Good morning lovelies,
Not so long ago, I sat down with Matt after dinner and we watched some TV. We talked about various things and he was playing Football Manager at the same time. He then flicked to Youtube where he started to watch a gaming vlogger play poker, along with thousands of other people on the live feed. He fawned over all of the products this vlogger had for sale, how many subscribers he had and all of the awesome things he’d done and did. I could feel my own blogger identity feeling smaller and smaller, I felt more and more threatened with each passing minute.
Suddenly, I became all-consumed by an emotion that I haven’t felt in a while. I felt jealousy.
Who is this man? How dare he be better than me?!
Sound familiar, fellow bloggers?
The important thing to understand is, each blogger, vlogger or writer works hard at what they do. Those of us who are serious about what we do, don’t really switch off. Our blogs are a project, and a project is never completed. There is always something else that we could do, something else that we could add, something else that we could write about.
I’m sure that the vlogger in question (whose name I do not know, so apologies) often looks at his channel or his work and thinks “I wish I’d done that better” or “I don’t like the way this is”. It’s human! We’re all human! We’d be lying to ourselves and everyone else if we ever said we were completely happy with the way that something is, it’s part of what we human beings do.
How do you think companies sell things with flashing LEDs and smooth, sleek curves? Why do you think advertisements work so well to appeal to us to buy a product because our life may be good but with this amazing shiny new thing, it will be even better? Why do you think beauty products manage to sell new, expensive and not-that-different make-up products by appealing to our want and need to be better? I studied the psychology of advertisements so I understand this completely, but I digress.
My point is we, as humans, are never truly, completely happy with ourselves. In some way, my jealousy was completely normal of me, as a flawed species – as a human.
Now, while emotions may be normal, how we react may not be. How we react to a situation needs to be proportionate to what the situation is.
Handling my own emotions for personal benefit and hopefully some gain? Healthy.
Flying off the handles, smashing up the living room and insisting that my husband never watches said gaming vlogger again? Not so much.
So I came up with a little acronym to help me.. Umm.. COPE. I’ve applied it to blogger jealousy, but you can apply it to any sense of defeat you may be feeling.
Learning to COPE
The first letter is C. C is for Comfort. What can you do, realistically, to make yourself feel more comfortable with the situation? I remembered what my therapist taught me about if I didn’t feel comfortable in a situation and I didn’t need to be in it, then it was perfectly okay to leave it, so I did. I told my husband that it was late and if I was going to get up at early (NB. I did not, but it was well intended) then I needed to get to bed. Instead, I ended up watching clips of Beyond Scared Straight on Youtube and making a note to talk about blogger jealousy. For you, it may be taking a few deep breaths or praising someone for the awesome thing that happened for them, and then changing the topic to something more neutral that won’t instil feelings of inferiority and jealousy in you. Do what you need to do, short of leaping across the room and throttling them.
Secondly, we have O, Optimism. You know, I may have fewer than 300 subscribers and I may have absolutely nothing on the vlogger, but if I believe it enough, I absolutely can get there! I’ve had some wonderful comments on my blog and it means so much that people love what I do. Just because you don’t have hundreds, thousands or even millions of subscribers, doesn’t mean that you can’t get somewhere. As my Ring system likes to remind me each time I add and update a new device: Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Have faith and patience, then keep going.
Third, P for Progress. Progress applies to all things, because it applies to how your content improves as much as it applies to how many more followers you get. Something that I, and my blog, really suffered with for a long time was pictures. I’m a writer, not a photographer. I don’t get and understand all these fancy filters and positions and lighting effects and the such, but then I discovered Unsplash and Pexels. In the same way, you need to be thankful for even one or two likes. Even one more follow means one more person who thinks that what you write and say is interesting, and for that you should always be thankful, I know I am.
Keep a track of your progress. You may not be a big and famous blogger yet, but even just 100 followers is progress from the one or two that you had when you started off. Remember. have patience!
Finally, E is for Enthusiasm. When we feel small, it’s really simple to let go of our enthusiasm and yet it’s so important that we maintain it. It’s fine to take the blow and need to walk away for an hour or two, but then it’s vitally important that we get back on the horse and we carry on as good as and better than before. If you’ve given up, it’s going to show up in your work and people won’t feel energised by what they read. If you want the followers, you need to be willing to put the energy in and keep doing what you do.
Remember, jealously and defeat are perfectly normal, perfectly healthy emotions. There is nothing wrong with admitting to the way you feel, but what does matter is the way you deal with it. It matters for your own health and it matters for how people regard you afterwards. Show that you’re unwavered by the successes of a few people, and your own credibility will thank you for it.
Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful,