I was talking to a friend the other day about goals and what we need to do to achieve them. We were specifically talking about the things we can do on social media to get more of a reach. He had mentioned that he doesn’t like being in his social pictures with his product because he doesn’t want someone to see him and not buy his product because he doesn’t think he is likable. For a minute I was flabbergasted because I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t like him, but then I realized, I’ve had similar thoughts. These are thoughts of comparison. We are comparing ourselves to those who have come before us in the industry that we are trying to break into.
For me, the comparison comes from years of bullying during school and from my parents. It also comes from years of me bullying myself because of my lack of self-esteem. For others, the root behind their comparison isn’t as easy to figure out. When we can’t easily figure out why we are comparing ourselves to others, we can go into a dark place and have a hell of a time getting out of it.
Right now, today, in this crazy year where so many of us are staying home and not living our lives, there is a lot more anxiety and depression affecting everything we do. When we are not feeling ourselves because of our anxiety and/or depression, we compare ourselves even more. And that comparison is usually of the negative kind. We compare how we look. We compare how we talk. We compare anything and everything. This comparison may even start to make us feel somewhat inadequate.
The first thing I want you to look at is how much time you are spending on social media. Are spending hours scrolling? Maybe not even hours. Do you randomly pick up your phone and scroll here and there throughout the day? Probably because you are like most people who have at least one social media account. Here’s the problem, if we just scroll to scroll, we are unintentionally putting messages into our brain of what other people’s lives are about. Those cute pictures that your friends post, yeah they look like they are having the best time. Oh what about those perfectly curated products in these gorgeous layouts? Those are so much better than anything I can ever design. Scroll on. Um, no. Did you just hear yourself? As you were scrolling for just a couple of minutes, you just put a negative comparison into your subconscious. Where the hell did that come from? That came from looking at something beautiful, loving it, and then not even trying to do something similar that actually shows who you are. That curated post? That shows who that person is. The post that you might be deciding not to do now, that will be a perfectly curated, beautiful post that comes from who you are. They may be similar but friend, they are so much better because they are not the same thing.
Even if we think we are being cautious about our social media time, we still have little things that make it into our subconscious. If you find yourself comparing yourself negatively to someone else, whether it be a celebrity, and influencer, a friend, a stranger, or someone who is in the same industry, stop a moment and think about how your differences are actually so fucking beautiful and that the world needs to see you for you!!
Let’s talk about those inadequate feelings that arise from comparison. Mine have traditionally come from being told and in turn telling myself all that is wrong with me or all that I will never be or will never accomplish. For others, it is simply seeing these curated accounts and forgetting that they are curated. Even on mine, you don’t see the whole story of my life. You see what I choose to share. Most people only share the beautiful picture that took multiple pictures to get. Most people who stage pictures with their product or service have gotten to those perfectly curated pictures from lots and lots of trial and error.
I can tell you that I frequently catch myself feeling inadequate in my social posts and in these posts here. Why? Because I haven’t “made it.” We keep thinking that once we get a certain number of followers we will have “made it.” Nope. The only determination of whether we’ve “made it” or not comes from within. I am the only person who can truly tell myself if I’ve “made it.” You are the only person who can tell yourself if you’ve “made it.”
When we compare ourselves and hold ourselves back, we will never see where we can go. We will never see how different we can be. My husband told me the other night that I need to stop trying to “fix” all of the things that make me who I am. That’s part of a different story, but he is right. We are all so fucking unique and all we want to do is be the same.
Girl, stop trying to be the same as everyone else. Be DIFFERENT! The only way you or I will ever make a difference in whatever we are trying to do is to be different.
You, the person reading this right now, you are beautiful, you are handsome. You are fucking fabulous. That product you make, that is absolutely stunning. That content you carefully write or edit, that’s absolutely amazing. That staging you do, that shows all of who you are and your unique creativity. Embrace it. Embrace your difference.