In the past I've made failed attempts at blogging and starting my own websites. I would get bored with my day-to-day routine and I was generally uninspired by my day job, so the unlimited possibilities of starting a website was naturally tempting for me.
I could spend hours, even days, dreaming about what it could look and feel like. But each time I would sit down to begin, I'd struggle for inspiration on what to write about, or worse, not feel aligned with the purpose behind my voice. It became all too easy to sit down at the computer with the truest intention to get to work and find myself on Facebook or Instagram comparing my kernel of an idea to full-blown campaigns of my online idols. What would start as lots of dreamy ideas would slowly start to breed negative self talk. This negative voice saying, "You could never build a website this in-depth," or, "She is such a beautiful writer, how does she make this look so easy?" would trump any motivation I had to get started. I'd usually end those sessions with little work done and a zillion ideas that felt like complete rip-offs from everything I just saw online.
The big problem was that I hadn't crystalized my vision before sitting down to work, so everything seemed like a possible business model. I'd end up feeling like a mess with no focused intention, leading to not feeling motivated, which would lead to not working on the idea at all. My passions were all over the place. I was setting my standards to accomplish what everyone that I already followed was currently doing. I'd get caught up in looking at beautiful campaigns with professional photo shoots and edited videos which seemed so out of reach for me and I'd be asking myself, "How the hell does one person do all that?!" To rub salt in the wound, it seemed the beautiful content would continue to come at me at an impressively fast rate while I had accomplished little to nothing in the same amount of time.
Comparing yourself to those whom you respect in your industry can be discouraging and downright depressing. I've completely experienced this on more than one occasion. This is the comparison trap.
It makes sense that comparing our own ideas to online idols can be defeating because we don't have the capacity to think or visualize things the way that they do. In your bag of tricks, you have your own unique voice to use, which is why comparing yourself to someone else makes you feel like you could never accomplish it. You won't accomplish what they already have inside their head. Instead, you'll do it your own way with your stamp of uniqueness on it.
Here is where I tell you the good news about that yucky, "why even bother when there are so many other people kicking ass at this already..." feeling. You can only recognize greatness in others if it already exists within you.
This means when you are in that early phase of developing an idea or business plan and you find someone else doing it beyond what you ever thought was possible in your field, you have the capacity to execute a similar emotional experience in others as well. We get upset because we see our potential right in front of our eyes and that reminds us that we aren't achieving our goals, and that feels like shit! But I have hope for you and I've found a way to practice getting over the comparison trap.
When you are looking for inspiration for your own vision start to feel completely engrossed in someone else's work - listen to that calling! Write down specifics on how his or her work makes you feel. When you've exhausted that exercise, I'd challenge you to do the opposite: seek out work that doesn't feel aligned with you and see what happens. You can use what is inspiring as well as what is a turning you off to crystalize your vision. Getting to this realization took me some time and practice, which is just one of the topics I plan to expand on in my writing here.
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of women with websites like mine, but I am the only one with MY experience and MY story to tell, just like you are the only one who can craft and execute your vision. Don't let the great works of others slow you down for a minute. Take your time to listen and feel the authenticity about what is inspiring you; use that to catapult yourself into your current or next venture.
Thank you for taking the time to read my first post! I would love to know if you have gotten stuck in the comparison trap in your work. Please leave a comment below and tell me your story or to let me know if anything here resonated with you!