Using the 'Whenever' Rule to Not Feel Crappy About Your Social Media Feed Whenever you're having one of those days and seeing others' social media posts makes you feel low, the "whenever" rule can help cheer you up.

By Jessica Abo

PhotoAlto | Sigrid Olsson | Getty Images

The following excerpt is from Jessica Abo's book Unfiltered: How to Be as Happy as You Look on Social Media. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

Let's talk about how to course correct the next time you feel like you're slipping into old social media habits. I like to think of these takeaways as my "whenever" statements.

Whenever you log onto social media and feel crappy, thanks to the compare and despair trap, identify what is really bothering you about your own life. Are there actionable steps you can take to get out of your rut? Find ways to step out of your situation, whether it's through spending less time on your phone, becoming more mindful, volunteering or another outlet.

Whenever you feel lost, remember that this is temporary. Seek out a mentor or accountability partner to help you achieve your goals.

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Whenever you make a mistake, allow yourself to be upset, but don't let this setback consume you for too long. Take ownership of what happened, recover what you can, and learn as much as possible from the experience. Keep in mind, not landing a client today may be steering you toward a bigger and better opportunity tomorrow. Failing at one job or business may be the thing you need to find your true passion. Realizing you're on the wrong track is a powerful invitation to switch gears. Take a deep breath. Sometimes you're where you're meant to be.

Whenever someone posts about their awesome office view, team, project or product, remember you can have that sense of work pride, too. Be strategic about where you are and where you want to go as well as how you want to treat yourself, and others, along the way. Being nice may be your superpower, but that doesn't mean you need to tolerate intolerance or toxic people. Know your rights. Know how to protect yourself. Be an upstander to bullies, and don't ever feel like you need to suffer through in silence. Be the kind of leader who makes other people want to lead, and don't forget to take care of yourself along the road to success. Being in business isn't just about making money. It's also about living your message and living a life you love.

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Whenever you find yourself in a different place from your friends, whether that's emotional or geographical, remind yourself that outgrowing certain dynamics is part of growing up and life is not a race. It doesn't feel good to feel on the outside of the circle whether it's because you're the only one going through something or because you don't fit into the group mold as well as you once did. Nourish the relationships that help you flourish, and make sure you're being the friend your friends need you to be.

Whenever you're on the verge of breaking up with dating and everyone around you is getting engaged, married and having kids, stay in your lane. You don't know what's happening behind someone's smile, and there's no point in wasting your energy on being envious of someone else's life. Spend some time thinking about the partner you want to attract and what you want to contribute to a relationship. Trust your gut, don't be afraid to let go of your past and believe that the best is yet to come.

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Whenever life crushes you with bad news or a new reality, honor your feelings. Some days, you may be up for the fight. Other days, you may just want to stay home in bed and cry. Whether you're dealing with a bad diagnosis or grief, you're not alone. Seek support. Research activities you can do or organizations you can get involved in to help others and help yourself.

Whenever you see someone doing something inspiring, don't make fun of them because you haven't found your cause or calling. Think about what keeps you up at night and look into what you can do around that issue. Affluence is not a requirement for influence, and you don't need to be the loudest person in the room to make a difference. Once you get involved, remember donor fatigue is a real thing and saying no doesn't make you selfish -- it makes you self-preserving. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way, and always remember to thank the people who helped make your mission and vision a reality.

Wavy Line
Jessica Abo

Entrepreneur Staff

Media Trainer, Keynote Speaker, and Author

Jessica Abo is a sought-after media trainer, award-winning journalist, and best-selling author. Her client roster includes medical and legal experts, entrepreneurs, small business owners, startup founders, C-Suite executives, coaches, celebrities, and philanthropists. Visit

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