Do you ever feel jealousy over other people’s blogs? I know I do.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for well over 6 months after I first heard a mini episode of After the Jump (by Grace Bonnie of Design Sponge fame) that dealt with the very subject of Jealousy. It’s one of those dirty secret subjects that would be easier to ignore and pretend we didn’t experience.
Jealousy is that emotion you feel when you want something that someone else has. When boiled down it makes you feel anxious, fearful, angry and/or humiliated. In blogging, it can make you decide you don’t like someone when in actual fact you are jealous of them or envy what they have.
Some people feel it stronger than others. I remember when I first started to blog, I couldn’t read other blogs as that feeling of inadequacy would seep in and stop me dead in my tracks. I have read countless times that the key is not to compare ourselves to others, but that is actually really hard to do (for me anyway) because jealousy is a natural emotion that can be stealth in its appearance.
But Grace approached jealousy from her wise, down-to-earth stance and made me see that perhaps this emotion isn’t so bad and we could be doing ourselves a disservice if we don’t face it head on.
“[Jealousy] can be one of the most powerful and healthy tools we have to process our own wants, needs and goals.” – Grace Bonnie
When you can feel that green-eyed monster under the surface, this is the time to stop and address what you are actually wanting from life and turn the fear and anxiety into motivation to achieve. Here’s how.
First thing’s first, we need to acknowledge the feeling. If you have read anything about Mindfulness, you will know this technique of observing the world around you and our own feelings. Notice that you feel jealous without judgement; it is a natural emotion that everyone feels at some point in their life.
Investigate your feelings
Once you have acknowledged that you feel jealous, it should lose some of it’s power so you can concentrate on what exactly are you feeling jealous of. Is it amazing photos, a great design, fabulous clients, or the fact they won an award, seem more popular, are funnier, etc. Deconstruct what you are feeling.
Find out more about the person
You may be jealous because someone’s life seems perfect or they have great opportunities but the chances are they work their bums off to get where they are and their life isn’t so perfect. They are someone to admire and be inspired by!
“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” Stephen King
Make a plan
Once you know what you’re envious of (a book deal, top 10 in a blogging chart, etc.), you can make a plan to get there yourself! Forget about those self-depreciating feelings of not being good enough, or that it’s all too competitive. Blogging is not a zero sum game and achieving anything in life takes time and dedication. Acknowledging what we would like and planning how to get there will get us a lot closer to our goals than jealousy! You just need to follow your plan.
You know that person we felt jealous of? Reach out to them in a genuine way, make friends or see if you can work together! Some of my best blogging friendships started out as jealousy and now their hard work is rubbing off on me.
How do you deal with jealousy in blogging?