A freelance writer I’m working with is hesitating about starting a food blog. She thinks maybe it’s too late. There are so many food blogs now, she said. Maybe she could never catch up or get noticed.
She compared herself to successful food bloggers who started long ago, and wondered if she should bother.
I told her that it was normal to think that way, but no good can come of comparing. When I start thinking like that, I say a little mantra that helps me:
“Some people are not doing as well as I am. Some people are doing better. I’m somewhere in the middle and I am okay with that.”
I thought it applied in this case, because if you only compare yourself to bloggers at the top, you’ll never start your own blog, and you’ll never be satisfied if you do start one. At the other end, nobody compares themselves to bloggers just starting out and wants to be like them. We all want to be superstars. But in the middle, there’s lots of room to do a good job, however you define that.
My mantra evolved from a story an old boyfriend told me. When he became head of sales for a start-up, his boss advised him not to get too down when he couldn’t make a sale, and not to get too high when he closed a big deal. It’s better to be in the middle, he said, staying even, no matter what happens.
Being in the middle might seem mediocre. It doesn’t mean I don’t aspire. It just means I try not to react to the outside world, where it’s so easy to look at what other people accomplish (especially on social media) and feel like a slacker.
You might think the middle seems boring. There’s no drama. But as I’ve aged, I’ve found that I don’t really need much drama as I did before. It’s exhausting! And it’s much more interesting to watch drama from afar in someone else’s life than to have it in my own.
So that’s my mantra, and I’m sticking to it. Do you have a strategy you use to keep yourself sane? I’d love to know.
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