I don’t know about your morning routine, I have a habit of watching YouTube videos whilst I get ready in the morning. My phone fits just-so-perfectly on the ledge beneath my mirror and I tap on whatever takes my fancy that morning. Sometimes I watch vlogs from my subscriptions, sometimes TED Talks, sometimes travel guides about places I’m going soon. Sometimes whatever weird stuff YouTube throws at me.
We all know that just because someone’s life looks perfect and aspirational and happy on the internet doesn’t mean it’s always that way in real life.
This morning, the YouTube powers that be suggested I watch one of Patricia Bright’s latest videos, titled ‘How the Internet has made me insecure | Dealing with my insecurity and letting it all out‘. Yep, she who has 955,469 subscribers as I type (and probably hundreds more by the time you’re reading this), feels insecure. If you think I’m gonna say that she shouldn’t feel that way, don’t worry, I’m not. We all know that just because someone’s life looks perfect and aspirational and happy on the internet doesn’t mean it’s always that way in real life. I’ve watched Patricia’s channel for years and always loved her honesty and open-ness (is that a word?) and this video was no exception.
What struck me was just how wrong we can be about what’s going on inside someone’s head or behind closed doors. Never judge a book and all that. In the video Patricia spoke about feeling critical of herself and not confident about her life/success even as she approaches a million subscribers, and she addressed the irony of that and how it actually scares her. Because the thing is, we can’t help but see social media statistics – however big or small – as some kind of validation of our worth, and I can only imagine that gets more stressful and has a greater impact on your mood when numbers reach those crazy levels.
Victoria from InTheFrow’s blog posts about comparison and FOMO made me think a similar way. If even she, one of the biggest bloggers in the country, feels down about herself and her blog from time to time, then what hope is there for us mere mortals? It’d be easy to assume that because someone’s inundated with trip offers and glamourous events and seem to have a happy relationship and live in a beautiful house, that they must be happy and satisfied with life.
No-one, absolutely no-one, is immune to comparison stealing their joy and feelings of inadequacy kicking in.
However, if there’s one thing that these posts and videos (and other well known internetters saying similar things) has told me, it’s that no-one, absolutely no-one, is immune to comparison stealing their joy and feelings of inadequacy kicking in. Which I guess in a roundabout way should be reassuring, to know that everybody feels the same way. Also depressing that the internet has the power to bring even people at the top of their game down. No matter what you do, how ‘successful’ you are, there’s always something else you should be doing and someone else who’s done it better. It’s easy to assume that because someone appears confident they don’t doubt themselves, but seeing more of these open and honest posts has really made me realise that self-assurance is a wishful goal to strive for. Like I said in this post, it’s often only when someone else points out your success that you actually realise it anyway. So instead of striving to feel like I’ve done good enough, I’m gonna accept that someone else will have done better, FOMO will always exist, and use dissatisfaction as motivation to do new things rather than dwell on feeling ‘meh’. 🙂
lily kate x
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Jenny29th October 2016 at 3:37 pm
I often watch YouTube videos in the morning too. It’s nice to take some time out and sit and eat breakfast while watching a video for a nice start to the day 🙂
Lily Kate France30th October 2016 at 11:33 pm
I often do that too, it’s relaxing to heear someone chatting away I think!
Lucy29th October 2016 at 4:14 pm
I try not to compare myself to other bloggers too much (if I did, I would have probably given up by now!!) but can imagine that for those who base their lives around and make a living from blogging, it must be really hard. Rather than saying there’s always someone doing it better, I would say that absolutely everybody does it differently – really, no two blogs are the same! Everyone has something slightly different to offer so we should all start celebrating each other instead xxx
Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy
Lily Kate France30th October 2016 at 11:36 pm
Very wise words Lucy! There’d be no point trying to copy anyway so why compare, right? It must be so difficult not to get stressed by the numbers when your whole livelihood depends on blogging and social media I imagine. I’m quite happy for it to not be that way tbh! Let’s definitely start celebrating each other instead 🙂
Amy30th October 2016 at 6:01 am
I feel everything in this post. I’m someone who is constantly comparing and guilty of not giving myself a pat on the back for the things I have achieved – I notice this most when someone like a friend will point out how cool it is I do this or have done that; makes you realise what you don’t see.
Lily Kate France30th October 2016 at 11:37 pm
I’m so glad you found it relatable, thank you! Let’s be thankful for the friends who remind us how far we’ve come when we’re all caught up in comparison and rushing through 🙂
Sarah30th October 2016 at 4:34 pm
It’s really hard to not to compare yourself to others. I’ve noticed I’ve been pretty bummed out since my blog is nowhere as good as others. Since mine is pretty new. But it’s still hard to stay motivated. I really hope I’ll deal with the negative comments well. But it seems that no matter your following. It’s hard.
Lily Kate France30th October 2016 at 11:40 pm
Your blog looks really nice! It’s definitely easy to get caught up in what you feel you ‘should’ be doing at the start, but taking the time to find your feet and get used to it is important too. Defo is hard whatever the numbers!
Max1st November 2016 at 3:22 pm
Blogs and vlogs have a lot to answer for! Then again, they do keep you on your toes and trying new things. Fomo is tough though. I usually think of it in terms of all the wool I want to buy and cannot. Sometimes I see something I want to do or try and then it adds something to my life. Like the ballet classes I started taking and still have not quit. The truth is that one is always going to be missing out in something. As a reader it must appear very different to a blogger though. Sometimes I feel it is harder if you really want to be successful and you are eyeing up the competition and you just don’t know how to stay ahead of the curve. Sometimes it is easier to enjoy something that is not in your field of expertise, have fun watching it, be inspired, but do not feel the need to turn the critical eye upon the fragile ego.
Lily Kate France3rd November 2016 at 10:48 pm
Don’t they just! I totally get that – because what about the projects you could make, huh? You’re very right – we’re always gonna miss out on something so what’s the point fussing over it really.
Staying ahead of the curve is damn near impossible haha! Interesting to hear from a non-blogger’s perspective what the bloggy world seems like. I agree, sometimes being a spectator is far more inspiring 🙂