Hey Photographer… there’s something you really need to do when you find yourself comparing yourself to other photographers out there. Well, let’s just put it this way… Stop it!
We’re screaming at you from our screens over here at PBA HQ, stop comparing yourself to others. We all do it, and sometimes we just need a gentle nudge ( read scream ) to shake us out of it.
Maybe you’ve been on IG or FB and have seen photos of other people living their seemingly exciting lives. It only takes a moment to find yourself wishing you had someone else’s career, body, house, or vacation. Or not to mention comparing your photos to theirs! Comparing ourselves to others is usually a common activity between people, but it doesn’t need to be!
You see, there’s a critical flaw in this mental exercise. You simply don’t have all the information. You see other photographers and compare the stage they’re in right now with yours! But you don’t know that maybe they’ve spent 10 years struggling to create that specific photo style. Or perhaps they’ve invested more than $10,000 on multiple courses to be able to know how to edit the way they do. Perhaps All you’re seeing is a snapshot of a moment in time.
We’re always going to compare, it’s human nature. So instead let’s flip the script and develop (over time) a different comparison habit.
Compare Yourself To Your Own Recent Past
How is your figure compared to 6 months ago? How are your finances compared to last year? If you’re making progress, congratulate yourself. Most people aren’t doing nearly as well. They’ve weighed the same 210 lbs. and had the same $1,200 in their bank account for the last 20 years.
If your life isn’t moving forward, then okay, maybe it’s time to pause and have a chat with yourself!
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
We’ve put together a few tips that can help free you from unnecessary comparisons:
Catch Yourself Early In The Process
As soon as you realize that you’re making comparisons to others, shift your focus to something else.
You can control your thoughts, so use that ability to your advantage.
Remember That The Journey Is What Matters
Everyone is on a journey to learn, create, and become something unique. It’s an individual experience that isn’t impacted by what others are doing or accomplishing. Your journey is yours. What’s for you won’t pass you by!
Comparing Yourself To Others Is a Game That Can’t Be Won
There are a lot of people in the world. Through sheer statistics, there will constantly be someone with a more attractive spouse, more money, a better car, or a more interesting life.
There’s no way to compete with 8 billion people in every facet of life.
Look To Your Strengths
Comparisons tend to focus on our weaknesses. We usually compare our shortcomings against others. Embrace your strengths and be proud. Now use those strengths to your advantage. As Dolly said, “Find Out Who You Are And Do It On Purpose“.
List The Things You Have
Comparisons highlight the things we lack. It’s much more productive to think about the things you do have. Your mood and frame of mind will be better, and you’ll be in a better position to compete and succeed.
People Only Let You See The Things That Want You To See
Sure, they’ll let you see their new BMW and the vacation pictures from Maui. But you’ll never see the tears and fights in the bedroom, or the verbal abuse they take from their mother-in-law. Keep in mind that social media is primarily used for showing the good, rather than telling the bad.
It’s Just a Habit
Our lives are filled with habits, and some of them are harmful. Poor mental habits are restrictive. It’s like going through life with the emergency brake on.
Labeling the tendency to compare as a habit has a powerful advantage because we know that habits can be broken.
Comparing Yourself To Others Is Limiting and Self-Defeating
No one can be expected to compare favorably to the vast number of people in the world. Make an effort to limit your comparisons to your own recent past. Are you making progress or backsliding? If you continue to enhance the important areas, your life is likely to be fulfilling and exciting!
So, we’ve got a little mission for you… if you choose to accept it.
Pay particular attention to your thoughts today and tomorrow. Catch yourself quickly when you have a thought that compares you to someone else. Stop that thought in its tracks by replacing it with a short, positive affirmation.
How often do YOU compare yourself with other photographers? Is it holding you back or does it give you inspiration in any way? Let us know in the comments below!