3 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Photographers.
We’ve all felt it—that icky feeling that starts in our mind and works its way down to our heart and gut. That feeling of jealousy, of comparison, of “not good enough.” We scroll through Instagram, we visit website links, we see the results other people are posting and then the questions pile on top of one another:
Why not me?
I’m not getting the clients, how come?
Other photographer’s dreams coming true and mine are just hanging there. Why?
The comparison game is a game no one should partake in, because it’s a game you can’t win. No matter how hard you try.
If you compare yourself to someone else and feel like you fall short, feelings of inadequacy arise.
If you compare yourself to someone else and feel like you’re better, feelings of superiority and pride rise up.
Both of those are negative, nasty emotions. Being humble is one thing. And being proud of yourself is another. But, you all KNOW the kind of “not-good-enough” and “I’m-better-than” feelings I’m talking about, and I think we can all agree that they don’t serve you or your business.
So, how do we stop comparing and stay confident in who we are and what we’re doing?
Here are 3 steps for you to take to make it easier for you to stop comparing yourself to other photographers:
1. Keep Your Head in Your Lane
Keep your head down and focused on what you’re chasing. Otherwise, you’re looking everywhere else, following what others are doing, and you’ll end up chasing what they’re chasing which may not be your end goal.
Ya know how when you’re driving, your vehicle goes in the direction you’re looking? The same applies to your business. Keep your eyes in your lane and you won’t see what others around you are doing, because you’ll be focused on what you’re doing.
That’s not to say that you should be aware of your market and your competitors. You should be, but “awareness” and “focus” are two very different. Be aware of your competitors and colleagues, but be focused on you.
I am going to share a little bit of honesty with you here. The comparison game can so easily creep in even when we least expect it. These days we are all on Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat, you name it – we are seeing others doing things, succeeding and celebrating and it can be easy to get swept up into the feeling of being left behind. But most of the time we are only seeing the highlight reel or only the parts they are sharing strategically. It’s most often not the good the bad and the ugly. So don’t let someone else’s “Story” get you down.
In addition to the “highlight reel”, I have noticed that it can be so easy to see what other people are doing on Social Media and think that we need to replicate this for our own business. But what works for them, won’t work for us – because that’s not our business. We have to keep our head down, stay in our own lane, and trust what we know is right for the business we are building. That is what is going to make us stand out and be different and get off the comparison train that it can be easy to jump on.
What I have done to combat these feelings for myself is I have unfollowed anyone and everyone who made me have any sort of “comparison” or “uneasy” feelings at all! Plus I have also created my own set of Social Media Templates so I was ready to roll at any time to push out my content, my favorite posts, and any announcements that I want to share. Now, you might be asking how this helps stop comparing, but the secret is that I found myself looking to others to see how I should be doing something, how I should be designing or sharing, or even what… I wasn’t staying in my lane – I was swerving all over. LOL So once I created these templates it was easier for me to just do my own thing, not look to others, and to feel really good about what I was putting out on social media! (plus – I got so many compliments after I started using them! Plus I created some just for all of you photographers!)
2. Consider Your Years in Business and Unique Goals
If you’ve only been in business for two years, stop comparing yourself to the person who’s been in business for 10 and 15. Also, if someone whose been in business for 2 years is way ahead of you and you’ve been in business for 5, don’t get down on yourself. That business owner might have a lot more hours to put towards their business, they might not have a family, they might have different goals, and they’re plate might not be as full as yours. We never know someone else’s story, vision, or ideas around work-life balance, so we really cannot compare on an apples-to-apples basis.
It’s all about what people want to share, what they want us to see, and what they want us to believe about them. So be sure you aren’t looking at the situation with the “grass is always greener” attitude.
We’re all different. We all have different circumstances, and we all have different goals in mind. So when we stop comparing and focus on our own business and business goals we can think clearer and take more intentional action.
3. Choose to Celebrate
Ok, I don’t know why exactly this is true, but when you start celebrating someone else, the jealousy and feelings of inadequacy start to disappear. You get caught up in that air of excitement and gratitude and it propels your own business forward.
It’s like that whole “you reap what you sow” principle. Every time you feel icky feelings creep up when you’re looking at someone else’s success, send congratulations their way. Take that insecurity and turn it into inspiration.
So stay in your lane—stay on your course. We have to decide what “succeeding” means to us and not compare that to other’s goals. Set your own and strive to make them.
Having a brand with personality and is true to you will always help you stand out to your people and when you know you’re being true to yourself, your vision, and your goals, you don’t have to worry about what others are doing.
If you want to create a brand and business that you feel so self-assured and know you have nothing to worry about comparing yourself to others be sure to check out my 7 Days to an Elevated Client Experience for Photographers!
Each day you will receive an email with a tip and an action step for you to take charge of the experience you are giving to others and turn your photography clients into raving fans!
Hearts and Hoorays friends!