Social Comparison In The Online World

This is a guest post from Fiona Shaw, a sports psychologist with a passion for triathlons and Ironman, who uses her knowledge and expertise to help many different people including athletes of varying abilities.  You can find her at  and her Instagram @thesportspsychologist.

In today’s world we live in a society where we are dominated by social media at every turn.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the big players in this. For this reason it becomes so easy to be drawn into time spent endlessly trawling these sites looking for our favourite things or people and interests.

This is ok, isn’t it?

Well yes if this is simply what it is… a way to keep up to date and understand or follow your interests and passions and to even know what is going on in the world or that world you are drawn to.

However there can often be a deeper, underlying, more damaging effect.

What if that endless trawling becomes heightened and draws you into determining your own self worth based on how you feel you compare to others in your very own small box judgement? This is when it can become limiting and often detrimental to the cause.

Of course comparing ourselves to others provides a measure of ourselves and our ongoing progress in our sports but it also can encourage overwhelming feelings of self doubt and our own idea of what we deem to be a success or failure.

If we spend our time constantly comparing ourselves to others how can we truly be happy or acknowledge our own goals or successes?

These ongoing episodes of comparison can lead to negativity and dissatisfaction when our journey or goal is always different to the next person in that long line on the road to success.

Of course we can follow and admire and enjoy but remember you are unique and not the same as anyone else.

Everything is your path, your journey and your goal.

If we were all the same then there would be no winner for we would all be winners and nothing to work harder for and towards as we would all be on a level ground and level playing field.

Use others for inspiration, in a positive manner, don’t let others who are faster or progressing quicker get you down. Your story is just that, YOURS! 

If you would like to hear more about what Fiona has to saw about dealing with pressure and anxiety check out our full interview with her here.