I wrote a note to myself one day that said, " To the girl, I was then.
I now, forgive you." I grew so much hatred and bitterness to the girl I used to be. (I am talking about the girl after finding myself so right when I started my business)! Myself; the one who I can trust more than ANYBODY was the one to let me fall. Allowed me to compare, slip into anxiety, feed my shame, make me think my life wasn't where it should be. I thought I was stronger than that.
So, let's talk about this whole comparison thing- We preach about it all the time but do we really mean it?
It is overrated as it gets. It's tiring. It's depressing, sickening and all around annoying. But somehow we still do it from time to time?! Yes, you and me. Me and you. We can dress it up, sugar it up, not believe what we want to but let's face it there has been a point in our life where we compare ourselves to something. If you still disagree with me at this point allow me to begin by asking.
Have you ever compared yourself in any of the following instances to anyone else;
How new your car is compared to theirs?
How your kids act in public compared to theirs?
How many fights your relationship has compared to theirs?
How your body is shaped compared to hers?
How clean your home is compared to theirs?
How stylish your family dresses compared to them?
How fast you lost the baby weight compared to her?
How healthy you eat compared to them?
How much money you make compared to them?
These are just a few off the top of my head that I have personally fallen short of. Yes, these a few of mine. The list goes on & on- it seems as if it never stops. Maybe you compare yourself to someone particular or just random people you do not know on your social media feed. That is what is mind-blowing; I would compare myself to people with a "higher status" that I would most likely never meet. (And here we are spending minutes, maybe hours of our day on social media where it can allow us to compare continually without even realizing it).
The truth is comparing yourself to where you're currently at to anyone else is never going to get you anywhere. It will not improve your situation, move you farther ahead instead it brings you down. It fuels our self-pity to feeling stuck, unworthy, and ultimately not at peace. It also feeds your shame, where you feel less than for something that is entirely irrelevant to where you are right now!
Do you even realize how great you are? Do you know that there is no one even created like you on this earth? So why are we looking at others? If it is not to be inspired then what is it for? So what, you're not where you want to be financially, physically or even spiritually. That does not define your worth. Nor does it mean that your journey is right or wrong. It solely states that you are on YOUR journey. Yours and yours alone- no one else. Observing others in the form of comparison prevents you from true happiness. So stop comparing to the girl that seems to have everything. She may be dying inside, and you have no idea what it is like to be her. She may even wish she was you! I have never found more peace in knowing I am my own version. So, I am humble enough to know I have a crap ton of flaws. But I am also just as wise enough to understand I am great just the way I am. You have paid for it, so know how much you're worth and stop comparing yourself to anyone. You are priceless- create a fire within you that stands no chance with the fire that is around you.
The quality of your thoughts is the result of your happiness.
TAKE YOURSELF OUT OF THE PIT AND STAND ON YOUR MOUNTAIN.
This to my fellow photogs, or creative business owners (specifically the small town):
-It is hard being us. The comparison is so incredibly present in our field. The doubt, the anger, and bitterness that silently builds up inside. It somehow is like a sandstorm, it comes so quick, and within minutes you can not seem to see. It happens at some point whether its a split second or everytime a client hops over to another photographer. I have been on this roller coaster of extreme ups and downs trying to learn how to run a full-time business. All while I was trying to find a balance of sitting in the pit to feeling like I am on the top of a mountain. I would second guess my business strategies, my work, my edits, poses, experience all of it. Wondering if I was even strong enough to be in this chaotic, stressful business anyways with hundreds of photographers within a 50-mile radius.
That's the thing though; it doesn't have to be this way. We are all on the same team. We all have had a starting point in our business. Stop allowing yourself to be compared and feeling stuck and stop feeding your demon. This is everything that the enemy wants us to do. We are all on a different path; your success does not define my failure. As my success does not define yours! So why do we feel like we have to compete or why do we compare our work? It is an act of violence against your self-worth.
It took a long time to find my peace, but I can wholeheartedly say I have done just that. If you're struggling, you can kick this without a shadow of a doubt! But it takes a severe heart check, mind change and ultimately strength in knowing. Yes, I think it will always be a battle being an entrepreneur. Although, you do not have to let creeping doubt win! You can thrive and be genuinely proud of your work but humbled enough to know their work is just as great. What you create, can try and be imitated but it will NEVER be yours. Hold onto that, stay focused and stay in your lane. Not only will your success but your heart will soar beyond belief. We are a body of evolving souls never a fixed rivalry.