'Comparison is the thief of joy'
In some ways the last few months has seen me taking a step back from blogging. In other ways, I've found myself engrossed in it more than ever. While my own content has become more and more irregular, I've been increasingly addicted to consuming other peoples. Something that I'd initially seen as inspirational and creatively stimulating had gradually led me to feel awful about my own presence online. Whether through blogs, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter, I found myself habitually comparing my content to everyone else's and giving myself a really hard time in the process.
The truth is that I've never stopped making content. I've actually been scribbling down more ideas than ever, only to end up second guessing it all and forcing myself back into a creative slump. Hours spent flicking through other peoples images had begun to have a real-life impact on my self esteem and I constantly questioned the quality of my own content in relation to it.
The real problem with comparing yourself to others is that everyone is completely different. I'd beat myself up about a lack of content because I was comparing my upload schedule to people that blog full time. Or I'd end up on the Instagram page of a well established fashion blogger and come away feeling genuinely downbeat because my own wardrobe seemed paler in comparison. One thing that I continually forgot to remember is that not everyone is on the same path - and we're all running our own race.
Over the past couple of days I've dedicated some time to sorting through my social media channels. I've unfollowed accounts that no longer interest me or that regularly have a knock-on effect on my own self confidence. If you were to ask me what I enjoy most about my favourite blogs, my answer would be somewhere along the lines of 'they're not afraid to do something different', which really does speak for itself. I've discovered new content that inspires me and I've found myself genuinely enjoying social media for the first time in months. I'm determined to begin creating content regularly again and get into the habit of making sure that I'm producing something that I'm personally proud of, regardless of what everybody else is doing.
Social media remains to be a huge part of my life and I can imagine it always will be. It's how you use it that matters. Making assumptions about other people based on a small snippet of their life is a dangerous habit to fall into and could ultimately leave you aspiring to something that doesn't even exist. Finding channels that inspire and motivate you is one of the best ways to encourage yourself creatively, which is way more rewarding in the long run.