5 Steps to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Bloggers

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We all know that “comparison is the thief of joy”, and the “opposite of productivity”, but I still do it sometimes, and I bet you do too. Thankfully, I've figured out some things that help me not do as often as I have, which has enriched my life more than I can admit. Maybe they will help you too?

Here are the 5 steps I've taken to stop comparing myself to other bloggers:

1. Identify the Triggers

The first step is always admitting that you have a “problem” right? 😉 If you've never thought about it before, take a minute today to recognize how you feel when you look at certain things. Do you look at a fashion blog and immediately feel envy? or like you're not as “good” as she is? Do you start feeling like you're missing out on things when you check in on Facebook? If you do, then THESE are your triggers. My triggers are certain other fashion blogs, Pinterest & Facebook, so I tend to stay away from all of them unless I'm in the “right” state of mind or I'm doing competitive analysis. What are yours?

2. Remove the triggers

Just stop looking. It's harder than it sounds, because it's sort of ingrained in us in this day of being connected all the time, and knowing what's happening everywhere, but I promise, the internet won't break if you stop looking at it for two weeks. In fact, you'll probably be happier, feel better, get outside more, and not buy as much!

3. Shift your focus

When you find yourself going down that rabbit hole of envy and comparison, get up and walk away from the computer, or put your phone down and go outside. Take a bath, play with the cat, do ANYTHING but what you were doing when that voice in your head started saying “she's so much better than you, you'll never be that successful.”

4. Work backwards

I find this very helpful: look at the photo and try to determine what went into making it. Did the blogger roll out of bed with bouncy hair, smokey eyes, and Pashli bag in tow, perfectly poised the first time? Probably not. What went into that perfect home office shot on Pinterest? Was it spontaneous? (her office ALWAYS looks that perfect, clean, and there's always a candle burning?) Probably not. There's a lot of set up and time involved to “create” the perfect Pinterest or blog photo; more often than not, they do not reflect reality. You can take the time and make the effort to create “perfect” photos too, if you want to.

Here's a personal example: last week I took a photo of some of my clothes on a rolling rack in my office. I grabbed everything I wanted to photograph and took it downstairs, hung it on the rack and photographed it. As I was setting up the photo, I thought to myself “If I was a fashion blogger I'd make sure all the hangers match and are turned the right way. Maybe I'd put a plant there, or if I had a poster featuring cool typography, I'd hang it behind.” This is absolutely true. I had wooden hangers, blue hangers, black hangers, you name it…but that's just me, I don't do a lot of set up when I take photographs, or else they'd never get done. I have to do what I need to do to get the picture and move on to other things. I don't think my readers cared about the hangers; the post content would have been exactly the same. And while my photo was definitely not pin-worthy, it was ALL ME.

So, yes, you can create a more “perfect” photograph, or image you want to project, if you want to. But if you don't, then that's okay too.

5. Be grateful for what you have

Ultimately this is what will bring you back to reality – being happy with what you've accomplished and for the things you have in your life. That is the only thing you can know for sure. Even with social media and blogs, we don't know the reality of any blogger's situation (unless she chooses to talk about it frequently). We don't know what's going on inside of her, or in her relationship, or with her family life. All we KNOW is what we have to be thankful for in our own lives. What better example is there of this than L'Wren Scott? By all outward appearances she had EVERYTHING, yet she chose to end her life. Having everything, and more importantly APPEARING to have everything does not equal happiness and satisfaction with life. Would you want to trade your life for what you see on Pinterest? I wouldn't.

 

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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15 Responses

  1. [email protected] Valiantly Varnished

    This is something that I have been striving to work on and made as one of my 2014 blogging goals. To just do the best “Me” I can do when it comes to blogging. And sometimes that means almost perfect and sometimes it doesn’t.

    Reply
  2. Sharon

    Yes, I find my self comparing myself. I think that is just part of human nature. Yes, it can actually be very harmful to you and hinder your own goals because you start to doubt everything you are doing. I follow the blogs of numerous bloggers in my niche and in other niches – because I am a woman interested in many things. So, I have even been down on myself if a food, mommy, or tech blogger has achieved something I wish I had. Like for example . . . being featured in a magazine. I may get down because I wish I was being featured and I imagine all the great perks that come with the attention. However, I had to learn that I must use their successes as inspiration. So, I will not stop following those bloggers or discontinue having their posts show in my daily rss feed. Instead I gather my thoughts, check my emotions, and tell myself I can achieve this. Then, I go to work doing what I need to do.

    Reply
  3. Joelle

    I am definitely guilty of feeling envy towards other bloggers as I brows different fashion blogs – however it has been instrumental in helping me learn and grow as a blogger.

    Your example of thinking about the time involved in the gorgeous photos we see from icon fashion bloggers is bang on – so much time and effort goes into each and every shot. It forced me to look critically at my own content, and see where it may be beneficial to slow down and really take the time to product beautiful photos and compelling content. As a result, I am much less likely to rush through an outfit shoot, simply to get the post out.

    Envy sucks, but it can be channeled into something positive for your own blog!

    Reply
  4. Emily Jenny

    Love this post so much. It resonates with me as I am always comparing myself to my other blogger girl friends. Its hard and I often find that I think I am not skinny enough rich enough or pretty enough but when I voice those thoughts I realize how crazy I sound. Its hard but sometimes you just have to be happy with what you have.

    Emily

    Reply
  5. Nadya Helena

    True this is far harder than it sounds. It goes as easily as comparing yourself to the barbie doll that happens to be standing next to you on the street. It’s more about insecurity than envy, IMO. We see what other bloggers have that we lack, even though we may not need or even want what the other bloggers have. It’s complicated, and I too have trained myself to restrain the feeling, but from time to time, you can’t help but let the emotions flow out and let the insecurity creeps in.

    Nadya
    Eyeshadow Illustrator

    Reply
  6. Alyssa Pritchett

    So true! I find myself doing this at time but I remind myself that I still have a unique voice and sense of style.

    Reply
  7. Izzy

    such a good read! There’s one blogger I’ve followed from her start up up until now and she is wildly succesful, and I always beat myself up looking at her stuff. But I try not to view her social media or blog and just try to remember that I have my own skills and success too. The working backwards tip is good- it can take hours to prepare a single photo (and make it look like it didn’t!)

    Reply
  8. Destiny

    Totally agree with this.. unfortunately, I love comparing too.. it does help me, but also is my downfall. I try to think of the people I compare to as inspiration for myself. It does help!! 🙂

    Reply
  9. A Vintage Covered (Riris)

    I think it’s only me, who always comparing myself with other bloggers. They’re blog looks good, amazing, etc. But lately, I just do what I love, sharing on my blog about things that I want to share, read another blog to find inspirations and yess, gratefull is the best idea to stoping us to compare us with other.

    Reply
  10. Eleanor

    Yea I do agree with you on point 4 about working backwards to the perfect photo. I really admire some of the photos posted by the bloggers I respect and I learn from their photos. Most of the time, I realise how much effort is put into getting the photo composition and lighting right, besides having to do the editing. I usually practice trying to get the perfect photo by reviewing the thoughts behind the awesome photos on blogs that I admire.

    Reply