Words of encouragement from someone who needs a lot of them

Complete with real-life examples of how not to be

 

I felt so good last week. I felt focused, I reconnected with a lot of old colleagues to share my new freelance writing website, I cranked out 5 blogs, and I even talked to a few new business leads. I didn’t touch a shred of client (a.k.a. billable) work, and I felt good.

But this week? It’s only Tuesday and I’m off to a decidedly worse start.

Yesterday morning I was doing that thing that’s so easy to do when you’re “social media marketing.” I was creeping. Clicking on this profile and that group until I found myself in a spiral that I’m just now crawling out of. Look at this website! My design will never be that edgy. This woman offers copywriting and web design? Leave some clients for the rest of us! This group is convinced it will change the way I feel about money. Can it change the guilt I’m still feeling about that $17 pizza yesterday? And then this morning I happened upon the Instagram of a mere 26-year-old yogi with a following of 25,000+. You know what made me the most upset? How happy she looked.

That’s when I realized what I was doing. This was no longer “research” for content and design ideas. This was comparison. This was that thief of joy that so many pretty, hand-lettered Pinterest pictures had warned me about.

I did the only thing that I know works. I forced myself to snap the fuck out of it. Quit the app. Closed the tabs. Put on pants and some mascara. Planned an outing to the grocery store—but not before pausing to tell you this.

Comparison is normal. We all do it. What matters is how you let yourself react. Yes, let yourself react. You’re in charge of that shit. You’re in charge of if a nubile yogi’s well-lit photos put you into a tailspin or empower you to get off your ass and create the life you want. You’re in charge of bringing yourself back to reality and realizing we’re all just trying to make it, no matter how many subscribers we have or how many impossibly organized still lives of our desks we post online.

The only person you should ever compare yourself to is you—yesterday.

 

 

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