When I first started blogging, I will admit, I didn’t read any blogs. I would barely even look up recipe blogs. When I started, I wrote blog posts just to write. Writing has always been a huge part of my life.
In grade 5, I had lost my grandfather and we were very close. I didn’t truly know how to process what I was feeling and my teacher (who is a published author) told me to write a letter to him. I remember placing that letter in his casket. Later that year, my dog also had passed so I wrote her a letter as well.
And so a simple suggestion of me writing a letter sparked a love that was forever forged on paper. Writing became a way for me to heal. Writing became an outlet for me. I wrote everything from letters to poetry.
When my sexual assault occurred, I gave it up. I threw everything away that I was before. Writing was painful. I had nothing beautiful to write anymore. My days were dark and my nights were even darker. The time when I most needed words to save me, I threw them away. My thoughts scared me. My truth became a burden and I no longer wanted to share what was going on inside of me so I locked it up tight. A move I thought would keep me safe but all it did was begin to demolish every aspect about myself.
In 2014, I began to blog. I just started to write and those words began to just flow out of me. All the pain I had locked away was rushing out of me. The things I had to say. The words weren’t always beautiful but they were always profound. I just knew that deep down I had to write and I did so with a passion.
WHEN COMPARISON TAKES OVER
I didn’t care what I was writing. I was getting readers. The blog posts were coming out as fast as I could write them. I was sharing my journey and my story so to me, it didn’t matter what anyone else was doing. It was my story and they were only playing a role in my book.
Throughout the years my blog changed course. I wrote about self-care and self-love. It was 100% my real life as I shared the struggles, the pains and the moments of happiness with the world. I then wrote about small businesses and my BeYOUtiful Box.
This was the turning point for me. I was no longer just writing my story. I was weaving the stories of others into my blog and I had to ensure that I was giving their story as much power as I was giving my own. I began to research other bloggers. I began to see what else was out there in this sort of blogging environment.
And I got caught up in my head.
I started to believe that what I was doing wasn’t good enough. The readership that I had grown was dismal. I wasn’t a good writer. I was doing a disservice to those that I featured in my blog posts because this other blog was doing it this way.
COMPARISON KILLS CREATIVITY
It was made even worse when I decided to completely change the niche of my blog and start teaching other women how to start their own blog. The blogging niche is competitive but I began to doubt my abilities. I began to see my website as a joke, as a website that no one would EVER want to visit.
Getting in my head meant that writing became difficult. It meant that my creative ideas were becoming blocked. Not only because I didn’t think that they were good enough but because this “other blogger” wasn’t doing that, they were doing “this” instead.
I became obsessed with what other blogging coaches were doing. I became obsessed with what other blogging bloggers were doing. So much so that I lost my voice AGAIN. I was back feeling like I couldn’t offer the world my gift because I couldn’t compare to everyone doing what I wanted to do.
7 REASONS WHY COMPARISON IS THE #1 BLOG KILLER
I am a Cancer. I am very emotional and lead with my heart. Everything that is said about Cancer fits me perfectly. It is who I am. I jump in with both feet without always having a plan. That is how I live life. I believe in just doing it and fixing it along the way. Otherwise, I would overthink and let my brain get in the way of what my heart wants.
1| You begin to stall your own progress. You become stuck and consumed by everything that everyone else is doing that you can no longer move forward. You begin to feel overwhelmed by what others are doing that you no longer know what you want or even need to do.
2| You lose what sets you apart from others. You may not even realize that you are doing it but you begin to silent the part that makes you different. The part of you that your readers are attracted to.
You don’t want to be different. You want to fit in. BUT in reality, you don’t want to do either of those because then you become just one of the crowd. By comparing yourself to other bloggers, you begin to diminish your own story and your own voice.
3| There will always be someone better. And that isn’t a bad thing. It gives you something to strive for. You don’t know everyone’s story. You may know bits and pieces of that story but there are always parts of the story that you are not seeing. They may have years of experience on you that you didn’t realize. They may take more courses than you. They may have more hours to dedicate to what they do. Just because someone is better than you doesn’t mean that you are bad at what you do. It means that you are at different stages of your blogging journey. Embrace that. They are showing you that if you keep going, you can be where they are one day.
4| It makes other bloggers your rivals. Blogging doesn’t have to be a competition. When bloggers work together, amazing collaborations happen. Network and begin to build a relationship with those who blog in the same niche as you and even in different niches. If we all became a little kinder, think of how much happier the world would be.
5| You begin to forget your strengths. Comparison means that you are no longer seeing what you are good at. You are focusing on your weaknesses and obsessing over how to improve those weaknesses. Focus on the strengths. Focus on the why of starting your blog. Focus on your readers that you continue to get on your blog and those readers that keep coming back. You have strengths for a reason. It is time that you recommit to using them.
6| You no longer are yourself. This quote came up on my Facebook memories today and it is perfect for this blog post.
Remind yourself that you can not fail at being yourself. Wayne W. Dyer
You can’t compare yourself to anyone else because there is no one like you. We all have different paths that we take. We all have different mountains to climb. And it is because of those mountains that you are where you are today.
Comparison means that you are giving up those mountains that you worked so hard to overcome. It means that you don’t value and honour the journey that you are on because it isn’t like someone else’s.
7| You will begin to hate blogging. This statement probably makes me the saddest. There was a reason that you started to blog. There was something inside that was telling you to share your story and then comparison took over. Comparison is just fear.
It is fear telling you that you aren’t good enough.
It is fear telling you that your story doesn’t matter.
It is fear telling you that you, once again, need to silence yourself because someone else is doing it better.
Don’t allow fear to win. Don’t allow that little voice inside telling you that what you are doing isn’t making a difference. You are making a difference even if it is just 1 life. That 1 life still has meaning and you are helping them to find that meaning.
5 WAYS FOR YOU TO OVERCOME COMPARISON
1| Focus on your strengths. We all have them. If you struggle with knowing what yours are, ask your closest friends and family.
2| Show your imperfections and embrace them. By showing your imperfections, you are making it okay for others to do the same. We are all imperfect as there is no such thing as perfection.
3| Write out positive things that your readers or followers have said to you. I have done this and it makes those hard days a little bit easier.
4| Take a break. Sometimes all we need is a little time away and time to ourselves. There is nothing wrong with taking a break. It doesn’t mean that you failed in any way. It means that you are giving yourself a chance to heal and grow.
5| Compare yourself to an earlier version of you. The only person that you should ever compare yourself to is who you were yesterday, months ago or even years ago. Be better than that person showing up in the mirror every day. Take 1 small step each and every day and show yourself that you can do this.
There are still moments that I find myself comparing my blog to other bloggers. So we are in this together. Let’s keep reminding each other that what others are doing truly doesn’t matter. Keep doing you in your blog and you will see that your ideal readers are coming back. I’d love for you to stay in touch and join my newsletter where I share ALL things blogging.