The comparison trap is an ugly, ugly thing when it comes to blogging. But it happens to all of us, myself very much included. It creeps up in those moments where you find yourself casually stalking a blogger- first maybe seeing what their Twitter following is like, then exploring who’s commenting on their blog, and finally you’re headed for the archives, just to see how long they’ve been blogging only to find out it’s been all of two months and they seem HUGE. A total overnight success.  Yeah, I do it too, people.

But it’s so pointless! Nothing good can come of that sequence of actions. Since I fall prey to it more often than I’d like to admit, I’ve come up a with a few commandments, if you will, of things to remind yourself when you find yourself in the above situation:

  • First and foremost- remember that everyone falls into the comparison trap, no matter how big or small you are. NO MATTER. It happens to everyone- take solace in that.
  • I’m quite convinced it doesn’t matter how many Twitter followers or Facebook likes you have- it will never feel like enough. Try to let go of those figures and resist blowing up what they stand for.
  • The best blog content is the most original, so when you find yourself falling into the comparison trap use it as a signal to switch gears and channel that negative thought into dreaming up killer content! Or you know you could just get back to work…
  • It’s really ok if you can’t take a good “selfie.” Let’s not even get into the fact that there’s such a term.
  • Just because you don’t have a perfectly styled home, with an area that contains a stack of fashion books and perhaps a gold pig or two does not make you any less of a person. Seriously if I see one more pig…
  • Lastly, and probably the most important one of the list- come back to your roots. Identify why you started blogging in the first place. I bet it has very little to do with pageviews. And if it does, well that’s a whole other problem in and of itself.

You guys feel me? What are your commandments? They’re important!

Photo by Lydia Hudgens

  1. Monica

    Thank you for posting this! I’m working on starting a blog this summer and I know myself well enough to see how I could easily get caught up in comparisons. I’ve pinned this to read as a reminder when that happens!

    • Clara

      So glad I could be of help, Monica!! xx

  2. This is perfect. Like you, I fall into the comparison trap…a lot. I think it’s only natural when you blog and put your life out there that you may feel “less” than others who are doing the same, simply because you don’t live up to standards you’ve set for yourself (it’s a vicious circle!). A while back (like, in college) my Mom told me something that really has resonated with me: never compare your insides to someone else’s outside. In other words, we project what we want people to THINK of us into the world, but you know how you FEEL, so don’t compare that to someone’s carefully crafted version of “life”. It’s helpful for me to remember that!

    • Clara

      I LOVE that phrase!! Moms are the best.

  3. Love this! I find I’m less prone to comparison when I keep myself busy with my own work. And yes, I want to know who decided “selfie” was a term that needed to exist (and “arm party” and “glamping”).

    • Clara

      Hahahaaa arm party. Glamping. What is this world?

  4. You made me laugh out loud with the pig comment. I thought about that the other day as I was looking at someone’s Instagram account. It seemed like their life was an endless parade of beauty: colorful mugs, flowers, magazine stacks, pretty outdoor lunches. I instantly had the urge to compare and see how I stacked up, but I realized that it is all a matter of how we present our life. Anyone can make their life and blog seem perfect.

    • Clara

      So true- it’s so easy to present a perfect life. But all those pigs- they’re all the same- nothing is actual original! That’s what really gets me.

  5. Standing ovation! One of the reason I stumbled upon you. You have inspired me, and it’s just by being you!

    • Clara

      Wow- thank you, Nichole! So touched.

  6. Here here! It happens to everyone, though it shouldn’t. Whenever I fall into the comparison trap, I go back to my blog vision, and what I’m really trying to get out of this crazy industry. The answer has never been “invites to front row seating at a maje fashion show,” so then I realize it’s pointless to worry about doing lots of outfit photos (as an example :) ). I also remind myself that I’m already busy enough and struggle with finding life balance as it is — what’s more traffic and more followers going to really bring me? Just more email to deal with, mostly!!

  7. *applause* !!! Great post. So happy you wrote this to share with everyone. I have fallen into this trap more times than I care to admit but I have happily learned to recognize when I am starting to compare and take a step back and remember all the reasons I write my own blog and what makes it unique. Great post!

  8. Love your honesty!

    Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed with the people who blog daily (food blogs). Seriously!? Who has that kind of time…especially for some of the extremely elaborate things people are doing. But…then I remind myself. I started my blog to help people with food allergies and to HAVE FUN! This isn’t a competition (for me at least), and who cares if I post once a week or 20 times a week. As long as I’m having fun and people are enjoying what I post, that’s all that matters.

