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How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Celebrities

Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on August 18, 2021

Comparing yourself to celebrities can be a steep, slippery slope. Over time, healthy admiration can make way for constant feelings of not being good enough, which can steal your joy and stop you from wanting to achieve your own goals.

The good news is that you can learn to break free from the comparison trap. There are several steps that you can start taking now to put the focus back on you, your strengths, and the unique value you have to offer to the world.

3 Steps to Stop Comparing Yourself to Celebrities

1. Develop healthy self-esteem. Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself, your abilities, and your achievements. When you have healthy self-esteem, you are happy with who you are. You know that your opinions, values, and who you are matters.

When your self-esteem is low, you may put yourself down and negatively compare yourself to others, especially celebrities. It can feel like you just can’t measure up to them. 

There are a few different things you can do to start developing healthier self-esteem:

  • Challenge your negative beliefs. Keep a diary and make a note of every time you think something negative about yourself, like, “I’m too ugly to be a good actress.” Challenge this belief in your mind. Ask yourself when this thought first came into your mind and why. Now write something good about yourself that proves otherwise. For example, you can write, “I won the award for the best performance at the school play. I’m a great actress!” Make this practice a habit.
  • Appreciate what you’re good at. When you have low self-esteem, it’s easier to find things that are wrong with you. But, the reality could be that you have a lot of strengths that you’re just not seeing. Maybe you’re an amazing singer or a great athlete. Appreciate your best qualities.
  • Spend more time in the company of positive people. Develop happy relationships that build you up instead of tear you down. Spend more time with people who appreciate you. It can leave you feeling good about yourself and more positive about your life.
  • Get professional help. It’s normal for some people to find it hard to develop self-esteem. Talk to a professional counselor or therapist. They can help guide your progress. They can also support you and help you work through challenges.

2. Do a Social Media Cleanse. If you’re following celebrities regularly on social media, it may be time to take a much-needed break.

Some studies have shown links between social media usage and symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness for teenagers and young adults. Sometimes it can put you in a low mood.

But, more research needs to be done in this area before we can narrow down on social media as the root cause. Experts suggest taking up healthier social media habits in the meantime. 

Ask yourself how you feel after spending time reading about or watching news about celebrities. If it starts to make you feel less positive about yourself or your life in comparison, you might want to consider doing a social media cleanse.

  • Unfollow, block, or mute the social media accounts you use for celebrity news and updates. If going cold turkey is hard, try the unfollow option on just one social media channel to start with. You could also delete one social media app from your phone 
  • Decide beforehand how much time you’ll be spending on social media. Once your time is up, you simply sign out or switch off and move on to other tasks or activities without looking back.  

3. Get Out of the Comparison Trap. ‌It’s easy to lose your way once you get stuck in the comparison rut. Your best bet is to stop yourself from going under in the first place.

  • Compare down. It’s easy to compare yourself to celebrities who are in the limelight for notable accomplishments. They belong to a much smaller percentage of people who happen to be famous for who they are or what they do. But, think about how you’re already supported and successful — something that many other people in the world may not get to experience. If you wish you had a fancy, expensive sports car instead of your old run-down truck, remember you’re better off than people who want, but can’t afford a vehicle at all. Downward comparison, or the art of comparing downwards, can make you feel a lot better about who you are and your place in the world.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Keeping a gratitude journal has been linked to an increase in feelings of well-being. A gratitude journal is simply a notebook where you can write about people, situations, or things that you’re grateful for on a daily basis. Some people like to do this before going to bed, while others do so when they wake up.

Learning to stop comparing yourself to celebrities doesn’t have to be hard. Working through these 3 steps can help you build a relationship with and care for the most important person in your life — you. 

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

APA: "Social media’s growing impact on our lives (Part 2)." 

APA PsycNet: "Downward comparison principles in social psychology." 

Mayo Clinic: "Self-esteem check: Too low or just right?" 

Medscape: "Gratitude Journaling Boosts Wellness in Psychiatry Residents." 

NHS: "Raising low self-esteem." 

Young Minds: "Social media and mental health." 

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