Social Comparisons and Self-Confidence

As an athlete, your self-confidence can be affected by the way you compare yourself to others. This is especially true in the age of social media. Many athletes struggle with self-confidence due to social comparisons. So how can we better maintain our self-confidence as athletes?

Some people say that the solution is to just stop comparing yourself to others. While this can helpful at times, it's not always possible, and sometimes it can even hurt our development. As athletes, we often need to compare ourselves to others to know how much we've improved and what we need to work on. Without this feedback, it can be hard to gain the information and motivation that is needed to improve. And sometimes, comparing ourselves to others can actually improve our self-confidence.

As you can see, comparing yourself to others isn't bad in itself. It depends on how you do it. Here are five tips on how to better use social comparisons to improve your self-confidence.

1. Most importantly, you shouldn't obsess too much about how you compare to others. If you are constantly comparing yourself to others, you are bound to lose confidence. No matter how good you are, you'll always find people who are better than you, and if you worry about this too much, you'll start to have doubts about yourself. This is why it's so important to focus more on your own self-improvement than on how you compare to others. While comparing yourself to others is sometimes needed, you should mainly focus on how your current self compares to your past self. If you notice that you're making improvements and are doing the best that you can, you should feel good about yourself, regardless on how you compare to others. There are times to compare yourself to others, but for the most part, you should put blinders on and focus just on you and your improvement. Whenever you notice that you're comparing yourself to others too much, you need to snap out of it and remind yourself to focus more on your own process of improvement. Also, to prevent unnecessary social comparisons, it can help to minimize your time on social media. Social media has many benefits, but if you spend too much time on it, you can easy fall into the trap of social comparison.

2. Humble yourself and learn from others. When we compare ourselves to others, our egos often feel threatened and we start to feel bad about ourselves. In these cases, we need to set our egos aside, practice humility, and ask ourselves what we can learn from others. Instead of feeling threatened, we should give others credit for their hard work, and be inspired to learn from them. We should remind ourselves that just because other people are better than us doesn't mean we're no good, and that if we work harder, we can improve and reach greater heights. With this better attitude, we can use social comparisons to improve our motivation while maintaining our confidence.

3. Reflect on your unique skills. When you compare yourself to others, don't just think about your shortcomings. Think about your unique skills as well! Even if other athletes are better than you overall, this doesn't mean you don't have unique skills that you can use to contribute to your team.

4. Be objective. When comparing yourself to others, it's easy to become negatively biased towards yourself. This is why it's important to focus on objective evaluations to help you think more positive. If you're struggling with confidence, try looking at objective feedback such as stats and past achievements to remind yourself how good you truly are. You can't argue with facts!

5. Gain confidence from your teammates. Athletes often lose confidence by comparing themselves to their teammates. In order to prevent this, you need to remind yourself that you and your teammates are on the SAME TEAM. You should be happy when your teammates excel. What is good for your teammates is good for your team, and what is good for your team is good for you! You also need to remind yourself that you're only as good as your teammates. By having better teammates around you, you can play better. When you're playing with good teammates, you should be more confident in yourself, knowing that you can trust your teammates to help you make plays and also pick up your slack when needed.

If you follow these five tips, you will greatly improve and maintain your self-confidence over time!