Facebook Failure Syndrome might not be real, but if you’re already feeling that your life isn’t that exciting or that your business isn’t as successful as you want it to be, then Facebook really can feel like a pick-axe chopping away at your self-esteem.

Are you suffering from Facebook failure? In our ever growing world of social sharing, it's easy to think that everyone else has this super amazing life and compare your life to theirs. The reality is often very different.

Seeing things through rose coloured glasses.

Facebook is a little like looking at other people’s lives and businesses through rose coloured glasses.  You normally only see the good stuff that makes them look good.

We see the happy faces, hear about the wonderful things people are doing and hear about how well people are doing in their business.

So if you’re maybe having a bit of a bad day where you don’t feel great about yourself, your life or your business, seeing these kinds of posts can make you feel like a failure.

Why is my life not as exciting as hers?  She’s so much more successful than I am…

Let’s get real about Facebook

Most people share the best bits about their life and the best bits of their business.  I have to admit, I don’t share very much at all on my personal Facebook profile.  I’m actually quite a private person.  I do post daily on my MBC – MorningBusiness Chat group and my Life and Business With Wendy Facebook page.

I post to my group and page most days and keep my posts really positive – After all my aim to insire you, help you and encourage you.

What I don’t add to my Facebook page are comments about feeling like death warmed up, heaving a complete meltdown because I can’t deal with a techie issue on the blog.  And in those first few years, I didn’t share the tears and fears I had wondering if I was going to be able to keep my business going.  I didn’t tell you about the times when I went into debt to keep my business going.  I didn’t tell you how often I nearly gave up on my dream.

People post glamourous pictures on Facebook of a perfect life, a successful business.  We often get a very distorted view of other peoples lives and business.

And whilst this post is focusing on Facebook, the same can be true for any social media platform.
A business that posts about an event they put on may look great, but would you know if they ran that event at a loss and they were really disappointed with it?

A couple of years ago, I ran a few workshops locally.  I ran them at a loss but they gave me a little bit of extra exposure at the time.  To be honest whilst they were a success in that I felt like I was helping people, financially they were definitely not worth the effort.  But, I still to this day have people ask me if I still do my workshops.  I often ran them in very nice hotels and they looked professional, successful… People bought into an idea that I shared on social media but they never got the whole story.

Now let’s say that your business is making celebration cakes and you’re not getting enough orders in. The lady in the next village who does the same thing and has only been in business for a couple of months seems really busy, she’s always posting pictures of cakes she’s made on Facebook.  What she doesn’t add is that most of the cakes are for family and friends that either don’t pay her anything or barely cover the costs.  She’s not getting many orders in, but she is using Facebook well to showcase her skills.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

Now please don’t get me wrong, I’m not for one second saying that everyone on Facebook is lying and yes, it’s a wonderful case to showcase your business, your successes, the nice things in life… All I’m saying is take it all with a pinch of salt and don’t fall into that trap of comparing your life, your business with what people are sharing on Facebook.

Stop judging yourself and your business against what other’s post on Facebook

What I want you to do is get really clear about what you want to achieve in your business and life.  Download my FREE  Business Success Workbook to help with this.

When you get really clear about what you personally want in life and business, get it down in writing and focus on an action plan to make it happen, then it will be easy to stop judging yourself against other people.

There’s a lovely lady who I remember being in touch with early on in my coaching career.  She’s a really successful coach now.

Now I could look at some of the things she’s done over the years and think she’s more successful than I am.  However, she’s not more successful, her success is just different to mine.  I got really clear about what I wanted right at the beginning of my coaching career.  I knew what I wanted and I knew what I didn’t want.

I also make sure I review where I’m going and what I want to do.

I judge how successful I am based solely on how closely my ideal life and ideal business match up with my real life.

I set myself goals on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.  I judge my success based on how many of these goals I’ve achieved.

I don’t look at what other people are achieving, especially when that is based on what they choose to share on Facebook.

This is what I advise you do too.

Reframe your thinking

I’ve had so many conversations with clients and friends about Facebook, and lots of people have told me that they’ve stopped following people that they see as their competition because they get so disheartened seeing them talk about their successes whilst things are not going as well for them as they want.

I get that completely, but let’s try reframing that.  Reframing is basically looking at something in a new way.  In this case a positive way.

Instead of avoiding these people on Facebook, go and support them.  Celebrate their successes.  Make sure that you’re commenting on their posts regularly.

When you do this 3 things happen.