    I haven’t run across a pig yet…I’ll have to keep my eye out. 😉

    Have a lovely day! ~ April

  9. i am cracking up! gold pigs, those little gold sea urchins, jcrew bubble necklaces, diptyque candles, grace coddington’s memoir, pictures of outfits as taken by looking at our feet, etc! All of these things are fabulous- but I recently went on a rant that I felt like there is this “cool club” in blogging that you can’t belong to without these checklist items.
    The important thing is to every once in a while take a step back and remember that while all of these similarities bring us together- it is the differences that keep the “relationship” interesting. Of course I want thousands of people reading my blog everyday- but I’ve made peace with the fact that I only want people there that appreciate my unique views- losing your voice for the sake of gaining readers wouldn’t be worth anything.

    • Clara

      Oh my god your list is making me laugh! Yes- that Grace Coddington Memoir and the diptyque candles- they’re everywhere!!

      • haha well full disclosure that i”m guilty of quite a few items myself 😉

  10. Such a wonderfully honest post! I love your commandments and have lots of the same ones for myself. When I get to feeling jealous or self-conscious, I just put my head down and create, because that is what I love doing in the end. If the work is good, that is all that matters. There are tons of amazing opportunities bestowed to people who just produce good stuff - nothing more than that.

    • Clara

      “I just put my head down and create because that is what I love doing in the end. If the work is good, that is all that matters. “- love that line. Thanks, Erin!

  11. Thanks for this. I’ve had trouble staying on board recently, and in the back of my mind, there’s always been a voice saying “this was just to tell the story of your family and to create community for people who love the same things.” Your post made me feel more grounded. :)

  12. It’s such an easy trap to fall into. Like Erin, I’ve found that often the best solution for me is to stop (momentarily at least) looking around me and focus on MY personal style and creating content that simply reflects that in a useful way for others. Embracing your own style is the only thing that makes your blog unique, and hopefully people will want to follow along-not because you fit some perfect blogger mold.

  13. Thank you for such an insightful post! I am guilty of doing this especially when it comes to the perfectly styled home. My apartment has so much stuff and not much space, that I’ve become critical of it when seeing so many open spaces on other sites. I think it’s best to just remember that what makes us unique and works for someone, doesn’t always work for someone else. At the end of the day, I love my overcrowded, not so perfectly styled home.

  14. I definitely blog stalk and compare!! I wish I didn’t, but honestly I am glad I’m not the only one. I did a similar post not too long ago but I really have to keep reminding myself not to compare. I really loved reading this post and your thoughts and suggestions to overcome the dreaded comparison trap!!! xoxo

  15. I needed to read this today!

  16. I’m so guilty of all of these things - even the gold piggy bank and stack of art books (to be fair, I also have a stack of sports books, so…)

    Thank you so much for a thoughtful and inspiring post. Too often we get caught up in comparing, or being negative (confession - was trolling the GOMI forums before reading your post). Whenever I start to have those negative thoughts, I’m going to *try* to refocus them onto positive ones for my own blog and business.

    I’m bookmarking this and visiting whenever I need a much-needed reality check.

    • Lauren

      The stack of sports books totally balances things out :) So glad you liked the post, Hitha! xx

  17. La Torontoise

    Clara, thank you for this honest note. I know too well this feeling; the good news is that with some practice, everyone can learn to look at it positively and channel the feeling into something more constructive. Comparison is part of any personal or professional development plan, so why not seeing it as a resource to you, as something that you can use to clearly see and understand much better what’s going on in a field and where you stand with respect to the key developments in that field. Yes, I can not aggree more: the stronger your sense of identity, the better. Know yourself! This is my commandment:-)
    Knowing why you do what you do is very important to use the results of your ‘comparative study’ in a constructive way (while switching gears:-)

  18. La Torontoise

    PS. Another commandment: See beyond the pigs:-)

  19. I too, needed to read this-especially the first and the last bullet. Too often that toxic-self-deprecating bug in the back of my brain creeps up about blogging, and other things (including my work). In alignment with your third commandment, one of the things I find myself affirming to myself often is: No one can see through my eyes, No one can hear with my ears or sing through my voice-Only I can do that. If people hate, or love it, it’s still my own unique vision. And if I don’t have that to share, then what else is there-other than getting lost in a sea of golden pigs or “it” items that I just HAD TO HAVE more to seek approval than because I genuinely liked them . Lovely post, and great picture!

  20. Thanks so much for posting this! It’s so helpful. I had been neglecting my blog for a bit and realized it had been because I wasn’t doing it for the same reasons anymore. Since then, I’ve actually been blogging more and have found it so much more fulfilling.

    And seriously, the gold pigs. Too accurate.

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