Don't look at them. Focus!


[source]When I first began this blog, back in the day when blogging was still something that not absolutely everybody did, I decided that I was just going to write for myself. It would be nice if I got some readers, but not essential. My main purpose for it would be to practice writing and try out ideas. And if I didn't write something every day, it wouldn't be a problem.

When I first began this blog, I didn't get stressed.

I'm in the position now where I have a few readers. In fact, there are twice as many of you this month as there were two months ago. (I'm not telling on numbers. Let's face it, I think we all know that this blog is not pulling in the daily mega-hits.) But there are a number of you. And I'm feeling the pressure.

I've got blogging friends, Marilyn, who pulls amazing content out of her hat every single day, and Sophie, who is quirky, arty and takes some great photographs. The regular blogs I read are always good for something thought-provoking. I even get a decluttering blog delivered to my inbox. The writer never misses a day and it's always good stuff.

When I look around and see what others do, I feel the pressure. It's then that I need to take the advice I give to my children when they start to feel overwhelmed and on the edge of failure.

"You just focus on what you're doing. Play Your Own Game!"  

I'm not saying that I can't or don't want to learn from what other people are doing. I'm not saying that I should shun competition. I'm not saying that the answer to feeling stressed is to put your head in the sand.

But I am saying that focusing on other people's successes is counter productive. Feeling jealous of others' success is a waste of time. I'm not them. I can't do what they do. But I can do what I do. Looking at everyone else takes energy and focus away from what I'm doing.

Besides, I'm sure the bloggers I like have all had failures and flops at various points. I'm sure they've been overwhelmed too. We all have.

I need to remind myself to stay sane and calm. I can learn from what other people do but if I get overwhelmed and stressed because I'm trying to be 'just like' someone else, I won't be using the gifts I have been given. 

Do you get stressed when you start to compare yourself to other people?