I’ve seen a lot about comparing yourself to others on the internet this week and, while the #youdoyou and imposter syndrome movements aren’t anything new, I feel like the comparison trap is something that goes beyond trending buzzwords. Companioning yourself to other is something that happens continuously, to all of us at some point or another and will alway make me click-through when I see an online article or blog post promising to hold the key to nip it in the bud for good. SPOILER: It never does!
While I try to make this a place of inspiration and positivity, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the nature of my job (s) and the social media culture we find ourselves in, don’t affect me. From follower counts to incredible opportunities, amazing photography to award-winners, it’s very difficult to not compare yourself to your peers in an ever-expanding online industry. Although my blog is a passion project and something that I do out of love, every now and again, I sink into a vicious circle of “why bother” or “that’ll never work” when I know that it will give me the biggest joy to learn and try.
I’d say that, in 80% of my meetings with PR’s, people in the industry or fellow bloggers, comparing yourself to others comes up at some point. It doesn’t matter how successful they are, how wealthy or how secure they are in themselves, it’s an inevitable evil that can rob enjoyment and provoke insecurities you didn’t even know you had. So, while I’m not going to promise that this blog post will stop you from ever comparing yourself to someone else, I will talk about how we can get through this together!…
You’re seeing 1% of someone’s life on Instagram
IT STARTS AND ENDS WITH SELF BELIEF
When was the last time you gave yourself a pep talk? Being our own cheerleader isn’t something that comes naturally and is usually at the root of comparing yourself to others. I am notoriously hard on myself when it comes to work, productivity and all the things I haven’t done in a day. But something I’m trying to do more of is adding a section to my to-do list at the end of a working day that outlines everything I HAVE achieved that day. Even if it’s something small like putting a wash on or sending that email I’ve been meaning to write for weeks.
It wasn’t until I uploaded an Instagram Story of everything I’ve achieved in 2018 for New Year that I sat down and realised how much I’d achieved in a year that I’d pretty much written off (THIS is why). Once we start realising what we’ve done, we can start believing what we can still achieve. Sure, we might fail and it might not work out but those experiences are just as important to your future as if you bossed it from the first try. it
BE AWARE OF IT
How we talk to ourselves is key to managing the comparison trap. Lambasting yourself for not going to that event / night out or not being good enough to get that job is going to shatter the tools you need to move forward with your goals. It’s just going to make you feel shit and dive straight into a pack of Digestive biscuits. Not feeling good enough or battling with the dreaded imposter syndrome is something that even the most successful people still have to deal with (believe me!) but recognising it and talking yourself down from a ledge is how to change the conversation.
Over the last year I’m a lot more aware of the feelings and internal dialogue surrounding the pressure I put on myself. From feeling guilty about not going to an event that could lead to great opportunities to not feeling like I’m doing enough to further my career – it was a constant struggle. But it took a pretty lengthy illness to make me see that I can’t be everything. And while it may look like everyone else is killing it on Instagram, remember that they’re dreams aren’t yours, they’re completely different and the grass is definitely not greener. Focus on you and what you want to achieve.
Focus on you and what you want to achieve
LOOK FOR INSPIRATION BUT…CAREFULLY
Instagram is a great source of inspiration. But it’s also a hotbed for comparing yourself to others. I spend a huge amount of time on the social platform and 80% of the time, I get my best ideas and goals from seeing what my peers are doing but it also raises questions like: Am I doing enough? Should I be travelling more? Should I be branching into other mediums? But staying true to what I want to achieve doesn’t and will not align to someone else’s path.
Sure, their life may be a grid full of exotic locations, designer freebies and amazing opportunities but they’re portraying the very, VERY best version of their life that they can. We don’t see the struggles and difficulties that person has, and believe me, they have them. It’s a very fine line between being inspired and letting someone else’s journey stop you from embarking on your own. Celebrate their successes with them, see what could be yours and take the steps to get there in your own way in your own time.
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