As geeky bloggers in a particular kind of niche, there’s so many opportunities to look over at our fellow bloggers and compare ourselves and our work to theirs. Next thing we know, we’re spiraling down a negative path of “what if’s” and our hearts are full of uncertainty. That blogger is reaching more people than you; that blogger is getting more comments than you. That blogger just quit their job to blog full time; that blogger is bringing in a six figure salary on their blog alone! The comparison goes on and on until we are in such a low place that our self esteem has taken a massive hit.
I personally find comfort in knowing that most of us have been there at some point in time. We aren’t alone in these feelings. We all have let comparison steal our creative weirdness and love of all things geeky at some point. We have all burned ourselves out competing in one-sided competitions whether that be with a stranger online or ourselves. Why are we letting comparison steal our joy of writing and creating?
There are many reasons why we compare ourselves to others in a negative way, some that are deeply personal to us and only us, but one of the biggest reasons is that we are insecure about ourselves or our work or both. This insecurity can stem from our childhoods, relationships, or just how we view ourselves. It doesn’t take a singular or traumatic event to make us insecure either. We are human and flawed. Sometimes are thoughts and emotions aren’t logical. As someone with anxiety, I have to remind myself daily that my anxious thoughts aren’t always logical.
Just like with my own negative thoughts, I use self talk as a way to think out what I’m feeling when I find myself spiraling in a comparison nightmare. I remind myself that even if I have those thoughts initially, it’s the thoughts and actions afterward that will define me. After a conversation with my wonderful husband, I was able to think back on my therapy and use his advice to come up with 5 ways to take my joy back.
Your journey is your journey; it’s not a competition.
We all come from different walks of life and experiences. Your journey is not like anyone else’s. Maybe all of the pieces haven’t quite fallen into place yet or you’re feeling like you’ve hit rock bottom. The person you’re comparing yourself to is in a different situation than you are. Reminding ourselves that we should keep working towards our own goals in our own time is a good way to check in with ourselves.
You’re way cooler than your feed.
We open up Instagram and see someone looking like they are just living it up: taking vacations, splurging on yummy meals, wearing the latest trends, etc. and suddenly we feel inadequate. Our feed isn’t near as exciting as theirs! Just about everyone on the internet and social media has created an online persona. Whether that persona is a show or more true to yourself, one thing is certain: you are way cooler than the way you present yourself on Instagram or any other social media platform. Don’t let someone’s exciting vacation or colorful feed sway you into thinking you aren’t a cool person and therefore undeserving of a “cool” life.
Your blog is unique and different; it’s not worthy of comparison.
“Not being worthy of comparison” might sound like a jab in your direction if you’re not used to seeing that phrase. If that’s a bit much to wrap your head around, think about the word “incomparable.” Incomparable is defined as “without an equal in quality or extent; matchless.” Still with me? Your blog, your creative weirdness, you geeky hobbies etc. are not able to be compared because there is no equal to all of the things that make you… you! Your blog is a reflection of you. Your creative weirdness is a reflection of you. And yes, those geeky hobbies are a reflection of you. And there’s no other you out there to be compared to!
Remember your why & purpose.
Why did you start writing? What are your goals? It’s time to reassess your why and purpose if you have found yourself falling down a comparison rabbit hole. Physically write down the reason you first started writing and creating. Consider how it makes you feel. Write down your current goals and assess them. Are you still happy with the goals you’ve set or do you need to re-evaluate them? There’s no shame in going back to your roots and visualizing your original why and purpose.
Choose where your energy goes.
Choosing where your energy goes sounds easier than it actually is. If therapy taught me anything, it was choosing how to direct negative thoughts in an unhealthy situation. Comparison spirals are unhealthy situations so how do we re-direct our energy and thoughts? Instead of letting someone’s success lead you down a negative path of comparison, why not let it motivate you? You can accomplish any and all of your goals so let their milestone be your motivation to work towards those goals. Another option for redirecting your energy is to simply acknowledge all of that person’s hard work. Tell them congratulations, and let them know how proud you are of them. Maybe they will be open to sharing with you how they met that particular milestone!
You can spend a lifetime of wallowing in comparison and feeling unworthy. If you take anything away form this post, I hope you realize that you are unique. There’s only one of you in all of the galaxy. If you allow comparison to continue to steal your joy, you will be depriving everyone around you of your very own creative weirdness and unique perspective. Let go of the negative self talk and continue on your own journey. Each journey is unique and worthy so why would yours follow someone else’s timeline?
If you are currently struggling with your mental health, please reach out to a friend/family member and check out these resources:
- Hotline Numbers
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – by State List
- Mental Health America (MHA) – by State List
- Top 25 HelpLine Resources
Have you ever let comparison steal your joy? What did you do to take it back? Share advice in the comments that have helped you!
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