No matter what blogger I talk to, whether it’s a newbie just starting out or a seasoned veteran who’s doing it full-time, we all have issues with comparing ourselves to others. None of us are happy with our Instagram following or our engagement or the number of comments we receive on our blog, and the truth is, we never will be. We will always be striving for more. And comparing ourselves to our peers with more followers or higher engagement rates just makes things worse.
The good news is, we all do it. So you’re certainly not alone in feeling this way. But since comparing ourselves to others clearly doesn’t help us in any way, how can we change our mentality? Here are a few things I tell myself when those negative thoughts start taking over:
1. There’s room for all of us.
It’s true! I’ve worked on the brand side, the agency side, and the blogger side, and I can tell you — there really is room for all of is in this space. Brands are constantly looking to work with different bloggers so they can reach different audiences. Plus, brands aren’t always looking for the bloggers with the largest followings. Not all brands have budgets to pay for those bloggers and some brands have different goals, like reaching very specific audiences. So just because there are tons of bloggers with more followers than you, that does not mean they are going to take any opportunities away from you. There is room for all of us!
2. Think non-competatively.
It’s easy to get competitive in an oversaturated market, but is it necessary? No. Each and every one of us is different in our own way. Brands like working with a variety of bloggers, and readers like following lots of different bloggers. So why look at another blog as a competitor? I find that thinking more collaboratively not only helps with my mental state, but with the success of my blog as well. As you can see, I don’t hide anything from my peers. I’ll share my advice, my network, my stats, whatever it is that might help, because I truly don’t believe it hurts me to share this information — in fact, I think it helps all of us. If we want to keep this blogosphere afloat, we need to work together!
3. Put on your blinders.
Sometimes it’s important to just put on your blinders and stop looking at what your peers are doing. For many reasons, actually. When you stop focusing on how everyone else is doing, you put your time in energy into your own work, which is the most important after all. Sometimes looking at what others are doing can prevent you from getting creative and stepping outside the box to do something different as well. I find that I do my best work and come up with my most creative ideas when I haven’t looked at other blogs in a while. Stick to what you think is cool and what you want to do — that is what will make your blog unique and what will allow you to be truly satisfied from blogging in the long run.
4. Look at the big picture.
If I ever get frustrated with the number of “likes” I got on an Instagram photo (let’s face it, that happens everyday), I try to step back and look at the big picture. I ask myself questions that help me get some perspective. What is the importance of those likes? To have a stronger following. Why do I need a strong following? So that brands will want to work with me on sponsorships. Are you working with brands on sponsorships? Yes. So, is this number preventing you from getting work? No. Does this number affect the creative satisfaction you get out of doing your blog? No. So…why does it matter?? It doesn’t!
Of course, wanting to grow your reach and strengthen your audience engagement are great goals to strive for. But taking a step back and asking yourself if your current numbers are hurting you in any way is a good way to get some perspective.
5. Remember what’s important.
When I start comparing myself to others, I inevitably feel “behind”. So I find it important to ask myself why I’m doing what I’m doing. Is it to be at the top? Is it to be the most successful? Nope, not for me at least. My goal is to be able to do what I love full-time, and apparently, I don’t need to be the biggest blogger in order to do that. Because I’m doing it right now and I certainly don’t have the largest following out there (not even close!). I try to remind myself that the reason I do this is because I love it. It’s the creativity that satisfies me, not the numbers, so I try to keep my focus on that.
Do you ever compare yourself to others? How do you handle it?