Image Credit: Chibird

Comparison can be an ugly word sometimes. It’s something we all do at one point or another in our lives. We compare ourselves to others in areas of physical prowess and beauty, financial aspects, love and relationships, and that lovely career ladder of success. Some of us admit to these feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and envy, but for the most part, it’s taboo and shameful to admit these feelings. There are just certain things most people don’t like to confess… certain things that proud people, such as myself, don’t like to confess.

But I’m one for putting it all out there sometimes, so here’s my confession:

  • I don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m scared, lost, and sometimes unhappy. I’m 38 years old sitting at somewhat of a half-assed blank slate trying to figure out what to do with my life. I want to make an impact, and I struggle with how to create my tiny contribution to the world.
  • I’m afraid of failure so much that I just freeze for vast periods of time and don’t do anything at all. Super productive, huh? Failure is easy to avoid if you don’t try at all, right? *groan* Of course, I personally see not trying as complete and utter failure as well.
  • I constantly compare myself to others, especially bloggers and photographers who are and should be better than me. Hell, they’re putting in the work and effort while I sit frozen like a rabbit who, if he doesn’t move, hopes the predators who may possibly eat him alive don’t see him. In reality, I should be comparing myself to no one other than… myself.

Doing my photography thing is something I’ve been struggling with the past couple years. In 2012, I dabbled in a few different areas of photography work and learned a fair bit from a technical standpoint as well as what type of photography I enjoy shooting. My skills have vastly improved from a year ago, but I know I could have progressed more so if I had put forth the effort.

I came across this article, Everyone Is A Photographer: Specialize Or Perish, and narrowing my focus is something I’ve been pondering. I’ve known this for a while, and whenever I took on some photography work that I wasn’t crazy excited about…bleh. You could see it in my work. In fact, I’m not even sure if it’s something I want to keep pursuing. These days, everyone IS a photographer, and it can be frustrating on so many levels. The photography market is so terribly saturated that I feel lost in an endless sea of faces with cameras permanently glued to their faces, and another confession… I’m terrified of being unoriginal. In fact, I loathe it.

With this heavy feeling that I’m drowning in the midst of all the other photographers, stifling the need to compare myself to others is a constant battle. I know that it’s futile, pointless, and senseless, but sometimes I can’t help myself. If you find yourself in a similar situation of always measuring yourself against others, the best advice I have is this:

  • Keep hacking away at what you love doing. Realize that what makes you different may not be what you do but who you are.
  • Block out the “noise”. Get out of the house and experience life. Have adventures.. small and big. Don’t just simply watch others live their lives.
  • Enjoy this life excursion of learning more about yourself… discover your strengths, your weaknesses, and your passions.

The “noise” I refer to can mainly be avoided by stepping away from the internet on a regular basis.. it can be a vile place when it seems like everyone is bragging about their awesomeness.

In addition, some light reading that I feel is helpful and enlightening on the subject…

You Are Enough ~ “As women, we tend to indulge in the awful and extremely damaging habit of comparing ourselves against one another. We often measure our worth by examining at how we stack up against our peers.”

The Futility Of Comparing Yourself To Others ~ Leo talks about how basically stupid it is to compare yourself to someone else. He emphasizes being mindful, learning more about yourself, and enjoying your exploration.

Biz Ladies: What To Do When You Feel Jealous Of Other Biz Ladies ~ “Jealousy always stems from a soulful longing that you aren’t fully honoring in your own life.”

AND… know that the destination you have in mind may not turn out to be the end result, but a greater reward is found in loving your journey. 

 xo~ wanderwhirlgirl