comparison

3 Tips to Keeping Your Eyes On Your Own Page

By Jen Wille

You’re on Instagram and notice a photo posted by a fellow creative entrepreneur of a beautiful dinner party filled with people laughing and smiling, a table covered with food and candles and a perfect city skyline in the background. A wave of envy passes over you.

Welcome to the Social Media Comparison Game. In a world where Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and many other social media platforms dominate, it is trickier than ever to not compare yourself to others. Feeling “not as good as” or “not having enough of” ultimately causes fear and self-doubt, which leads us to staying right where we are. Not ideal. We end up putting our own personal thoughts and projects on hold, and not sharing them with the world.

Even with the best of intentions to connect with new people and share your adventures in business and life, it is often unavoidable that at some point you will find yourself entrenched in this [not-so-fun] game. As someone who works persistently on keeping my eyes on my own page, here are my tips and tricks that help me navigate social media comparison.

1. Get good at identifying the envy.
Start noticing how you feel when you are on social media. Are there certain people or pictures that trigger feelings of envy and jealousy? What does it physically feel like in your body? For me, I start to feel flushed in the face, a little hot around my neck and chest, and want to withdraw immediately, usually in the form of avoiding my own work. It’s important to know how envy shows up for you so that you can better recognize it and intervene before it stops you in your tracks.

2. Follow, Unfollow.
Once you identify the envy, you’ve got to check in with yourself and ask if following this person on social media is good for you and your business. If you find yourself feeling down most of the time when you see their photos, it is likely a sign that you should stop following this person right now. Sure, they post beautiful photos. Sure they seem great. Sure you love their vibe. But the reality is that it is vital you treat your social media network just like your network in real life. You wouldn’t keep people around on a daily basis who zap your energy, so why allow your social media network to do it? Follow and keep people close who light you up, and inspire and motivate you to keep at it. Drop and unfollow people who don’t.

3. Create what you are craving.
Even when your network is made up of people you admire and love, it is inevitable that you will find yourself feeling envy from time to time as people promote and celebrate their lives and businesses. Even though a part of you is absolutely happy for others’ success, you still may not be able to shake that slight feeling of jealousy. Use that feeling to understand yourself a bit more. What is it that you are craving or wanting? Let’s go back to the dinner party scenario. Instead of feeling down and discouraged after seeing the photo, you could ask yourself in your mind, what am I really wanting? It could be that you want to attend a dinner party just like that. Now it’s up to you to create what you are craving by getting out there and hosting one yourself. The key is to become intentional about the life you want to create by treating your feelings of envy and jealousy as personal-research for understanding your own wants and desires. I know it’s not an easy
process, but with time and practice it is possible to have a thriving, inspiring social media network while keeping your eye on your own page.

Jen Wille is a Certified Professional Life Coach for vibrant women who are ready for more. Her warm approach, unique flair to self-development, and desire to help people bridge the gap from where they are and where they want to be is always at the center of her work. Find her at jenwille.com and on Instagram.

Photography by Marc Moran

The “Ugly” of Comparison

By Jenny Taylor

Leaders often strive for perfection. It pushes them into this space of not allowing themselves to be real or face their fears or inadequacies, and it’s exhausting. Nobody is perfect, and striving for perfection is an endless game of frustration and defeat. I’ve found the more I embrace the “ugly”, the more impactful my influence can be.  

So what do I mean by the “ugly”? We all have it. It's that area of weakness, selfish, ego-driven "yuck" that surfaces during our most insecure moments. I was taught to squash that stuff and hide it. Don’t EVER let anybody know your weaknesses.  

Remember the saying, "Never let them see you sweat?" During my corporate days, this was the way most leaders operated. We actually referred to the experience as a real life game of survivor, just like the TV show, but instead of being out in the rugged country we were in comfortable corner offices and expensive suits. The leaders that made it to the top were the ones that learned how to survive. Survival was often at the expense of others, and it certainly didn’t allow anybody to admit their weaknesses or flaws. That approach is exhausting.  

I was constantly looking over my shoulder, worried and panicked. In this world, eventually all of the yuck catches up to you. Your time card will expire. You will make the decision yourself that this isn’t for you, the company will decide it for you, or you'll live your life of always looking over your shoulder during your work week. Either way it is exhausting, and rather than focusing your influence and energy on how to help others, your completely focused inward and calculating how to survive.

As counter intuitive as it sounds, I have found freedom in the exact opposite. Identify the ugly, face it head on, and keep moving forward. In the beginning, I had a hard time identifying the yuck because I was trained to squash it. Now, anytime I experience anger, fear, self doubt, or insecurity, I lean into it rather than run from it. Sometimes it is easy to identify what is at the root of it, but sometimes not.

