Self-confidence can be influenced by many factors, from your own internal thoughts and beliefs about yourself, to anxiety symptoms, your social support, and your environment to name a few. There is one BIG factor though that seems to be a source of low self-esteem, poor body image, and negative self-talk. Out of all of the women we serve who identify as struggling with low self-esteem, there is one commonality across the board. That commonality is SOCIAL MEDIA.
Think about it for a second. You’ve got a few minutes in your day and you stop to scroll on your favorite social media app. After a few swipes, you begin to see lots of images of other people. Some with filters. Some looking posed in front of a camera man. Maybe some who are famous, have had lots of plastic surgery, or spent tons of money on their hair, professional make-up, and outfit. You might also see them in a beautiful vacation spot, in an HGTV worthy home, or showing off all of their children lined up in matching outfits smiling for the camera. It doesn’t take but a second for an image to imprint in our minds and start to seep into our thoughts. While looking at the image may seem not that important in the moment, it’s how our brain interrupts that image that can be impactful and long-lasting.
Take a minute and think about how much time you’ve spent on social media today. Try to recall the images you saw. What are the ones that stand out? Were there any that you saw and immediately thought, “wow, my _____ (body, hair, car, child/ren, house, etc) looks nothing like that”. Think about that comparison for a moment and how it made you feel to see that image. It’s not uncommon to feel less confident and more self-conscious after looking at social media.
Is your social media activity hurting your self-esteem?
A great way to reflect on this is to check in with yourself about how you’re feeling and if you’re feeling confident BEFORE and then immediately AFTER spending time on social media. If there is no change, it’s unlikely you viewed anything that had a negative impact in the moment on your image of yourself. However, if there was a change, it’s very likely what you viewed has been perceived by your brain as a comparison that hurt the way you think of yourself.
If you are often triggered by social media and feel it’s impacting your self-esteem, here are some tips to try to boost your self-confidence.
- Limit time on social media altogether and reduce mindless scrolling
- Unfollow any person or account that makes you feel negative about yourself in ANY way
- Only follow people or accounts that you know in real life. It’s a lot easier to understand and remind yourself that your sister-in-law is wearing make-up and this picture is a paid family photography session versus a stranger or celebrity you don’t personally know.
- Stay off social media when you’re not feeling positive about yourself in some way
- Don’t allow yourself to compare. You are not that person in that photo. Your house is not that house on HGTV. You are you, and that’s enough.
If you struggle with self-confidence and feel your self-talk is often negative, you may also benefit from learning additional tools to help boost your self-esteem. Reach out to us today to learn more about how our therapists and counselors can help you improve your confidence.