I’ve been around the online world since 2010 when I hit “Publish” on my first ever post in my first blog (not this one); enough time to be able to diagnose myself with a deadly disease called “comparisonitis” ages ago.
It is when I looked at my fellow bloggers and see how successful they’ve been in their blogging career with all the sponsorships, travels, making money off of something that they love and are passionate about and overall living a good life.
It is when I searched Pinterest for an inspiration of awesome home office and beautiful flat lay photographies that I can’t seem to put together myself.
It is when I scrolled on my Facebook feed and see so and so got that camera that I’ve been eyeing for the longest time …
So and so is out of the country for leisure travel again??
Sounds familiar to you?
Well, as someone who’s exposed to many things that are going on with the world wide web than the average Joe (if it’s your source of income, I think that you have no choice about it), you’ll know that this Internet Envy is real.
It happens to me.
It happens to you.
It happens to everybody else.
Comparisonitis happens when you doubt your own abilities.
It is when you start comparing yourself to others and generally you are the one that comes off worse (well, in your mind that is).
The mind demons are running amok…
“I’m not good enough” …
“I’m not pretty enough”…
“I’m not creative enough”…
“I’m not rich”…
“I can’t write/speak like her” …
When we compare ourselves to others so much that it cripples our ability to make choices for ourselves, it stops us from totally shining with our abilities, we get frustrated and we feel stuck.
Now that we’ve known the symptoms of comparisonitis, let’s get to the cure.
Know that you are UNIQUE.
Cliche, I know. But, seriously, this is the best medicine that I used to cure myself not so long time ago.
Ha! Yeah, it took me a while.
No one else in this world is named Geline Cabrera who has the same family, friends, abilities, capabilities, (beautiful) pains and goals in life.
Understand your own uniqueness.
Someone might be good at something that you lack or you feel that you need improvement at – however, you may be a total rockstar at something that “that someone” is struggling with.
Everyone in this beautiful world has a gift. It’s up to you to uncover that gift.
Everyone has value and it’s up to you how you want to share that value with the world.
Understand that everybody is running their own race.
You only see the Internet mask that we all chose to display to the world.
You, most likely, don’t get to see what it took to have that professional photo posted – how that budding influencer shelled out $600/session to hire a photographer to take her photos and have them edited when she doesn’t even know how to pay her credit card bill next month.
The fact that a blogger spent six hours to create a single blog post (three and a half hours of writing and the rest for proofreading, editing, graphics creation and SEO), haven’t eaten dinner yet at nine in the evening and she still has to do client work. *coughs* *points to self*
How that mom had sleepless nights to work her ass off to buy that high-quality camera so she can produce better quality output on her blog or YouTube channel – well, it’s the ONLY time she can work on her income-producing stuff after the kids are in bed.
How so and so deprived herself of eating at her favorite restaurants, stayed home when her friends have been bugging her for some good times out, worked herself to death with extra hours and budgeted her money to ungodly heights just to go to her dream destination or put up her new business.
Social media, as much as I love it, has been notorious for breeding comparisonitis.
Very few are open enough to talk about their struggles when they were trying to reach their goals, we only see the part that they already accomplished it.
New Louis Vuitton bag?
New makeup purchase every week?
Kim Kardashian-ish body?
The next “million dollars” business?
Millions of followers on Instagram?
It looks impressive, right?
But before you let comparisonitis take over, remind yourself that you only get to see what is good and not the nitty gritty details of how that came about.
Underneath those achievement posts, lies a person who is probably struggling with their self-belief.
Low confidence, loneliness, frustration, overly stressed, overwhelmed with financial/emotional struggles.
Most people don’t share their down days or their struggles and failures. They’re too preoccupied with telling you how amazing their life is!
So in fact, the highlight reel you’re comparing yourself to isn’t a true picture.
We all have our own set of struggles and pain points to get what we want.
Would you like to spend that much money and not know how you could pay off your bills in exchange?
Would you like to lose sleep and overwork yourself?
While those challenges are beautiful because it brings out the best in us as a part of getting a goal, it should also be a great reminder for us not to get in the comparison wagon.
Those are certainly choices that someone made just to “get there”.
Are you willing to do the same?
Convert that comparisonitis with others to comparisonitis to your old self.
When I acknowledged that everyone is unique, it was easier for me to have laser-focus on myself.
How can I be better than myself a year ago?
6 months ago?
A week ago?
I made sure that I always made an assessment of myself than comparing my life with so and so’s.
It shifted my focus on always trying to be better than my old self that would lead me to get my goals.
Comparing your life to someone else’s will never get you what that person has.
In fact, it slows you down or even hampers you from “getting there” because you’re so consumed of stalking that person’s profile to figure out how you can be better than her.
All that energy and focus we put on seeing how much better someone else is and not us could have been time and energy focused on improving our own craft in whatever area of life that is.
Be sooooooo productive in making your own grass greener that you have no time to see if other’s grass is greener than yours.
When those three tips seem hard for you to take on at the beginning, try shifting that jealousy into “possibilities”.
Try this self-talk.
“Wow! She has a million followers? That means it’s possible for me! How exciting!”
“She’s on a Europe trip? That means it’s possible for me! How awesome is that?!”
“She was able to quit her job and built a successful business? That means it’s possible for me! Super cool!”
However, if all else fails…
There are buttons called unfollow, unfriend, unsubscribe.
I get it.
Getting rid of jealousy is not a walk in the park for most of us.
That is why I’m glad that those buttons existed. Ha!
Those came in handy when I was just starting to remove myself from the negativity such as jealousy and comparisonitis and I needed extra help.
It is in lieu of the notion, “out of sight, out of mind”.
I unfollowed, unfriended and unsubscribed people that somehow sparked comparisonitis in me.
I didn’t do it because I hated the person, I did it for myself.
To help me take the first step into curing comparisonitis while I did inner work to strengthen my mind and my emotion.
It was the best decision.
Comparisonitis is a spell we cast on ourselves and stay in comfort zone of mediocrity. We are scared of failing, scared of rejection, scared of disappointing ourselves and other people.
The world needs love, it needs you to open your heart, step up and be a leader.
Show the world that you can make a difference.
You don’t have to be the “Oprah” of your industry – you just have to be a little further ahead than your target audience or the market that you wish to serve.
This is where self-knowledge comes in.
Know what value you bring to the table and see where you can differentiate yourself from those who may seem “better than you.”
The next time you compare, honor yourself by not delving into that feeling.
Remember your own greatness.
And that we are all destined for greatness.