I've recently experienced situations with two individuals where the interactions were difficult and strained. My first instinct was to cast blame on the individuals, which wasn’t hard to do because these particular people are total energy suckers for me. I feel exhausted after our interactions. In the past, I would dismiss this and avoid contact with them which is certainly one way to deal with it, BUT that approach doesn’t help me grow as a leader. It actually paralyzes me and keeps me in the same spot. I want to grow and be an intentional leader that helps as many people as I can. In order to do that, I have to grow and learn from the more difficult people in my life.  

What I identified in one of the interactions was my frustration with this particular individual was rooted in my critical eye. I felt they should be more, should be further along in their journey, and more of a leader. That puts me in the position of playing God and that is not my role. My role is to demonstrate love and compassion with no judgement. I was deep in judgement and criticism.  

The other person is what I like to refer to as a “ask hole”. You know, that person in your life that constantly comes to you for advice but never applies the advice. It’s like they're going through the motions because they believe that is what they are supposed to do.

Well, again my role is NOT to worry about if the advice I give is implemented. My role is to share what I’m lead to share and leave it at that. The individual is responsible for implementing.

This isn’t always easy for me and is forcing me into a mindset of true leadership vs management. As a manager I could control what people did. As a leader I have zero control.

Once you learn how to identify your “ugly” and I really think it is as basic as when you start to feel anger, fear, any type of insecurity or entitlement take a step back, reflect and dig deep into what is causing it. You will be amazed at what is at the heart of it. Usually it has NOTHING to do with the person that sparked the feeling. It is just time, to start to address it and they happen to be the person that brought it out. As frustrating as it can be, they really are a blessing.   

The next step is to intentionally avoid the comparison trap. I love this quote from Theodore Roosevelt, "Comparison is the thief of joy". Isn’t that the truth? These “ugly” moments are ripe for comparison. We are feeling vulnerable already so the next logical step is to start comparing our inadequacies to others adequacies. Whatever you do, avoid this. You weren’t made to be like other leaders. You were made to be you. Looking over your shoulder at a leader that, in your mind, is doing things better or has more talent or is more loved by their team will only spiral you into a negative head space. This is sideways energy and you can’t afford it right now.

Energy that is being wasted on things that take you off your path, make you lose focus and ultimately paralyze you is not in your best interest when you are facing the “ ugly” head on. Right now, you need to continue to push ahead and deal with the “ugly”. Don’t let comparison steal your joy or your energy.

So how in the world do you “deal” with the “ugly”? 

It is actually pretty basic. You definitely need to carve out time to reflect. Not vocally reflect to others in your network, but inward, personal reflection. Other people in your network will have opinions, but their opinions are usually laced with their biases so it is very important to reflect inward versus seeking the opinions of others. It is in this reflection you will find what your core challenges are. So in the above two examples a few things surfaced. In the first example, I was deep in judgement and criticism, and in the second I was frustrated because I wanted to control this person's actions.    

Now you have a choice. You can either avoid what surfaces and squash it again, OR you can admit to yourself you’ve got some “ugly” to work on. If you choose to take the path of growth, give yourself grace and start to work on it. These things don’t correct themselves overnight. Find a mentor or person that is uber good at what you're looking to improve and mirror them. Seek God’s word on the topic. The bible is rich with mentors and guidance. I LOVE the book Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud. It’s full of amazing nuggets that will help you identify what needs to go. Carve out reflection/journal time. Get comfortable with spending time with you versus processing your challenges with everybody around you.

I have found that in those quiet moments, I experience the most clarity and growth. Don’t underestimate the power of being alone and quiet. I also STRONGLY encourage a personal development practice. This is simply carving out 15-30 minutes a day to feed yourself. Be aware and intentional about what you are feeding yourself and make an effort to ensure it is information that is going to help you grow and reach your goals (reality tv doesn’t count).

Remember: you ARE unique, with special strengths and weaknesses and have a valuable and important role to play. Comparing yourself to others simply takes away from your role and diminishes what you bring to the table. You were made to SHINE and the way you shine is to continue to be okay with your imperfections. Broken boldness. In your brokenness you can be bold and influence. Your weaknesses make you real and your struggles will help others. Don’t be ashamed. Own them and work through them. In closing, noodle this quote from Ernest Hemingway, "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self". 

Jenny Taylor is the co-founders of Triple G: Give Grow Gain, an international team of leaders who's culture is focused on collaboration, integrity, and freedom. 

She’s built a multi-million dollar organization, and has a unique perspective and insight on building team culture, servant leadership, balancing motherhood and career, and designing a life you love with the people you love. She lives by the idea that women are #bettertogether, and believes that collaboration and linking arms are the keys to business and life success.  Jenny loves to write as a way to share her experiences in coaching people through fear and doubt, to build a successful business on their terms...with no alarm clocks! Find her on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

How To Blog Without Losing Yourself

By Nicole Rouge

It was eleven o'clock on a Friday night and I was huddled on the floor staring at my phone. I had not been stood up, I wasn't waiting for a call, I was scrolling through my social media accounts aching for some new comments and envying those with thousands of followers and perfect 'Instagram' lives.

