They say necessity is the mother of invention. If that’s the case, I think envy is the mother of comparison. We all do it. We compare ourselves to others and can instantly find where they excel and we are lacking. Especially in the age of social media, it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. So how do we avoid it? Here are five simple things that help me, and I hope are helpful for you too!
1. Take a break
If you find yourself spending a lot of time comparing yourself to others, shut it down before it even begins. When you feel the urge to start delving into other’s achievements in an effort to minimize your own, freeze! Don’t do it. Find something else to do that would be more productive in bettering yourself.
2. Clean up your feed
Social media is a great tool. It helps you connect with friends, clients, and people with a similar lifestyle to your own. It can be a useful platform! For me, Facebook and Instagram helped me to get inspired as a new photographer. I followed so many photographers that my feed became filled with a constant stream of their work. It was great in the beginning, but as I gained more experience I found that I was falling into the comparison trap and constantly measuring my own work against others. If you find this happening to you, don’t be afraid to delete some of the clutter. It’s great to be inspired, but if you narrow it down to a handful of people who really fit with your style it will help you be more productive in your own life, professional or otherwise.
3. Respect your journey
If you are building a business, it may cause you to struggle for a while. It’s NOT easy! It’s hard at every single stage whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro. Sadly, it’s so easy to look at other’s work and envy their success, but remember everyone started somewhere! They were once in the same space as you, and still have their own trials even if they’re further along in the process. It WILL get easier! But you cannot compare yourself to people who are further along in their journey than you. Be proud of the path you’re on!
4. Focus on what you’re doing
Once I focused on me, and only me, I saw a huge productivity switch. I was getting more done, and I believe more in my work and my abilities. You have to have tunnel vision right down the path of your own success! Ask yourself- when you focus on what’s in front of you, are you making more progress than when you’re looking at what everyone else is doing?
5. Be proud of your achievements
Last but not least, be proud of everything you’ve accomplished! It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap, but don’t stay in it too long. Climb your way out, and give yourself a pat on the back. There is always room for improvement, but the most important progress is the progress you’re making towards your own goals. Remember that you’re further along than where you started!
If necessity is the mother of invention, and envy is the mother of comparison- what is the mother of success? I think this is defined in a different way for every person, but the most important thing to remember is to stand firm in your own journey and be proud of your accomplishments! Avoid the comparison trap and focus on your own improvements. You’ll be glad you did!
Your journey is yours and yours alone. Working towards overcoming the quicksand trap of comparison is something that has helped me in my photography, business, and personal journey.
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