Keeping Perspective, Avoiding Jealousy, & Staying Thankful
By: Ashley Robison

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When I was seeking potential topics for posts, Yuli (of My It Things and Style Coalition) threw this one at me–”You should write on how not to lose perspective, avoid jealousy and stay thankful,” which I thought was a great idea.  To be honest, I’m not always the best at all three, though I try to be. I honestly believe they’re 3 of the most important things a blogger can do to keep themselves invested, enthusiastic, and engaged in their sites for the long run. And luckily, I also believe they all work hand in hand.

 

On Keeping Perspective

Perspective can be one of the first things we lose as a blogger, especially if we start our blog with a goal of tons of readers, freebies galore, and making a full time paycheck right off the bat.  Especially after 4 years of blogging, it’s easy for me to lose perspective: Why isn’t my traffic higher when I’ve been doing this so long? Why am I not networking with more bloggers? Why do I keep missing all the great conferences and how is that impacting my growth?

 

Perspective is necessary.  Blogging is hard work (and even harder if you’re working a full-time job).  We only have so many hours in the day.

 

So to keep your perspective, try asking yourself:

  • Can I do more with the available time I have? More being more posting? More commenting? More interacting?  If so, great–do it! If not, don’t beat yourself up over it–you have limits to what you can do.
  • Do I have to give up something in my life to make time for more?  Am I willing to do that? It’s okay to say, “No, I’m not giving up my 1 hour of The Bachelorette to blog.”  It’s okay to say, “My weekends need to be spent with my partner and kids.”
  • What am I REALLY willing to do to achieve my goals? It’s really easy to say, “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to become a professional blogger,” but in reality, we all have our limits.  What are yours?  I’m not willing to quit my salaried job just yet, or sacrifice all of my time with my partner, friends, and pets.  Life is too short (and New Orleans is too great a city) to spend all of my time cooped up in front of a computer.  If it delays my ability to do this full time, that’s something I have to come to terms with.

 

On Avoiding Jealousy

I believe that jealousy CAN be a useful emotion; obviously someone or something is triggering deep feelings inside of us.  Jealousy can be great if it prompts us to get our asses in gear and make changes, start ideas, and follow our dreams-but how often does it REALLY do that?

 

Keeping perspective on your life is great for decreasing jealousy issues–because jealousy in blogging is quite frivolous.  Blogging presents such a small microcosm of our lives that no one reading ever gets a full picture.  So why be jealous that a blogger has an amazing shoe collection and you don’t?  You may not see the hours she works to pay for those, the mountain of credit card debt she’s hiding from, or the loss in her life that led to shopping as an emotional crutch.  You may be jealous that someone has a stellar photographer boyfriend taking her amazing photos–but maybe he’s working hard to become a professional, is just out of school with no portfolio, or the photographer-blogger relationship is taking its toll on them.

 

The point being–why waste your time on jealousy when you can’t know the hundreds of variables impacting any blogger’s life? It all comes back to keeping perspective–keeping a perspective about the lives of others will prevent the green eyed monster from showing up too frequently in yours.

 

 

On Staying Thankful

This one may be the easiest for me.  Do you know what helps me avoid jealousy most often?  Reminding myself of the many things I’m thankful for in blogging.

 

I’m super thankful that I count some AMAZING bloggers as my friends and colleagues–like the lovely Jennine of The Coveted/IFB.  I’m super thankful that my blogging has given me the opportunity to write for IFB twice a week.  I’m super thankful that my site gets a bit of traffic each month, and that brings in some extra cash to save for beautiful pretties or pay down my credit cards.  I’m super thankful that I’m still writing Dramatis Personae after 4 years, while maintaining full-time job, that my partner is supportive and kind about it, and that I have a full-time job that allows me to pursue this passion without worry about paying my bills.

 

When I write it down and out, it’s so eye-opening.  Wow–I have a lot to be thankful for in my blogging. You probably do, too.

 

Maybe you’re thankful that, even though only your mom reads your blog, that you have the time to pursue a passion.  Or that you’re intensely passionate about something in the first place: do you realize how many people aren’t? Or never take action on their passions? It’s incredibly gratifying feeling to think about that!  Or hell, let’s all be thankful that we’re in a position of privilege where we have internet, personal computers, and the freedom to express ourselves.

