If you are a frequent visitor of Facebook, and I know most photographers are, you will likely suffer from paralysis by comparison syndrome.
You may have followed a couple of your colleague photographers or maybe some photographers that you admire as well and before you know it, your timeline is filled with posts like:
- ‘I have the best job in the world, my clients make me so happy!’
- ‘Another booking and my 2016 calendar is full, thank you sweet clients!’
- ‘My image has won an award!’
- ‘Here’s the wonderful preview of the shoot I did, I love my clients!’
- ‘The wonderful wedding of x and x was featured on this great wedding blog!’
And so on…
You start to wonder if you are doing something wrong since:
- your calendar is not fully booked (yet)
- not all your images win awards
- you only get published once a year when you try really hard and submit it to 10 blogs
- you have a shitty day and you wonder where your clients are since you need more of them!
This is a good time to remind yourself…
Never compare. Period.
Never ever compare yourself or your work to others.
Whenever you start to compare with others you will start to feel worse than the moment before you started comparing.
Why is that?
Very simple. It’s because within you, in your core, you know that you are okay.
You are perfect and good.
And comparing and feeling inferior to someone else doesn’t match that knowing.
And hence, the moment you do it your spirit starts to go down. And sometimes you find yourself completely depleted after a short session of Facebook time.
Let’s stop that and make Facebook inspirational again.
Your perspective is uniquely your own.
And as a photographer, you are embracing that since that is why your images, your art is uniquely you.
The comparison that makes you feel like they are succeeding and you are not is a practised thought, it’s ingrained in our culture and traditions to compare.
It is hard not to compare.
So here are some tips on how to deal with it.
Start unfollowing some peeps on Facebook
It’s a simple step and feels great. It’s also not permanent. You are not unfriending anyone, just not having their updates in your timeline anymore.
I have done this a long time ago and all the updates I still see in my timeline are uplifting and inspiring. Whenever I want to read up on a friend or colleague, I deliberately go to their page and read the latest updates and like the shit out of them ;-)
Whenever I feel my mood go down watching an update from someone on my timeline, I hit the ‘unfollow ….’ menu and that person is no longer on my timeline.
Whenever you are feeling jealousy, frustration, or whatever, the more you focus in that feeling the worse you will feel.
Even if you don’t focus deliberately on that feeling, if you keep doing the same thing (watching and comparing) without even consciously knowing it or choosing it, you will feel worse and worse.
What you want to do then is to stop the negative thoughts and move in the other direction. Start with more positive thoughts.
Since it is nearly impossible to go from:
- ‘I’ll never reach that level of photography’ or
- ‘I’ll never be as good as x’
- ‘I am a top photographer and I am rocking my business’
I advise you to go general. Start with general thoughts:
- ‘I am learning and improving every day’ or
- ‘My photography is what I love to do, my clients love my work’.
Reach for a thought that feels better to you and the next thought will be accessible to you.
There is always room to feel a little better when you make an effort to choose a better feeling thought.
Let today be the day that you start to deliberately choose your thoughts and change your life.
Enjoy your Facebook timeline from now on and don’t let it take away any of your joy of creating!
Advise Tip 3 based on the teachings of Abraham Hicks. Hope you like it!