep in your Instagram feed, wondering why your clothes, makeup and condo are no longer as great as you thought. Again, know your limits {I love to take at least 1-2 days off/week} and remember that your life—and worth—is not measured in likes.
  6. Spend time with people who give you the ick vibe. And by that, I mean, the people who activate that pit-in-the-stomach feeling, make your hair stand on end, or otherwise give you the creeps. One of the more important parts of trusting yourself is learning to listen to these feelings. Our body is constantly communicating truths our minds haven’t yet picked up on—don’t discount these divine signals.
  7. Try to change anyone but yourself. Just, don’t. You know the effort required to make even a small, sustained change in yourself? Well it’s ten times harder when you’re trying to force a change from the outside in. Not only will the other person resist and resent you but it won’t work. You’d be better off adjusting your perspective and then looking at what changes you may be delaying in your life.
  8. Run errands during rush hour. You know, unless it like can’t be avoided.
  9. Accept advice from people who aren’t living the kind of life you want to live. Think about it. Why would you let someone who’s never started their own business discourage you from doing so? In the same way that it’d be silly to solicit dating advice from someone who’s living a celibate life— there’s nothing wrong with the path they’ve chosen but if it’s completely foreign from your own— why seek guidance here? I’ve always found it most helpful to have a group of mentors, or various people I can consult based on the issue at hand. Options breed answers.
  10. Constantly question what’s coming next. There’s few things I know with crystal clear certainty. This is one of them: life is supposed to be lived with blind spots. If we always knew what was around the next turn, well, we might just turn around. But it also ruins the surprises. Instead, take each day and season as it comes and there’s nothing you can’t handle.
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