Life Lately-Battling Comparisons and Negative Focus.

Life Lately-RefocusI have been in a period of focusing on what I don’t have and what I haven’t accomplished.  Somewhere along the way I started comparing my journey to others thanks to social media and have found myself in an insecure place. I’ve realized that the only way to get back to contentment is to change the way I look at the situation.  Sometimes, there are things that bog you down because you are focused on the wrong aspect of the situation.  Anyone heard of the glass half full?  Ha.

For me, this pertains to my blog.  Times have been tough lately. I’ve questioned my success with this blog because I often contemplate whether I’m offering anything of value to my audience. Plus, stopping the Etsy shop and then several drops in commissions caused my income to drop dramatically.

Also, I get really frustrated with social media.  For a blogger, social media is necessary in order to alert people to your blog posts and point people to your blog.  However, because of followers and likes being visible to anyone and everyone, it is an indication of where you’re at in your success.  Your followers and likes are seen by everyone and if you’re not careful that number can define how you see yourself or your success.

On top of that, scrolling through my feed is picture after picture of more successful people who have figured out their style, their lighting and seem to constantly be doing “Instagram worthy” activities. Instagram in particular started becoming such a point of frustration for me.  Everyday, several times a day, I would wonder why so and so has so many more followers then me.  What am I doing wrong?  Why can’t I figure this out?  Staying in my own lane and not comparing my journey with someone else’s journey is something I struggle with.

Then it dawned on me, this is probably what many people feel whether they’re running a business or just running their personal life.  And then I took it a thought further and started thinking of young adults navigating through the popularity contest that is social media.  What are we coming to?

Social media isn’t going away anytime soon.  If it’s not Instagram, it will be another platform that will serve as a reminder that we aren’t good enough. I lost the popularity contest in high school.  I’ll be damned if I continue to participate in another one at the age of 40! Hence the refocus.

I realize this probably sounds very immature and shallow of me.  I really do.  I don’t know if I’d care if it weren’t for my extreme need to be successful through this blog, but I felt so compelled to share because I really don’t think I’m the only adult questioning my worth from time to time because of the endless diet of perfect, curated photos with thousands of likes making me feel less then I am.

So what to do?  For me, I realized that my focus was all wrong.  I was so honed in on the negative and totally forgetting the many blessings this blog has brought.  Numbers on social media don’t determine my success or who I am.  God does.  My blog is a success if for only the reason that it sustained my daughter’s and I when my x-husband left.  Not only did I not have to lean on my parents or go into debt, I was able to stay at home and keep things the same for my daughters during a very hard time in our lives.  If nothing else, that was enough and a valid measure of success.  And if I didn’t have that, my blog is still a success because it makes me happy and I’m proud of the work I’ve done.

By reframing how I’m thinking about my success, I feel I’ve broken free from the chains of negative feelings surrounding my blog and actually moved forward in a more positive light.  I’ve had some tangible success with my daily numbers on the blog and an outpouring of creativity.  By capturing every negative thought and replacing it with the realization that I am successful no matter what my bank account says or my social media numbers say, I am able to focus on the positives and therefore the positive thoughts are multiplying.

What I hope you takeaway is that success is not measured by man.  Success comes from within.  It comes from how we feel about ourselves and who God is through us.

One last thought-I heard a quote that said the fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else.  I also read a quote from Theodore Rosevelt saying that “Comparison is the thief of joy”.  How incredibly true both these quotes are.

As always, I aim to be transparent but at the same time uplifting and encouraging.  Forgive me if this post was all about me but learning to focus on the positive is one of the most important lessons I try to teach my daughters and no matter what your story is, refocusing pertains.  Finding the positives and focusing on them can change everything.

xx, Jenni

P.S. Taking a break from social media is always a good idea in my opinion.  That is just what I’ve done with Instagram.  I’ve also stopped following several people that by no fault of their own were contributing to my negative feelings.  My other blog, Stealing Pretty has been completely put on hold until I feel I can contribute something of value that represents me and not what everyone else is doing. Taking a break can do wonders.


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