This is an all-too familiar scenario for many of us in the blogging world. We open our hearts to our readers, think constantly about ideas for posts and spend untold amounts of time and energy (and money) on our blog, yet often get very little in return. We spend hours on social media making connections, building our audience and in-turn observing the success of others. It is very hard not to compare.

The catchcry is 'comparison is the thief of joy.' It sure is. I started blogging as a creative outlet. I had decided years earlier that I was a rubbish writer after a series of unsupportive English teachers and a four year science degree that taught me to paraphrase. After a year of blogging I was triumphant. I had discovered a love for words and my confidence in being able to express myself had improved exponentially. I wrote in a post that writing is something that I can do for myself "in my own time, at my own rate, without relying on other people, or things, or money." That writing "helps me be. It connects me to the world and encourages me to delve deeper." However within a few months I was crunched up on that Friday night obsessing over why more people didn't 'like' me (as an aside, how impotent are the words 'like' and 'follow'), and fretting over my lack of invitations for sponsored posts.

Writing can help us connect with and examine our lives. We develop a greater sense of self-awareness, which is a beautiful gift that we must be careful not to misuse. When I took the time to stop and think about what drew me to blogging, I realised that I am achieving so many of my goals: confidence with words, improving my photography and connecting with others. Naturally these goals have evolved, and I admit that making a bit of cash or scoring a few free dinners is on the list these days, but ultimately the biggest reward is the gorgeous, supportive community we are part of and the comments from our engaged readers. 

Lila Wolff nailed it when she wrote in her post 'that's it I quit blogging': "I've worked my heart out and produced original high quality content, innovated, been mimicked, only to be passed over for people who have better numbers, and I can't lie it's crushing." She hastens to add that at the time of writing she was exhausted and ill, but I wanted to share it with you because it struck a chord with me. She received such an overwhelming, supportive response that, after a short break during which she connected with her needs and the parts of blogging that resonated with her, she relaunched with her exquisite blog Mama Nourish

There is a lot written about blogger burnout. The return doesn't always appear to balance the investments. The secret I think is to lower our expectations without compromising our goals. If you feel like you are losing the love for blogging it helps to answer these questions:

Why did you start blogging?
What were your goals at the beginning? I find it helps to read over your first few posts to answer this one.

What have you achieved?
How are your goals different now? Be careful to recognise what is actually important to you versus the expectations you have based on others.G

I know you've heard this a thousand time but it bears repeating, what makes your blog so special is YOU. You have brought your own exquisite uniqueness to a tiny pinprick of the internet and regardless of what Google Analytics or Facebook  tells you, there are people out there that you connect with. Don't lose sight of that achievement.

Nicole is a wine geek/foodie with a Pharmacy degree from Melbourne, Australia. You can find her blogging at Seeking Victory or on Instagram or Facebook.

5 Tips To Stop The Blog Comparison Game

Aimee-Croxon

By Aimee Croxon

As bloggers, most of us are constantly plugged in to social media – whether we’re trawling through our news feeds, sharing a filtered snap of our artfully-plated dinner or choosing to click and read another blogger’s latest witty post. Yet at one time or another in our blogging lives we’ve all been adversely affected by the dreaded comparisonitis. Where an innocent scroll through Facebook yields more angst and insecurity then being the only single woman at a wedding. Whether you’re guilty of analysing writing style, site design, or the level of community engagement – we’ve all compared, contrasted and judged ourselves to be lacking against fellow bloggers we admire and respect. According to Social Comparison Theory we do this in order to attempt to make accurate evaluations of ourselves, however choosing to ruminate over our perceived lack of success in comparison to others is a one-way ticket to insecurity, self-doubt and misery. Mark Twain famously said “Comparison is the thief of joy” and he was right. If you are consistently comparing your blog and being hard on yourself as a blogger, this will only serve to undermine your confidence and kill your So how can we turn the focus inward to ensure we stay motivated to continue growing our blog while celebrating our successes along the way?

1. Unsubscribe, unlike and unfollow.
Is there a specific blogger that consistently triggers your comparisonitis to flare up? Maybe they have beautiful professionally shot video blogs that continue to pop into your inbox each week, leaving you feeling insecure and questioning your abilities? If so it’s time to unsubscribe, unlike and unfollow this blogger until you feel secure and confident enough in your own value that you can see their posts without feeling negative.

