I’m sitting here half crying, half angry, half wanting to look in a mirror to tell myself, “KNOCK IT OFF,” but honestly I’m feeling too sorry for myself to go do that, plus I haven’t washed my hair in three days, so it would probably just make things worse.
I work from home, at least I call it work, even though I’ve technically only made $4.57 this month. My work is my blog, Boxwood Avenue. I pour my heart into it each and every day. I stay up until 3 in the morning working on it, editing, designing, and e-mailing. Over the past few months there have been so many doors that have opened up for me, that at one point I literally started jumping on my bed with tears of joy, doing a happy dance, and singing to my dog.
The majority of the population wouldn’t ever guess just how much work ‘creatives’ put into their work-of-art. However, if you’re a creative entrepreneur, you know. Oh, how you know. And when things start to happen, it feels as if the heavens have opened up. You literally could fall to your knees with excitement, but just when you thought, “Wow, I’m killing it!” you catch yourself drooling over someone else’s work-of-art, and instantly, your happy balloon is popped.
You start comparing their website to yours. “Should I move my search bar?” “I only posted three times this week, I’m such a failure.” “Why am I even doing this?” Ahah! Why are you even doing this? Because you love this! ‘This’ is what speaks to your soul, ‘this’ is what keeps you up at night and gets you jumping out of bed on a Monday, ‘this’ is what you want on your gravestone (okay that may be taking it too far, but you get my point).
I think it’s safe to say we all have someone or something we compare ourselves to. I know I have my fair share of blog-crushes that I catch myself lusting over multiple times a day. It’s so easy to compare our beginning to someone else’s middle, to put ourselves into the ‘failure’ folder. The truth is, all of us have to keep doing what we love to do. It doesn’t matter if we have 45 followers of 45k followers, what matters is that we have something that causes us to jump out of bed on a Monday, thankful that it’s a new work week, excited for what opportunities lie ahead. What matters, is that we’re dedicated to making the world a more beautiful and inspiring place. The moment we start comparing ourselves to someone who we’ve deemed successful, is the moment we fail.
I feel silly for feeling so sorry for myself now, I have so many exciting opportunities taking place over the next few months, and my goal list just keeps getting longer. Each time I get to check something off of my blogging bucket list, I feel exhilarated, knowing that my hard work has paid off. I consider slapping myself for comparing my work to other bloggers as if it’s some sort of competition, because doing that, goes against what I believe being ‘A Creative’ is about. There is room for everyone, and I believe that everyone is here to help each other grow and succeed.
So I dedicate this post to anyone and everyone who has ever felt inadequate after comparing themselves to someone else’s work. We’ve all been there, but success is defined by our own interpretation. Each creative element we contribute to the world is unique, beautiful, and enough. I challenge all of us to interpret ourselves as successful, appreciate the opportunities we have, and know that they will continue to come, so long as we remain true to ourselves and believe in our work.