  1. When you shift your focus to “I’m happy for this person, I’m pleased they are doing well.  If they can do it, so can I.” You’re changing your own mindset to a success mindset rather than a failure mindset.
  2. When you actively keep in touch with your competition, you start to build a positive relationship with them and MOST people – Business owners like to support others.  So it’s good to have your name on their radar and build a relationship with them.
  3. By regularly commenting and positively showing your support on other people’s Facebook posts, then you also get on the radar of their customers.  Now I’m not saying steal their customers. But let’s say that you own a restaurant that’s a little quiet at the moment.  If you comment on a popular local restaurant and show your support (comment from your own Business page but please don’t leave links, that’s spammy).  Their customers will see your restaurant name and maybe come and check out your page, so make sure you’ve got something interesting for them to see. Most people don’t want to eat in the same restaurant every time they eat out, so next time they could well choose your restaurant.

Now I’ve used a couple of examples of different businesses in this post, but the same really applies to all businesses.

So let me know, have you had those negative thoughts about people who seem to be doing better in business than you.  Or does Facebook sometimes knock your self-esteem?  Let me know in the comments below.


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17 thoughts on “Do you suffer from Facebook Failure Syndrome?

  1. Good article. Sometimes the simplest and best things get overlooked and overwhelmed by what you perceive you see/read.

    Reframing is good and positive. Connecting with competition can be affirmative in what you are doing as long as believe in what you are doing.

    And that’s hard sometimes and a good measure of someone.

  2. This happens to me with pretty much every social media especially the perfectly curated ones like Instagram. It’s hard not to play the comparison game but comparing yourself to someone else isn’t going to do anything but make you feel bad and could potentially make you second guess yourself and your business.
    xoxo, Jenny

  3. I have struggled with this for last few years. I chose to ignore competitors for a while but do now interact with a few. I am as guilty as the next person for “bragging” with my successes etc but now I’m more comfortable doing it as I know I’m just as good as the next wedding planner in town if not better. Actually definitely better!!!! 😉

  4. I do feel like this sometimes…but then I remember what I post too. I don’t share a lot of my personal stuff either, and especially not the bad stuff. That just makes me realize we’re really only getting the highlights, not the full story.

  5. Facebook knocks me down so much on my bad days. Seeing the perfect stay-at-home moms life when I’m over here with ketchup in my hair and the house an absolute disaster isn’t exactly the greatest

  6. I don’t see this as much on Facebook as I do on Instagram. But it is always disheartening to see organic reach in the hundreds when a page has thousands of likes. I like your idea of reframing your focus though!

  7. I can pretty much those mums that seem perfect are having their own struggles. I can most definitely tell you that even as a mum to a 14-year-old, I have piles of normally (although I’m delighted to say I cleared it today), the dog has more toys that my son ever had (maybe) and yes, I generally just kick them to another area rather than pick them up. I remember someone saying to me once “We are funny aren’t we? Always having to do things like fluffing the cushions before we leave the house.” I smiled one of those, oh my God she can tell I don’t do that just by my fake smile. Seriously, cushions getting fluffed is very rarely on my to do list. Having then on the sofa is good enough for me. 🙂

  8. Ugh. This is so true! I’ve started hiding people in my newsfeed that always have “perfect” lives that I struggle with jealousy over. It just helps me a ton!

  9. Ugh. This is so true! I’ve started hiding people in my newsfeed that always have “perfect” lives that I struggle with jealousy over. It just helps me a ton!

  10. I’m pleased this has helped you. It’s all about looking at things in a different way. Just think about how many people would look at your and wish it was theirs.

  11. I’m pleased this has helped you. It’s all about looking at things in a different way. Just think about how many people would look at your and wish it was theirs.

  12. Hi Wendy great post,
    Yip its interesting how others see us through rose coloured spectacles.
    Perfect timing after getting congratulatory messages through linkedin last few days as I am celebrating my 16th year in business, two people messaged on great to see how my health must be great. When actually this was so far from the truth, I am more or less housebound at moment and like most business I have had many challenges ( I believe its a miracle I survived) as well as very serious health challenge that constantly impacted greatly on my ability to do specific work, complete contracts and do the most simple things others take fro granted… I have had to constantly refuse work, adapt, adapt, adapt, change my business more than times than I can remember, make no income for months ( whilst always living on my own) many times in my business career, that has been the stark reality. But on lookers regularly comment on how lucky to have such as successful easy business lol. Luckily I come from a family business background and know that all that glitters is not gold 😉 I am very lucky to have the freedom to do a job I love and wouldn’t change it but at times it cost me greatly and that’s the honest truth.

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