We all do it, look at someone else and think, “I wish I could just be as good as them.” Without knowing the person’s full background, what they’ve gone through, or the fight they had to put up to get where they are. It’s natural to see the highlights someone else is sharing and be envious because they aren’t visibly struggling. In an era where we share just about everything from morning routines to emotional breakdowns in bite sized pieces, it’s not surprising we’re all suffering from comparing. In an effort help others along their path to poppin, I want to share three ways I fight comparing myself to others with you.
It wasn’t so long ago when the darkness of depression and dissatisfaction sat on me like a child on a mother’s lap. Comfortable and unmoving, it held court daily. I was in the throws of unemployment, and all I could ever think about was the mouth I had to feed besides my own. As I watched friends and distant acquaintances scored their wins while I cried out often to God thinking clearly He had forgotten about me. Nightly I was crawling into my twin bed in the room I shared with my mother and daughter in tears asking for relief. Until one day my mother, on her way to work said, “get up! Sadness won’t get you a job and neither will crying. Do something else.”
Harsh but truthful, I rose, took her advice and that is where my shift began…
The first way I got over comparing myself to others was to get some business of my own. When you have time to sit and pick apart everyone else’s job, their awards, and angrily double-tap on their IG feed; then you have time to be thinking of your own endeavors. The difference between someone who is winning and someone who isn’t, is not that they are innately smarter than you or more wealthy, but usually because they chose to. Once I started writing my novel and working on my clothing line, I found that I had less time to be consumed by what others were busy doing. My focus had gone from worrying about how someone else was able and figuring out how I could.
After getting myself some business, my second step to comparison recovery was to unfollow every person on social media that I felt was causing me anguish. Even at no fault of their own, some people’s journey rubs you the wrong way. It may be childish and even silly that it causes you grief but the truth is if it does it is your responsibility to remove it. Often when we find ourselves frustrated by people or bothered by them it very rarely has to do with something they’ve actually done, and more about our own shortcomings. If your insecurities are causing you to be upset by somebody shining, then stop watching them shine. Simple as that.
As a blogger it is very easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others. You look at another girl’s pictures and think, “WTF?! I’m just as cute as her!” or “I’m way more stylish!,” how come I don’t have as many followers?! I know, because I’ve done it. I do it. But I find when I am not paying attention to what is happening around me and minding my lane – I am much happier.
Thirdly and finally, one of the most important keys to ending comparison is focusing on your goals. I saw an analogy once that read, “there was never a chair maker that didn’t make his chair because another one existed.” Essentially there is room for everyone. The difference is your blog, your clothing line, your book, your television show, is you. You are the sweet spot, you are the secret sauce. When I really took hold of that idea I became less consumed by who else was doing what I am doing. Because even if 16 people have on a white t-shirt and jeans, we’re all going to wear it differently. Our job isn’t to worry about how someone else wears their look but to be so amazing in our own people take notice.
Comparing ourselves to others only limits us on our path to poppin. It distracts us from completing the call on our lives. Here’s a quick story, when I first began blogging in 2009 with my sister, there were no other sister blogs. No other real blogs period. Because we didn’t have a photographer or a lot of money we kind of got discouraged. I personally found myself feeling like we couldn’t win. That mindset is exactly why we didn’t. Had I had the paradigm shift I had later, then, I truly believe we could have been among the larger bloggers now. Let that be a lesson to you, don’t talk yourself out of glowing because you don’t feel worth it.
As you go out today make sure you remember that, what is for you will come as long as you’re ready. Don’t miss it because you we’re looking the other direction.