This headline has been swirling around my head for years now. It’s a topic not many talk about, and instead, deal with internally. But let me tell you, it’s a serious life hack when you learn not to compare yourself to others. As I sit back on Sunday night reflecting on my fashion week thus far, I found that this somewhat taboo topic was being talked about among my peers. So many of us feel the same pings of comparison – especially in the digital age when everything is in your face. Personally, I think it’s time to start a conversation about it.
Unfortunately, comparison is not so un-common. It’s a human characteristic that plagues everyone at some point in their lives. Maybe you faced it in school, in sports, in work or with friendships. In complete transparency, fashion month tends to only amplify the feelings of comparison, self-doubt, judgement, negativity and down right FOMO – that is, if you let it.
While I know many of you are not fashion bloggers, I know a handful of you reading this are. And you don’t even have to be a fashion blogger to feel it! Simply the act of scrolling through your Instagram feed or working alongside others may be a trigger for those feelings – no matter your career.
We all know so well that fashion month is a time when many of us in the same industry are attempting to attend the same shows, snag the same major brand deals, appear in the same designer’s duds. And what’s unique about the influencer world is that all accolades are extremely public. Dealing with rejection in the face of the Instagram era is a lot more difficult that it seems. An Instagram post showing a blogger in a campaign. An Instagram story from front row of a top show. Growing numbers on platforms, all public for the world – and the rest of us in the industry. You think; Why didn’t I get the deal? Why am I third row? Why didn’t they dress me? Why aren’t my numbers moving?
I won’t lie and say that I’m prone to comparison. I’m definitely not. At times, comparison comes from a place of wanting to compete, and at times, it’s healthy to have a bit of competitive “sportsmanship” edge. But if you’re suffering from insecurities because you’re constantly comparing yourself and don’t think you have what it takes to compete with others, it’s time to reevaluate things.
I’ve worked incredibly hard to prevent comparison from suffocating me and my career. It’s something we all have to work on every time we open up Instagram – am I right? Times like fashion month are when I have to focus internally even more. Because the truth is – if you let comparison get the best of you, you’ll never be your best self. I’m a firm believer in attracting the energy you wish to seek in this world, and energy like doubt and comparison will only amplify your shortcomings, leaving your true potential clouded.
Instead of focusing on what someone else has, create a list of everything you have. Instead of ripping your body, closet, life apart, be grateful for everything that’s you. Let go of negative thoughts you tell yourself; speak kind words, always. These practices might sound cheesy, but without a doubt, they’re what’s gotten me over the mountain of comparison. Even logging off from social media for a day when I feel it creeping in. Just because social media is a large part of our job doesn’t mean it needs to be a large part of our world. Do you; whatever that means for you individually.
Another way to help yourself get through those feelings would be to work on being genuinely happy and interested in your peers’ work. Watching the Winter Olympics Figure Skating, I’ve felt so inspired by the sportsmanship of these young women. They are on the same team but compete against each other. Yet at the end of their performance, they’re genuinely so happy and excited for each other. It’s truly touching to see that kind of love and support between two people who are undoubtedly comparing themselves to each other internally – with the same goal in mind.
The biggest bit of advice I can give is to work on being genuinely happy for your peers’ accomplishments like you would be for a best friend. In a world where women supporting women is more crucial than ever, it’s where I’m choosing to give my attention. To support myself as a woman, to give that blogger with the campaign a “like,” and a genuine congratulations. And to support and love and honor myself among everything else. Will you join me?