Jan 4, 2016

The Comparison Trap

I've asked a few friends why they quit blogging. Their answers fall somewhere in the lines of: "I wasn't good enough." "I'll never have as good pictures as her" "I'm just not a good writer... She writes so much better than I do" "I just don't have as much time as she does" "I was a hot mess... Everyone else was so put together and mine stood out from the rest". I'm writing this post as one who was caught in a comparison trap as a 13 year old, but I got out and have moved on to accomplish many things that I'm almost positive I wouldn't have been able to do if I was stuck in a giant "not good enough" pit.

Honestly, I've never struggled with low self esteem. I know I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" and I have no need to doubt the reasons God put me on this planet. When I was first starting my blog, I knew I lacked the experience it took to be as successful or professional as the other bloggers out there. As quickly as I had left the gate and embarked on this new adventure, I slowed to a near stop. I had nothing to post. Any outfit I attempted to shoot would prove that I was not as pretty as the other girls. I couldn't write about high school or anything remotely helpful to other girls because well, I was in middle school. I really hadn't lived enough life to write. I constantly reminded myself that any post I did wouldn't really be read with interest and would be laughed at due to my lack of talent. 

This went on for a few months... I started January 2014, and I want to say it was close to my 14th birthday that July, that my slump came to a slow end. I would be starting high school soon and felt like I finally would have some sort of experience to write on. My dad let me use his DSLR which made me feel better about the pictures. My style was reflecting everything I had read for the past year and a half and was finally showing my slightly more mature style. I was finally escaping what I now have come to call The Comparison Trap.

Comparison is detrimental to a blogger. You're right. You might not have something that Carly Heitlinger has in her apartment, but that doesn't mean that you can't have an apartment as beautiful as her's. Don't let not owning anything from J.Crew or Lilly Pulitzer stop you from having a gorgeous preppy fashion blog. When you compare yourself to others, you eventually run yourself off a cliff. No content because you're afraid that anything you post will be viewed as a cheap copy for one of the greats, any idea you have is simply mediocre compared to others, and you just look awkward in photos so there's no way in heck you're going to share your adorable new shirt and how you styled it. Confidence, y'all! It's key! 

It's insanely easy to slip into this trap. One day you're fine, and the next you're worried that your page views are never going to amount to that of Gal Meets Glam. If you waste time comparing, your content will never be on the same level as another, and your page views will stay at a steady zero. How I got out of my 6 1/2 month slump? I realized that the more time I spend standing at the entrance gate to a wonderful adventure, the less time I actually have to take on this adventure for myself. Once I came upon this realization, I would find myself laughing about silly little comparisons such as: "wait that's her natural hair?  Dang.. Wish mine was that dark" or other stupid things like that. 

Looking at other people and feeling bad about yourself isn't worth the time, effort, or energy. It's too easy to slip into this pit of comparison, and takes way too long to get out. The time you're using to compare your success to another's, can be used instead to be successful on your own. So friends, you're perfect, okay? Others (including myself) aren't worth comparing yourself to. Look at yourself and use your own judgement on your blog. It is YOUR blog after all. Make this one of your goals for the new year. Strive not to compare yourself, and you're in for one successful (and less painful) year. 

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