Everywhere I go I see people talking about how comparison is the thief of all things good. Every podcast I listen to and every blog post I read tells me something about how I shouldn’t compare myself to other people because you don’t know their journey. And it’s true, you don’t, but that doesn’t mean that comparison is always so bad.
Originally I wanted to call this post ‘being a beginner blogger’ but when I started jotting down things I wanted to say, it all seemed to have something to do with comparing yourself to others.
Because the beginning of your blogging journey can be hard. Obviously I didn’t start blogging for the money. I didn’t know there was money to be earned from it. At least not enough money to make a living from it, I seriously thought that only YouTubers had that chance. But eventually it is a nice bonus that I could get, or even some day I could make it my full time job.
But comparison does come peeking around the corner sooner or later. You start thinking, why have I not achieved as much as them? Especially when I see people who have done it almost the same amount of time as I have but they have achieved 10 times more than me.
Or I think, why I am not as good as them? How come my stats are so low? Am I not doing enough? Am I not working hard enough?
Truth is, I am. I am working bloody hard on this little blog of mine, because I freaking love it. And even though my stats may not be like other bloggers, that doesn’t mean that they never will be. I also don’t know how much work they have put into it. Or if they already had a social media presence before starting their blog, or maybe someone reposted them, or maybe they just worked incredibly hard and got what they deserved. Whatever it is, there is no point in comparing me with them because nothing good is going to come from it. Or is there?
Comparison doesn’t always have to be the thief of all good things. When I see someone, anyone, that I look up to and I see how much they’ve achieved I usually also look at how much and how incredibly hard they’ve worked. For me that is motivation to work extra hard to also achieve all my goals. It’s motivation for me to keep going even if you see other people passing you by. It’s a marathon, not a race. We’re all in it together, cheering each other on, not trying to tear each other down.
Looking at others is a way to learn from them. Learn what they’ve done to become so successful and try to pick their brain – maybe not literally, but just pay close attention to what they do (in a non-creepy way of course) so you might be able to replicate their tips to put in your own hard work and creativity.
Also remember, that some people have been doing this for almost a decade. The typical saying of ‘don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter 12’. You might be sick of hearing it but it’s true. One of my biggest flaws is comparing my writing to other people’s. But then I remember that they have been practicing this for years and years and years. I’ve come from a girl that said she didn’t like writing all her childhood and teenage years to now suddenly writing almost every day because I love this blog so much. Obviously I’m not going to be perfect. But I keep going and I learn along the way.
The same goes for photography. I realise my photography isn’t the best but if I look at how it was when I just started blogging to how it is now, it’s so much better. That is mainly because of everyone I have been looking up to in all these months. Obviously I haven’t copied them entirely, but I have been taking ideas from them and being inspired by them so that I can improve my own photography style.
The important thing is to not get yourself caught up in the comparing, dreaming about how you could be like that but then not actually doing anything to get where you are dreaming you want to be. Don’t think that just by looking at a photograph or reading a blog post – thinking about how great they are – that suddenly traffic will just start flowing in and suddenly you’re an expert in writing and photography. You have to put in the work (as my favourite people of the Being Boss podcast always like to say). Just like the people you look up to did.
One of the big downfalls that can happen when comparing yourself is that you feel like you’re not good enough or that you will never get there. No matter how amazing you might feel for that someone you’re looking up to, it doesn’t change the fact that you think you’ll never be good enough because change is just not happening fast enough for you.
I’ve felt like that many times, I still do. You want everything to happen so quickly in the blogosphere, but that’s not how it works. Blogging and growing in the blogosphere takes time, a lot of time. And in that time you need to put in a lot of work.
Getting setbacks is never fun, but when you’re comparing your setbacks to someone else’s achievements you will most likely not get anywhere.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that comparing can be very damaging to your self-esteem, but it doesn’t always have to be. If you’re comparing the right things and taking inspiration to get from where you are (point A) to where they are – kinda (point B) then it can be a good thing and motivation to keep going.
Because eventually, if you put in the hard work and you don’t give up, you will get there. You will get to that same point where all the people you admire are now. And you’ll surpass that. It’s all in the name of hard work and not giving up.