The comparison trap is easy to get stuck in if you don't know how to get out. Especially when you're new to the blogging world.
In the two months I've been blogging, I've compared myself hundreds of times at least. And you can bet I did even more before I got started.
I've compared my content, my designs, my experiences, my social media, my numbers, my *insert just about any other aspect of blogging here.*
Lemme tell you, that crap can wear. you. OUT.
Comparison is a dangerous thing.
- It can lower your confidence.
- It can spur jealously and resentment.
- And it can bring you to a screeching halt with your own brand.
...but only if you let it.
Today, I’m sharing with you the 4 things that help keep me from falling into the comparison trap, and you can bet there are tons of action items for you in here too!
1. Limit the amount of time you spend reading other blogs.
The more time you allow yourself to get sucked into post after post, the easier it's going to be for you to start doubting your own awesomeness (of which you have TONS, I promise).
I recently implemented this into how I spend my time online, and it's made a world of a difference when it comes to my:
There are literally millions if not billions of blog posts out there. Eeek! Talk about information overload.
I'm 100% all for constant learning and growing, but the more time you spend researching, the less time you're spending actually taking action.
And when you're not taking action, you're potentially opening the door to all kinds of self-doubt and comparison.
I know, because that's exactly what happened to me before I started writing this very post (ohhh, the irony).
Related Post: 3 Must-Do's to Create a Strong Foundation for Your Blog
ACTION STEPS FOR YOU
Stick to 80/20 as a rule of thumb.
I recommend spending no more than 15-20% of your time each week researching and using the remaining 80% to get shit done and prioritize your own personal care. 20% might even be a bit much. Either way, the majority of your time should be spent on actually making things happen for your brand.
If you're unsure of where to start, I talk more about how to get out of the research phase in this post.
Find inspiration from outside your niche/industry.
My personal go-to's are the video game and music industries. Both are subjects I love, but neither are directly related to my focus here on the blog.
Things to think about:
- What industries outside of your own do you go to for inspiration? Interior design? Wedding planning?
- How does their content differ from yours?
- What aspects can you put a new spin on for your own blog?
- You don't have to worry about constantly comparing yourself to bloggers with a similar focus.
- You're not risking the chance of becoming overly inspired by someone else's work by mistake.
- It gives you breathing room to think outside the box without relying on what everyone else in your niche is doing.
2. Stop wasting your energy on trying to be perfect.
There's this funny thing about "perfect" in that it DOESN'T EXIST. Well, at least not for you and me. Ain't nobody perfect but the good Lord Jesus. ;)
I guarantee that every blogger you follow has made a huge number of mistakes, whether it be with their design, their content, their social media, whatever. I'm definitely one of them.
But here's the key!
They didn't let "trying to be perfect" stop them.
You can't wait until you feel ready to start. You're never going to be fully ready. Start from wherever you are right now with whatever you have.
ACTION STEPS FOR YOU
Focus on sharing your story.
I've gotten several emails lately about how some of you guys are afraid to start blogging because...
- You feel like you don't have anything worthwhile to say.
- You feel under qualified.
- You don't think you'll be good at it.
- You're afraid people won't like it.
- Or you feel like you have to tweak everything until it's perfect.
That seriously makes my heart ache, as cliche as that sounds, because I apply to all of the above, and I know how frustrating and upsetting it can be.
It's so easy to compare yourself and get discouraged when you see all the other content that's out there. This is when you need to forget what everyone else is doing and focus purely on sharing your own journey.
Where are you right now in your story? How did you get here?
Jen from Jennypurr.co.uk talks a lot about the importance of sharing your story. In fact, her authenticity and willingness to openly share her story is one of the main things that drew me to her and her blog.
"Don’t be afraid to breathe your story into your brand, to take it with you along the way in this journey and to trust in the power it has to shape, define, and give weight to your work." - Jen Carrington
PEOPLE DON'T WANT PERFECTION. THEY WANT HONESTY.
By sharing our own journey and struggles, we humanize ourselves. We become personable. Someone others can relate to.
In it, she talks about how you don't need to be an expert. You just need to be a few steps ahead of whoever you're helping.
- What have I experienced so far that's brought me to this point?
- What have I learned from my past mistakes?
- What struggles have I faced and overcome?
- What do I wish I would've known?
Sharing your story is one of the best things you could ever do for your brand. Embrace it.
(Pssst! Be sure to stick around til the end of this post. I have a special freebie to help you with this.)
3. Encourage and support those who you compare yourself to.
If you find yourself getting jealous of someone, remember that they're putting in the work to make things happen. They didn’t get to where they are overnight. They had to build it from the ground up just like you. They had to start somewhere.
BLOGGING ISN'T A COMPETITION. IT'S ABOUT COMMUNITY.
There’s that cheesy saying, “Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 10," and I knooooww, I know. It's so overdone, but it’s worth repeating because it's true.
There will always be people who are “ahead” of you. You can't let that stop you from offering your encouragement and support to them.
You have to trust yourself that you have something special too. No one has the same story or the same brand. You have something unique to offer because YOU are unique.
So instead of being jealous, why not support them and THEIR unique story by being a part of it?
ACTION STEPS FOR YOU
Generously share others' content.
- Tweet links to their content on Twitter (Buffer is a great tool for this).
- Pin their blog posts to both your own and group boards on Pinterest.
- Link to them in your blog posts and newsletters.
- Give them a shoutout on Periscope.
- Attend + promote their webinars and participate in the chat (if there is one).
Not only are you helping your fellow bloggers, but you're also helping your audience by pointing them towards further help and resources.
Let's face it. We can't be everything to everyone. But we CAN point them in the right direction.
And as crazy as it sounds, sharing others' content actually helps you grow your own blog too. Yeah, I know. Neato, right??
4. Keep track of your successes.
When we fall into the comparison trap, suddenly the things we’ve accomplished so far don't seem good enough. We forget about all the awesome things we have done, and instead only think about what we haven't.
Don't be so quick to discredit yourself. You're doing amazing things, whether you realize it or not.
- Did you get caught up with answering all those emails?
- Did you publish a post that you were nervous to show others?
- Did you come up with the perfect name for your blog or biz?
- Did you approach someone who you've been wanting to get to know better?
Those little milestones add up. They build upon each other and bring you closer and closer to reaching your main goals. Even the smallest victories are worth celebrating!
ACTION STEPS FOR YOU
Reward yourself for mini-milestones.
Show yourself some love for making progress on your goals. Don't sell yourself short!
To help you with this, I have a free goal progress + success tracker for you to help remind you of how far you've come.
How to Use the Worksheet:
- Write down your main goal. Ex: Launch my blog, collaborate with another blogger, reach X number of email subscribers, etc.
- Break down your goal into smaller action steps and write those down on each line. Be sure to check out this post if you're not sure how to go about doing this.
- Every time you accomplish one of these action steps, reward yourself. You can color in each "Did It!" circle, add stickers, or whatever else you come up with!
- Once you've reached your goal, write down the date of when you accomplished it. This will help you organize and keep track of your journey and experiences.
I also have a 2 page workbook included to help you gain clarity on what you've learned from your past experiences, embrace your story, and share it with your readers!