“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I'm more afraid of succeeding at things that don't matter.”
I can remember reading Love Does by Bob Goff, and reading this sentence over and over again. I typed it in my phone, felt that it wasn’t good enough, and then wrote it down. If I could have a quote that explained exactly where I was 3 years ago this would be it.
3 years ago I was in the middle of a quarter-life-crisis! This might not really be a thing, but to me it really was! I felt that I trail blazed myself right into the life of normal. I lived on my own, I had a 9-5 job, and a new car. On the outside it looked like everything was pretty dandy. However, I knew my purpose in this world was to create, I knew I loved to document things. I just didn’t know how to fulfill that purpose.
So I would get on social media and try to “inspire” myself with all the wonderful creatives I adore. But it turned into weeks of comparison, cyber bullying myself, and I just kept giving myself excuses as to why I couldn’t be successful. This is something I hear from a lot of people, so I wanted to kind of expose the topic of comparison via social media, and how you can over came it.
Social Media Detox:
I knew I had to quiet the noise so I decided to unplug from social media for 4 weeks, well in my case that 4 weeks turned into 2 years! That's right I didn't social media for 2 years, and I feel as though it was one of the smartest choices I've ever made. I found things that inspired me, instead of being the biggest cyber bully to myself by comparing what I was doing, or rather not doing, to everyone else. I found my true love for lifestyle photography, how much I love documenting motherhood, and Quaint+Whim was born!
Challenge: If you are constantly comparing yourself to others on social media you need to UNPLUG! Now, I know that 2 years social media detox is a little drastic, and probably not something you should do. But I strongly believe that we need to take time to detox from the noise of social media and to center ourselves.
Focus on WHAT Matters:
Once I finally decided that I was truly into documenting families, I decided to get back on social media. I was so worried that I would fall back into the comparison train like a bad habit that I made a list of goals for the next 3 months. The only person you need to compare yourself to is yourself! Here is an embarrassing glimpse of my 3 month goals:
1. Gain 500 Instagram followers
2. Go to a conference
3. Start a blog
4. Photograph 8 family portraits
5. Upgrade my camera
As dorky as that list is, at the end of the first three months I actually forgot the goals I made, and was really proud of myself that I actually made those things happen!
Challenge: Give yourself goals to complete in the next three months, keep them realistic! If you don't make a goal reevaluate the situation and see if you need to allot more time for the goal or remove it entirely.
I honestly think that if you have something on the top of your list and you don't do it in 3 months, you might like the idea of it more than having the passion for it.
OWN What You Do:
So many people are going to tell you that you are doing something wrong when you put yourself out there. You need to use this blogging platform vs this one, you need to invest in this course, this social media is greater, you must have this camera...I mean the list is endless. I use to feel ashamed that I didn't use a light meter and strobes for my family portraits, but the thing is I LOVE how my photos come out without all the gadgets and I can spend time personally connecting instead of getting the perfect exposure. Don't get me wrong whatever you do, you should learn your craft, you should know the pros and cons between whatever you are into. This isn't an excuse to not better yourself and learn. However, be confident in what you do. Someone is going to do it different and swear their way is better, but OWN what works for you!
Challenge: The next time someone tells you that you HAVE to be doing this, really think is that something you want to invest time and money into. It's great to learn and expand yourself, but it is not great to be frozen and giving up! Everything takes baby steps. (Like the smallest ever baby steps....success is glacier speed...or even slower...)
So I hope you guys enjoyed me getting a bit personal and encouraging with you today! The comparison game is something I've been noticing a lot with people who are very dear to me. Even people who aren't small business owners.
What are some ways you choose to over-come comparison? I would love to know!