Honest to blog: Comparison in the blogosphere

One of the most common comments I see in blogland, especially on reviews or outfit posts, is the expression ‘so jealous of your [product/item]’  I know I’m guilty of doing this, and even if I might not outwardly express it I still have the odd pang of disappointment that I didn’t get offered a particular campaign or that my blog doesn’t seem to get noticed as much as others.  You might now be thinking that I’m really ungrateful and that I get a lot of amazing opportunities – and I do, and I thank my lucky stars every day – but this post is about honesty, and that is the simple truth.  It’s not all the time, but, I confess, I occasionally get that creeping feeling of jealousy now and then.

A lot of my working life at the moment centres around self-awareness and positive behaviours and attributes. Quite often when I’m driving home from work at the moment I find myself thinking “Was I the best version of myself today?” I try and keep this in the back of my mind all of the time – I try to generally be a positive person, I try to be practical and helpful and be kind to others and I try to be the sort of person that I can be proud of. 

Part of my attempts to be a more positive person have meant taking a good hard look at myself and identifying negative behaviours or traits.  I think we’d all agree that jealousy is not a positive emotion, and as the saying goes, ‘comparison is the thief of joy’.  Bodhi is always absolutely thrilled with any treat that we give him, but if he’s around his pal Henry, he automatically wants Henry’s treat, even if it’s not as good (and vice versa!) Sometimes, you’re absolutely chuffed with something you’ve got – from a blog perspective it might be a lovely comment, some new followers, a nice email and so on – until you see what someone else has got and then it feels devalued.  I can only speak for myself but I hope that my intention will connect with others when I say that I think we really need to stop doing this.

img credit: bridgesandballoons.com

When I identify bad habits or emotions at the moment, I try and find a way to turn them into good ones.  So when realising I was doing too much comparison and too much looking over my shoulder at what the next person had got, I tried to turn that energy into something better.  If other people’s blogs seem better than mine, or if people get awesome opportunities, well then that’s great for them! I want to share in their joy and congratulate them – telling them I’m envious of it just makes it about me, and where’s the kindness in that? We are all part of an amazing community and we need to be more supportive to each other.  I’ve decided that I want to help spread good ‘blogging karma’ and make opportunities for others so these days I try and recommend other bloggers who might be great for a campaign when talking to PRs.  I want to leave more comments, +1 more posts (apparently Google are beginning to take this into account when considering Google ranking – or so I’ve heard) and tweet more links to blog posts I love.  I also want to start doing posts about my favourite blog reads again, like my five favourites series.

The other thing that I find that comes out of my feelings of comparison that could be considered a positive emotion, is that it makes me strive to be better.  My motto with my blog has always been ‘content is king’, and producing things that people want to read is high on my agenda.  I blog for me (of course) but I also want my blog to be the best blog that I’m capable of producing.  I’ve had emails from people since my iPad post saying ‘how can I work with brands?’ and ‘how can I review products?’ and my answer is always that – content is king.  If you write awesome posts, people will want to read them and if it’s your aspiration that you want to build relationships with brands then that will be an inevitable by-product.  Be creative, be innovative, be unique, be honest.  Ultimately though, a blog is just a little corner of the interweb and not the be-all and end-all and there’s always lots of other achievements in life to be proud of.  Your blog should complement your life and be pleasurable, not generate feelings of frustration or guilt or envy.  (I need to remember this too).

I want to finish on this quote which was found on the same blog as the image above – it’s a quote that really resonated with me when thinking about this post and something that really sums up how to overcome those pangs of jealousy.

“By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and equanimity towards vice, the mind retains its undisturbed calmness.”

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