A little something something that has been on my mind lately is the comparison trap that we can all so easily fall into thanks to social media. I am probably like a lot of you, whose first thought when they see something online is 'I wish I was like that' / 'I wish my life was like that' / 'I wish I looked like that' etc etc. We sometimes can't control that first thought, but we can control our second. This is when the logic kicks in. So I thought I would write my first thoughts from scrolling through my feed, then my second.
I wish I could be paid to see the world too.
Of course it wouldn't be a bad 'job' (if that is your job - that is amazing) but that isn't actually how I want to travel at all. I don't want to wake up at 4am to get shots without other people in them. I don't want to stay only where will give me free accommodation so that I can spend my time in that country shooting hotel content instead of seeing the town itself. I also don't want to spend only a couple of days in a place to get x & y shot that has been replicated by others before & after me.
I wish I was as successful
Of course you do, but just like with me you don't see even half the work that goes into it. You don't see how long it took someone to get to where they are, you don't see how many failures they had, how many late night breakdowns that work has caused them. In my case, yes I would say I am successful because I am able to do what I love and make enough money to live off. But would you be so envious after seeing how many legal battles I have to go through to protect that work? How many emails I have had to send to chase up invoices that are months overdue? How many times I take professional set backs or failures as personal failures? Probably not.
I wish I was that talented/ creative
But you are...
You have the ability to be creative and practice that creativity every day until you are as talented as you want to be. I don't think any creative thinks that they have arrived at the level of talent they aspire to be. We keep moving the goal posts forward. Forever creating and striving for something more. There is no use trying to compare yourself to the result of someone else's creativity. It will never be yours. Even if you try your hardest to mimic or imitate it. We can only truly be creative if we stay true to ourselves and block out the comparison to others.
I wish I looked like that
First of all, I wasn't born with that face or that body so why on earth should I compare myself to that? I wasn't born with legs up to my waist, I cannot change that.
Second of all, I am 90% sure that person that I wish I looked like, looks at someone else and wishes they look like that.
Third of all, I have no idea what they are putting in to look that good. Is it their job to look that good? Are they missing out on the heavenly food (bread)? Are they spending 3 hours a day in a gym? Because you don't want to do that so you can't wish you looked like them without wishing you were spending 3 hours at a gym everyday.
I wish I had [insert materialistic thing here]
I first of all remember that everyone's situation is different. They may have a very high paying job, work extremely hard, save really well, they may have partners that support them financially, they may have grown up very privileged financially or they may have a fuck tonne of debt. You never know what situation someone is so you can't compare how someone else spends their money. Secondly, you probably don't really want or need that [thing] they have to make you happy. Let's use the example of the 'it' designer bag of the moment - the Gucci GG Marmont. You have seen this bag on the arm (or coffee shop tabletop) of everyone and their dog on social media. You start to think that in order to fit in, you need this bag. You lust over this bag. But then you realise.. You don't even like the look of quilted bags. And you certainly don't want a bag that everyone else has. So why are you even lusting over it? That is the power of social media. Makes you want and think shit that you really don't want or think.
So how do I stop comparing myself?
Being self-aware enough to catch yourself when you're doing so. Either making sure you have a second thought like above to keep yourself in check or simply remove that source of comparison. Unfollow those that you think might be negatively impacting the way you see yourself.
I would love to know if you find yourself comparing yourself to others online, and if so what do you do about it? Do you take any steps to make sure it doesn't impact you negatively?