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.