One of the greatest presidents in American History Theodore Roosevelt once said “Comparison is the thief of Joy”. I definitely agree with Mr.Roosevelt on this one! As comparisons can not only steal your joy, but they can also have a negative impact on your career confidence. Many of us find ourselves constantly comparing are career accomplishments to others. We all sometimes feel the need to compare ourselves to our successful peers, sometimes it’s harmless but sometimes its harmful. We all need to kick the comparisons to the curb and start leaving for ourselves because this doesn’t only affect your personal life, but can also have an effect on your career goals.
Let me explain. As an aspiring media professional or creative sometimes you start to compare your career history or portfolio to someone else’s. This is a recipe for disaster. Everyone’s career journey is different and although your work may not be where you want to be right now, you need to remember that:
It sometimes takes others longer than usual to reap the benefits of their work. Patience is key.
Everyone is on a different level. Comparing yourself to a pro or someone who is put in a position were opportunities are thrown at them is unfair.
I will admit I fell victim to the monster of comparison. When I first started writing and blogging I use to constantly compare my work to others and then get upset because I wasn’t achieving some of the great things that other bloggers were. For example I would go on one of my favourite blogs and get upset when I saw all the views, attention and opportunities they were being offered. I would ask myself ‘Why am I not being offered these opportunities?’ ‘Why does no one want to read my blogpost?’. Bare in mind I was comparing my blog to a seasoned experienced writer who was about eight years older than me. It sounds pretty silly when you think about it, but I know we are all guilty of doing this at some stage in our lives. Unfairly comparing ourselves to others is a no no.
These unfair comparisons tend to have an impact on our work. We become so obsessed with someone else’s career that we start to downplay our own career successes. There you are writing u[p a blog post or scribbling down some ideas for a photoshoot and you come across a bloggers recent post that received over 5k likes on Facebook and all of sudden your blogpost that is viewed by 200 people becomes worthless in your eyes. Understand that you have just compared yourself to a complete stranger. You don’t know this person at all yet you have decided to use their career success as a benchmark mark for your own, you have allowed this person’s work to demotivate you and undermine your material. Your work is just as good as anyone else’s and you should never compare or downplay your career accomplishments.
So you may not be exactly where you planned to be in your career at the moment, but remember everyone has their time to shine. So stop comparing yourself to others and use that energy to focus on your own material.
Words: Lateefah-Jean Baptiste
Tweet Lateefah @LATEEFAHJB