You know that feeling when you “end up” on your competitors’ page and all of a sudden a thousand anxious thoughts fill your head?
“I really need to step up my game.“
“I should be posting more.“
“She’s got double my followers, she’s probably got an inbox full of enquiries – god, I really need more bookings, things have been slow the last few weeks.“
“That post is good, and why is she getting so many comments?? She is good.”
And so on.
It’s all good to say you should not compare yourself to others, but in the age of social media sometimes it’s really inevitable. We are on each other’s faces – or feed – almost all the time.
If it’s not a post on a group it’s an ad, or a recommendation, or whatever else.
But if comparison is (almost) inevitable, you have a choice over what happens next.
If you are still at a stage where those anxious thoughts follow you to bed – breathe, please. You have time.
Step away, close your laptop, throw your phone away (figuratively!) and forget about it all for a while.
Focus on what you have achieved so far. Chances are, it’s pretty fucking amazing.
Go back to where you started, how many things you have figured out. Go back to when your page had 15 followers and you had no solid plan to get more. Go back to shooting for free for family and friends.
Everything that’s happened between there and now, including taking your business through months of lockdowns and no shooting, it’s yours. You have built it.
And you will keep doing the same. It’s going to be ok.
If, instead, you have already mastered the art of “staying sane when your demons come visit”, I have a challenge for you.
Learn to keep your eyes open. Don’t run.
Learn to stare those demons in their eyes – and see what they have to teach you.
Learn from your fear.
Learn to sit in the eye of the storm, stand in that space between “she’s better than me, I am going to fail” and “fuck it, who cares” and see if there is a lesson in there for you.
That fear might be showing you something that you know, deep inside, you have not mastered yet.
Something you are missing, or have been neglecting for a while.
An “I keep meaning to…” or “I really should be…”
Whatever that is, deep inside you know you’ll have to face it, at some point.
And that point is now.
So go master it.
Feeling on the brink of burnout? Read our guide “Photographers on the brink of burnout“
Thinking about our Marketing Mentoring programme? Read this first