2. Get organised and set social media free hours of the day.
Do you schedule all your posts in one block ahead of time each week or are you frantically looking through your newsfeed for something to share each day? Are you triggered by the social media updates of other bloggers as you mindlessly scroll? If so it’s time to get organised and set some boundaries around social media. Schedule social media posts for your blog ahead of time and set specific hours and times of the day where you can check your social media feeds. Chances are with boundaries in place you’ll be to busy responding to notifications to get trapped in comparison.

3. Understand the WHY and use it to fuel your motivation.
Next time you’re hit by the feeling of comparisonitis, take some time to consider WHY you feel envious of this particular blogger? Did they recently complete an amazing webinar and you’d really like to start hosting live calls? Are they regularly attending inspiring networking events and that’s something you’ve always intended to do but haven’t quite got around to yet? Use your comparisonitis as a tool to motivate you to grow your own blog and strive for success.

4. Appreciate your value and celebrate your successes.
Have you only been blogging for a short time and you’re comparing yourself to an established blogger who has been writing for years? Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end. Consider your ‘sweet spot’ the combination of your passion, knowledge, experience and education and appreciate the value you bring to your readers by utilising your ‘sweet spot’. Celebrate your successes and keep the focus on yourself, your blog and your own timeline.

5. Get to know the story behind the blogger.
Reach out to a blogger that consistently triggers your comparisonitis and get to know them as a person. While their blog may be filled with aspirational images and updates, everyone suffers from the mundane aspects of life, most just choose not to share them in an online setting. By understanding this and getting to know their story and them as a person you will humanise them and create a meaningful connection to move beyond your comparisonitis – who knows they may even become a great friend or a collaborator?

Aimee Croxon is passionate about coaching aspiring writers and bloggers to discover their creative spark and successfully launch blogs and writing projects that are heartfelt, inspiring and creatively fulfilling. She loves travel, running, shopping at markets and always enjoys a glass of crisp white wine. You can find out more about her by visiting her here.

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Taking a moment to recognise and give our sponsors a little shout out today. A huge thank you to the following for all their support this month: Make It BlissfulBetti Z JewellerySlater PlaceFarm & Pretty and Martine Gallery.

Why Comparison Can Kill Blogging Achievements

Tess-Bartlet

By Tess Bartlett

As a writer, blogger and researcher I spend a lot of time online, researching other sites to
understand how the wealth of creators I see around me got to where they are today. This is an
extremely useful technique, known as modelling. It involves finding someone who has achieved what you want to achieve and working out how they got there. If I was modelling a blogger I would ask myself: What did this person do to be in the position they are in? What are their marketing strategies? What products do they have? How do they get more subscribers? Do they use affiliate marketing? Does it work for them? This strategy has been the cornerstone of my development over the last four years, and yet there are times when I still manage to succumb to comparisonitis and the discontented longing of envy.

Social media is a breeding ground for false comparisons and envy. You may recognise this scenario: you jump online and start scrolling through your feed, only to be inundated with blogs, books, recipes, websites, EBooks, E-Courses and a myriad of other signs of brilliance. Suddenly, your sly little friend envy chips in and, instead of feeling enthusiastic about another person’s success, you equate it with your own failure. Sure, you may jump on the social bandwagon and post positive comments to others, which are about as personal as the letter you received in year 10 telling you you’d been dumped. Mostly, though, you just sit back in your chair and contemplate all the things you don’t have, only to be left with the overwhelming sense that you’re not good enough.

In doing this, though, you are taking someone else’s story at face value and ignoring the beauty that is your own. When you sit back and take part in the comparison game that begins with, ‘Look at their life. Why did they get that? Why can’t I have that?’ And ends with, ‘I am not getting anywhere. I am such a failure,’ you are absolving yourself from any responsibility in your own life. Brilliance, in whatever form, takes practice. So there is no use siding with envy and believing that everyone else’s life is so much better than yours when you are not taking any action to move you in the direction you want to go. Envy would love that. If you base your sense of meaning and accomplishment on what you don’t have, you are never going to feel any sense of fulfilment with what you do have. 

“Wanting to be someone you are not is a waste of the person you are” – Kurt Cobain

Instead, you can choose to value your life and the journey you’ve had. You can take responsibility for the direction your life is heading in. Taking pleasure in how far you’ve come. This, alone, will allow you to be at peace with what you have. When you get caught up in comparison, believing that other people’s success in some way signifies your failure, make a conscious effort to be grateful for all the things you do have, right in this moment. Look around you at all your achievements, big or small, and take pleasure in their magnificence. If you can’t see them, imagine you are a friend looking in on your life and telling you all the beautiful things they can see. Delve into the beauty that is your life and be grateful for what you can have.

What is your story? How did you get to where you are today? What pleasures can you get out what you have achieved today? In the last week? I would love to know.

You can find Tess over on her blog or on Instagram or Facebook.