Before I ever even found the littlest ounce of success, I found myself stuck (and I mean … s-t-u-c-k) in a huge maze of comparison.
A game where what others were doing defined the path that I myself should take. It was a big ole black hole. Whether it was what I should be doing at night, how I should be styling my hair, or what I even desired to accomplish in my life – I found myself justifying my choices based on the efforts, successes, and choices of others.
I think it’s safe to say that we live in the 21st century comparison game. What is it, you ask? Oh you know – it’s that neverrrrrr-ending maze. That one that only leaves us grasping for more, because we constantly find ourselves bumping into a new wall of what *that other person* is up to. Suddenly … I learned that I had lost my own train of thought or ability to be creative on my own.
To all my incredibly hardworking and persevering bloggers out there: there was a point when I found myself losing my voice, my style, what makes me … well me … simply because I had saturated my mind with attaining the success of others. Say … your blog isn’t taking off and you’ve spent years putting time, money and energy into trying to get it to where all the other girls are (you have no idea how many emails I get about this every day) and you’re stuck in a rut. Have you found yourself trying to do what everyone else is doing and simply have just sort of lost why you started your blog in the first place? Been there. Done that. I’m raising my hand, y’all! #guilty. Your style, your voice, and your message is unique to you. Preserve that and cherish it. It’s the only thing that sets you apart from everyone else. How do you do this? Keep reading on…
My 20-something-gals: maybe this is for you. God’s plan for you is different than hers – so let’s let her track go and let’s get back on your own track, because your track will fit more beautifully than hers ever will. Your friend is engaged and you’re not? They’ve got that dream job? They traveled to where this summer? Let me tell you. There’s a reason you’re running your own race and not their race, and that reason may be your career, your family, your studies, or your future. So brace yourself: Get. Ready. The blessing is on its way 🙂
For when comparison turns into competition, I’ve learned it becomes an ugly beast. “Comparison is the death of joy,” said Mark Twain, so it’s time to not let the game win. LBH, we all deal with it, especially when we live in a society where posting what we’re doing on social media is often more important than actually experiencing those precious moments (sigh … don’t even get me started on Instagram likes…). But the 21st century lifestyle probably isn’t going to change, my friends. So here’s what we’re going to do: we’re going to change the way we look at the situation.
So … what happened to Jessi? God whipped her into shape realll fast. When I was freshly new to 22 — there was an a-ha moment in my life. An epiphany – a game changer – that changed all my games to come: Don’t look to the left, don’t look to the right. Focus only on your one-lane track.
Simply. Stop. Looking.
Here’s what works for me. I practice this on a daily basis, since I feel like this is an issue that can hit you time and time again; and by no means am I an expert. But I can definitely share a thing or two I have learned the hard way:
- Set boundaries: When I took my blog full-time, I stopped reading other blogs, I stopped checking my Instagram feed, I stopped attending every event (#FOMO), and even stopped responding to certain blogger’s texts. Get rid of any and all distractions, and understand that you can even be unconsciously soaking up information about what others are doing without even realizing it – which is where the boundaries come into play. These moments (that you may not even realize are happening) only feed the destructive fire. They could be influencing the way you think, make decisions, style, write, produce, talk, understand, visualize your future, etc. It’s time to draw a line!
- Cleanse your palette: Spend extra time getting those ideas, desires, infatuations out. You have to let the new in — but trust me when I say this: there isn’t room for both. We need a clean slate here. What can you do to get those status quo thoughts out of your head? Simply stop looking at what the rest are doing, my social media gal-pals.
- Hit refresh: Is what they have what you want, anyways? Oftentimes it never is. Take a day or 2 or 7 to yourself to think about what you truly want for yourself. If time and money weren’t an issue, what would you truly l-o-v-e doing? What is your true passion? What would make you the happiest girl in the world? I’m not asking you what makes you money; I’m asking what makes you happy!?! Success follows passion, and people are hungry for it. It’s inspiring and it’s addicting. You are 3 steps closer to your answer.
- Trial and Error: I often live my life based on doors. Are they open, are they slammed-in-your-face-shut-so-tight, or are they left with a small crack open? Feel it out. What is God saying to you? When you pursue a new opportunity, be honest with yourself about how well it’s fitting. Now you’re basing your success on what’s working for you, rather than what’s working for everyone else.
- Give yourself a big pat-on-the-back. Congratulations, you made it thus far! This shows that you love yourself enough to fight the game hard enough to get past the pressure of the status quo. Be patient and give yourself a little hug. “Beautiful girl, you were made to do big things so believe in yourself.”
The comparison game is one of my fav-or-ite topics of all. time. since I still struggle with it day-in and day-out. By no means have I got it all figured out. But I have learned that running my own race is so much more fun and exhilarating! I’d love to hear about your thoughts and struggles with this too. XOX