Just some more cliche advice // The Observer

I love cliche advice. Whether it be that “good things come to those who wait” or “what goes around comes around,” I fully believe in it.

Dealing with some difficult situations over the past few weeks, I have offered an abundance of this advice to my friends, all of whom hate the cliches. You see, they prefer more specific recommendations for their situations. However, I feel that because cliche advice is so ambiguous and seemingly all-encompassing, it is generally applicable and more often than not, it works. So, it felt fitting that I take this time now to offer all of you a cliche for some positive inspiration this week.

One of my personal favorite quotes is, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Simple but meaningful. In comparing ourselves to others, we are often making ourselves feel inadequate amongst what looks to be the success and flourishing of others. As humans, we subconsciously make these comparisons every day without realizing it. When you are walking to class across campus or just talking with your friends, you are most likely thinking about how you are most likely comparing yourself to others. One of the most apparent ways we do this is through social media. Social media is a medium through which negative comparisons are made, especially because it showcases what others want you to see about them. Social media has evolved to be a platform where everyone displays the highlights of their life, making for rather high expectations of what your own life should look like. And, with social media being so prevalent in our lives,’ it is difficult to escape.

We tend to compare our worst moments with others’ best moments, and that is because we cannot know everything that goes on in each other’s lives’. Everyone is a different person, at a different place in their life, so why should you worry so much about what others are doing? Why should you care if someone else secured an internship for the summer while you are still searching for one? Why should you compare your grades, your resume, your physical appearance or your personality traits with those around you? I am not suggesting we all stop comparing ourselves, but I am suggesting we stop negatively comparing ourselves to others. Ready for some more cliche advice? Be yourself. We are all unique and, because of that, we are all special and important.

Focusing so much on what others are succeeding in and what you are lacking in makes for a very difficult and stressful way of living life. It is great if you can look around at your friends and celebrate their successes, using them as motivation for yourself too, but it is dangerous to be disheartened because some part of their life is “better” than yours. There is a fine line between inspiration and demoralization.

I know it’s easier said than done, but this is all food for thought. Take some time each day and focus on replacing thoughts of self-doubt with positive affirmations and individual goals to work towards, independent of what others are doing. Take a break from social media and live in the present because what goes online is often a misrepresentation of reality. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, take the road less traveled and remember that everything happens for a reason. Should I go on?

I know this all so very cliche, but as I said before, sometimes cliches are the best advice to give because they really do work. So, going into this week, stay positive, celebrate your successes, reflect on your mistakes and be kind to others, we are all just learning how to love who we are.

You can contact Hannah at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Tags: Advice, comparison, lifestyle, positivity

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