As a content creator, it’s so easy to compare yourself to the other influencers out there. Dealing with toxic creator comparison is hard when you may be comparing yourself to their followers, engagement, success, sponsorships, photo quality, style, self image, or growth. And that’s okay, because if we’re all really honest with ourselves, we all do it.
The point of this post isn’t to teach you how to not compare yourself to others, because that’s inevitable. I’m here to teach you how to recognize the comparison and diminish the negative effect that it has on you.
So, how can we start recognizing the comparison? I’ll give you a few statements to look out for. If you find yourself saying these things while feeling jealous, unworthy, or less than someone else – you’ve entered the realm of toxic comparison.
“I wish I had ____.”
“My ____ doesn’t look like theirs.”
“I wish that I was feeling or doing ____.”
“That makes me want to upgrade ____.”
“That makes me wish I was at ____ point in life.”
“That makes me wonder if I’m doing ____ right.”
“That makes me feel like I need to be doing ____, but I haven’t yet.”
“I’m no longer proud of the progress I’ve made after seeing ____.”
Notice how I called it “toxic comparison”. Why? Because like I said before, comparison is inevitable but it doesn’t have to impact you negatively.
Toxic comparison is looking at a post and thinking, “Wow, her house looks amazing. I wish that I was able to afford what she can. Maybe if my business was more successful, I’d be able to have a home like that. Am I doing this right? Am I doing enough?”
But comparison doesn’t have to look like that. It could look like, “Wow, her house looks amazing. I’m sure that she’s worked hard for what she has so maybe I can learn from her or allow her to be an inspiration/motivator for me.”
That feels much better, right? It’s all about creating a positive mindset for yourself. Think about what you can learn/benefit from seeing something, rather than being disappointed and jealous of what you saw.
So now that we’ve gotten the basics down for recognizing toxic comparison, I want to give you some extra food for thought as creators:
Hold onto your true “why”. What do you want to change? How do you want to benefit others? That should be more important than anything else. If your “why” is for personal gain of money or fame, you need to find something stronger and more meaningful than that – because that won’t sustain you.
Know what value you bring to the table and focus on doing what you do best. You spending time thinking about how someone else’s content or life is “better” than yours serves no good purpose. Just put your head down and get your sh*t done.
Remember that it’s a highlight reel. People don’t post their failures. People don’t post to announce that they’ve lost their job, gained 20 pounds, suffer with depression, or got hurt in a relationship. Just because someone has a nice home, doesn’t mean that every single part of their life is as perfect as the filtered photo of one part of their life.
If you’re a small creator comparing yourself to someone who has thousands upon thousands of followers – don’t assume that they are better. There are so many possibilities as to why someone could have more growth than you on a social media platform. Maybe they’ve spent more time on the app, maybe they created their profile way before you, maybe they had a video go viral, maybe they’ve posted more and had more exposure, maybe they know exactly how to post to please the algorithm.. The list could go on. Just remember, they aren’t better because they have more followers.
If you’re looking at someone else’s content, wishing yours looked like theirs – use that as your inspo! Obviously you shouldn’t be completely copying what they’re doing, but you can make the idea your own and produce something just as great. And if you feel like you don’t have the resources or know-how, shoot the person a DM & ask, or just do some research and find tutorials or learn how to create on a budget!
This is the last one, and possibly most important. If you’re feeling jealous or insecure everytime that a certain person comes up on your feed – freaking unfollow! Quit making yourself feel bad when you can curate your own feed to inspire you in a positive manner. Follow people who encourage you and make you feel confident in yourself and your abilities.
To wrap this up, I just want to say that social media is a place where we share pictures or videos of a few minutes in our day. What you see isn’t what’s real because it doesn’t include all aspects of people’s lives – only what they want to share. Choose to focus on your work, what you bring to the table, and what you’re grateful for. Xoxo
If you liked this post, you should also check out: