I recently deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts and noticed myself just being happier and freer than before. When I turned those accounts on again, I was particularly sensitive to the subtle mental processes while scrolling my feeds. It was like every millisecond, a small comparison was made between myself and the accomplishments of those on the apps. Even in cases where I was so genuinely happy for my friends and their life experiences, I found myself having to subtly negotiate myself to neutral again after scrolling for a while.
It wasn’t long before this heightened sensitivity got numbed and I was scrolling again as if it is just this thing one does. When I confessed to my therapist that I compare myself to others and that it makes me anxious, I hadn’t even put two and two together. Comparing myself to others was not something that I used to do before social media.
I am 100% confident, that I am not the only person who has had this experience and if you are wondering how to approach your “performance anxiety” based on social media standards, read on.
So, I started listening to some Tibetan Bön insights and recognized a familiar practice that has been quite natural for me throughout my life. Tibetan Bön is a mystical tradition that dates back to the 10the century. I am not special in that their approach came to me naturally. The fact that this practice was part of my pre-internet and pre-social media mind, indicates to me that this approach is most likely inherent to all of us.
I have to preface this explanation of this practice, because of how far removed many of us are from our inherent knowing, and so that you can recognize the approach as such, rather than view it as a new thing. It is my wish for you to connect with your inner knowing. So, with that, I trust and hope that this perspective on how to use your insecurity as a spiritual practice will bring familiarity and empowerment to you.
From a spiritual perspective we are all one. We are connected, equal and significant. Each of us is a bundle of divine expression, much like little parts of the same soul exploring limited areas of mastery. From this spiritual perspective, all of us are on the same team, with a collective goal of happiness and fulfillment.
Let me repeat. We are all part of the same thing, in different expressions, just like your stomach is part of you, and your thoughts are part of you and your skin, and blood and feelings. They all do very different things in very different ways, yet have a common goal of overall health.
So, when you’re triggered by the happiness of another, for whichever reason, let’s say they get the house you put a bid in for, you can recognize it as some part of you being fulfilled in its desire. Some part of you wanted that house, and some part of you got it! Before you may have thought of others as separate to you, feeling excluded and less favored when not attaining your goal. You may have wondered what’s so good about them and so bad about you for you not to have gotten the house. This kind of thinking will make you feel worse, and over time diminish your sense of confidence and purpose, bit by bit, which will minimize your opportunity for success.
However, with the spiritual understanding that we are all part of one thing, it is much easier to wish others happiness and be fulfilled in the process. You can direct your attention to that person and say: “how wonderful that they got that house and all the peace and stability and settledness that comes from it. May all the people in the world experience peace and stability and settledness in the form that they wish for it. By genuinely feeling happiness for others, your own chances of success increase, and it is much easier to feel happy for others when you think of them as part of yourself.
In that short sentence, not only have you alchemized your own victim mindset, a very low vibration, but you have also elevated your vibration to that of service, a very high vibration. In a very wholesome way, you have set the foundation needed to attract your own needs being met. If you had been feeling isolated and disconnected, this practice surely would have left you feeling connected and purposeful.
I wish you happiness and peace.