Over the last few years, I can probably say I lost count at the number of days I have lost sleep… pulled all-nighters, experienced high levels of stress, and spent HOURS trying to find the root of the stress in my life.
People would ask me often times… “If I had kids like yours I’d be stressed out too…” – which infuriated me, because as much as I tell you about the amazingly quirky stories of our 4 year old, I really DO have great kids. They get along, they are rarely sick, they aren’t picky individuals.. and we have worked so hard to shift their focus from material things to time spent.
They are happy with little things, and that excites me.
I figured out that the root to my stress was simply from running a business. Running a business can be a stressful venture – ask any small business owner. Think blogging is not a business? You are sorely wrong.
The number of frugal blogs out there is unreal; anyone can run out and start a blog these days, throw up pictures and match deals with coupons.
Just a few weeks ago, a major publisher had sent me an email.. their question to me had essentially pitted me up against 3 other major bloggers, each of which are National and have had an exorbitant amount of National Air Time. Each of them probably has close to a million Facebook readers… if not more.
It was a huge turnoff to me.
I had to ask this particular individual – why are you comparing me with them? It infuriated me all day. I started to compare my site with theirs.
Nope, I’m definitely not fast at throwing up deals – We don’t employ several handfuls of people.
But after this particular day and for several days, my attitude started to plummet and that is because I started to feel like what I do is not adequate. Not only was his question to me unprofessional, it made me realize the nature of the business we are in.
It took a swift kick from my husband to get me out of that mode – he told me something so true..
You have your story and they have theirs. You do what YOU do best because that’s what you enjoy – the moment you allow yourself or someone else to compare you to someone is the moment you are robbing yourself of your joy.
We HAVE carried grocery store deals for the last few years; we have high tailed it on foot to Fry’s every Mega for 4-5 hours to grab prices for Mega Items. We have found some pretty amazing deals at the 99 Only Store. We run our own Pinterest pages, scheduled our own Facebook posts, and guys, I type up the Mega Sale ad myself and sometimes it can take all, night, long. We have toted laptops on road trips out of state… we have left our house on road trips only to find that we left our power cord back at home an hour later and made our spouse drive hours out of the way to buy another.. just so we could blog, while on the road.
Everything that could happen, has happened.
Don’t forget that on the outside, these people can look like they ARE amazing – but they are no different than everyone else. Unorganized houses, kids that arrive late to school and days where dinner is not ready. They might just even have unorganized pantry cabinets and laundry piled up in the mud room.
We have all (at some point in our lives) compared ourselves to others, and gauged where we are based on what we observe these others to be doing.
Although it might seem like an observation, we are essentially judging ourselves – and as they say, you are your own worst critic.
There is never a win to comparisons.. in most cases we end up comparing ourselves to someone who we perceive as being, having or doing more. And it always leaves us coming up short.
Over the last few years of blogging, I have discovered that blogging has been about comparison – who can outperform, who can throw up deals faster, who can throw up deals all night long, who can employ the most people, and who can run and capture every waking deal from every store every single day. Who can have the BEST Black Friday pages. Who can have the MOST Instagram fans, who can get the “most” shares on Facebook.
Of course, we want to do well – but jeopardizing your health and sleep to do it all is NOT practical. And for some, it’s their competitive edge, and that’s something that they feel gives them their edge.
That’s great – it might work for some! But for US it truly doesn’t work well. Even though we know that comparisons will still run on, we realized it would not lead to any assets, but instead more problems… Do you ever find that you compare yourself to others?
If you are, just please stop. It’s just ridiculous. Be happy with where you are at at this point in your life.
1. Comparing the Wrong Things
Somewhere along the way we decided we would determine who was more valuable in sense from Twitter followers, Facebook fans, who has more Facebook shares, and even who has more page views (because honestly, that seems to be the current comparison!)
Externals are rarely good measure. Net worth has never been about Facebook followers, Page Views or Twitter fans. It’s not even about Facebook shares.
2. You will Always Compare your Worst with their Best
When you compare, there are always going to be people who appear to be better, and for some reason we always compare the worst bout what we have to our best assumptions about the others. Just know that their life isn’t always any better.
3. Comparing Never Ends
Comparisons are never ending – once you start comparing, you will never find an end. You will compare yourself on every level, in every category – it just drags on…
4. Comparing Takes your Focus off YOU
Take better care of yourself by learning how to stop comparing – focus your energy on making yourself a better person. Better parent. Better parent to your children. Help yourself take care of your health on a better level. Focus on spending time with your kids. Be a better spouse.
5. Stop Comparing and Enjoy your Victories
Large or small, be happy for what your victories have been. Comparing only robs you of your joy and self fulfillment – nobody can prevent you from fully living your life… but to envy someone else’s life or spend your days comparing and creating stress for yourself. Life is not a competition, and nobody is perfect. Live with intentionality and the comparison game becomes SO much less attractive.
Comparison is the thief of joy – if you find that you are comparing yourself to others, try to let it go. Do the work you love, and you will find that you get MORE done and you will be much more fulfilled.
And who knows.. you might just learn how to get a good night’s rest at the same time.