 

What do you do? To keep perspective? To avoid jealousy? And most importantly–to stay thankful?

 

Image by Libby Bulloff

Comments

  1. I’m thankful that I don’t have to pay to have a blog! I always go back to the reason why I wanted to blog in the first place, and that usually keeps me at peace with myself. Thank you for another stimulating Friday post. Have a great weekend!

  2. Courtney says:

    To keep perspective, I’ve realized it’s going to take a lot longer to write my posts. I used to sit down and do them in one shot, but now I find myself taking photos one day, editing them the next and pulling together an entry on the third day. In a way though I kind of like it like that.

  3. alicia says:

    Great article Ashe- it’s like you can see inside my head sometimes :)

  4. Melanie says:

    Great post. These concepts that are vital in every area of our lives. Life101, I would say. And I am not surprised Yuli thought of this topic:)
    I write down what I am thankful for in a journal daily (well, most days) and that definitely helps with perspective.

    Always love your posts. Keep it up. xoxo

  5. tessa says:

    This is such a great post. It’s so true that the most important thing is to stay positive and in perspective with yourself. Sometimes I catch myself thinking.. if only I had her closet, I could have a kickass fifty-million follower blog too. But I realize that I didn’t start blogging for that; I started a blog to collect my thoughts and see where my personal style takes me. I feel as I gain more followers, the need to have MORE followers gets in my head more.. and sometimes it warps my blog’s directions. Sometimes you just gotta take a step back and see if you’re still heading in the direction you want to head.

  6. Wonderful post, Ashe!

    In order to keep perspective I keep having to remind myself that, contrary to how I feel at times, this blog is NOT my life. I have a job and a life outside of it, so I can’t let it consume me.

    When I remember that everything else seems to fall into place quite nicely… the problem is sometimes it’s easy to FORGET.

  7. I’m glad you posted this. I had a mild case of blogger envy a few weeks ago and it threw me for a loop. I ended up just feeling down and uninspired. The point of blogs is to inspire us so I felt like a criminal. But it comes and goes. I haven’t pinned down a way to get rid of it yet but I think small doses of positive reinforcement help. That’s why I try to comment on other blogs; in case they’re feeling the same way :)

    Yasmeen
    Castle Fashion

  8. MJ says:

    Love this!! I think that all three of these things are really important to blogging in the long term. Perspective is one of those things that can easily be lost but being thankful as well as counting your blessings and accomplishments, it becomes easier to get that back. That’s what I always try to do when I feel I’m not seeing the bigger picture and that jealous monster starts creeping in. I take a step back and look at on the things I’ve accomplished in these two years. Realizing your limitations is another point of yours that I couldn’t agree with you more on!

  9. I am super thankful because I just opened my blog and now I have time to dedicate to this.
    I am super thankful for all the comments I am getting and for finding new interesting bloggers to connect with via fib, and I am super thankful for this post that made my stop and think.

    Thanks Ashe!

  10. suzieperon says:

    This is the most pertinent post I have read and holds sound wisdom for me personally at this precise moment. I had hit a blogging wall due to these and other issues so am truly grateful to know it comes with the territory. Many thanks for posting . xxx

  11. de la Pen says:

    Thank you for writing this amazing post! I really needed to read this. I just caught blogger envy yesterday. I’ve been blogging for 3 years and though I had a small following on my 1st blog (a music site) it wasn’t until I started blogging abt fashion that I finally started doing some decent numbers. However my site still isn’t where I want it to be and being the perfectonist Virgo that I am this really bothers me. I’ve gone to a ton of events and received some free products for product reviews. Last October, I was even sponsored to attend Style.uz (a fashion week) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. And yet, I’m still not getting those consulting offers or collaborating w/ brands the way other bloggers have and it’s really been getting to me lately. I try to stay positive, I even wrote some new posts but lately it’s been harder to find motivation. Hopefully, this post will help me get back on track. :)

  12. danica85 says:

    To be happy in this world is to be thankful in everything comes in your way. As the Bible says “Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God concerning you” If you are contented, jealousy doesn’t set in with in you. I like this post. Keep going!

  13. Yuli says:

    Ashe, so glad to inspire this post and couldn’t have thought about a better way to convey it. Thanks for starting such important discussion on this forum!

  14. I think living in the moment is a good practice for bloggers. Sometimes I get so caught up with where I want to be with my blog that I forget to revel in what I’ve already accomplished. You made some really good points here Ashe, as usual.

  15. Ravit says:

    Wow, if I can keep these rules I’m happy :) thanks

  16. trixia says:

    great post! i love reading this kind of content! it’s really interesting.. as for me, what i do to avoid jealousy is by simply being content and staying positive.. if you are happy with what you have, i think there would be no more reason for you to get jealous..

  17. Bckls says:

    “I am so jealous of you sites success, and I admire you for it as well.”
    Emotions are natural and healthy so long as they are not excessive. We are only human, great piece.

    -bckls

  18. iCocco says:

    I think this is not only inspiriong but it also kept me sane. Looking at all these fashion blogs…yes it glamorous and yes the clothes are beautiful and yes the sceneries are honestly to die for…but writing is what I love. I love photography and I love fashion. At the end of the day you have to just feel appreciative to have a voice that you are able to share. If you get 4364672647 followers then great…as long as your happy :)

  19. iqueenah says:

    i have to admit that when i look at other blogs i do feel that exact way….but i dont know how to get paid to blog its a
    passion for me to also become a fashion stylist also….its all kind of overwelmed especially if you have a hubby and kids ughhh

  20. Emmy says:

    What a great post. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Staying positive and remember why you blog I think is most important. If your blogging because you have a passion for whatever it is that your sharing with the world I don’t really think the other stuff matters! :) It’s like writing in your personal journal everyday you put it on paper to get it out of your head or share a idea or though. I’, thankful every time that someone leave a commit be it 1 or 300, just knowing someone reads what I write makes me want to share more.

  22. niki says:

    Thanks for sharing this, we all have something to be proud of or grateful for but it’s so easy to lose sight of these things.

  23. niki says:

    Thanks for sharing this, we all have things in our lives we should be proud of but it’s so easy to lose sight of this.

    Niki

  24. Missen REn says:

    this is so inspiring, you’re right in almost of all u said, “So why be jealous that a blogger has an amazing shoe collection and you don’t? You may not see the hours she works to pay for those, the mountain of credit card debt she’s hiding from, or the loss in her life that led to shopping as an emotional crutch.” hahaha… that’s true.. I should be just stay thankful :)

  25. What a well-thought out, very well-written and extremely inspiring and lovely post. Thank you so much!

    Love, P

  26. mackmurry says:

    i really love your post! very true! i can really relate this to my present condition… thanks so much!

  27. Xizi says:

    Wow. This has to be my all time favourite article here on IFB.

    This is so refreshing to read because it relieves some of the stress facing bloggers- it offers a new perspective.

    Its astounding to think that my favourite bloggers may have emotional problems relating to presenting themselves on the internet as perfect figures- because that’s how I almost see them sometimes. It’s so easy to picture people as perfect because it makes you stop wondering about them. “What problems can they have? They’re perfect!”

    But then you bring up how something tragic could’ve come up in someone’s life- so they resort to shopping. How someone’s great photography might relate to a not so great relationship between the person and the person behind the photos.

    Thank you Ashe for your personal take. It’s quite touching.

  28. Exactly what I needed to hear… Been feeling inadequate lately but you are so right – a blog is only a small snapshot of a person’s life, we don’t know their behind the scenes story, and we shouldn’t let jealousy get in the way and stop comparing ourselves to the lives they present on the net. This article was awesome, thanks !

  29. Jacqui says:

    Lovely post — this actually inspired my to write my own manifesto:

    http://www.birdsofthread.com/2011/08/checking-in-wih-your-consumerist-impuse.html

    It can definitely be hard to keep perspective sometimes, even when writing about “ethical” fashion!

  30. Charlotte says:

    I think this is great. A year ago all I wanted was to be able to advertise on my blog and make a bit of money, and to have some clothes to review. Now I finally make money from my blog and I do receive samples to review, I am jealous of bloggers with more readers, more opportunities and features in magazines and on other blogs. Sometimes you have to look back and see what you’ve achieved yourself.
    It is hard though. My blog has been going nearly 2 years and some bloggers have thousands of followers in that time. But I guess I just have to look and see what they are doing that I could do.

    Charlotte x

  31. Ana says:

    Thank you so much for this – I’m doing some soul-searching since I want to start my own blog and a lot of these really hit the mark :) .

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