“How do you not get discouraged by the success of others?”

Updated February 5, 2016

I got an email the other day from someone who basically asked, “How do you not get discouraged by the success of others?”

I think this is a great question and one I’m sure we all deal with from time to time.

Comparing myself to others is absolutely a struggle of mine. I have not conquered it, but here’s my basic process for dealing with it.

1. It happens, deal with it

I do get discouraged by the success of others, plain and simple. I often hear (and have said myself!) things like, “Blogging is not about competition, but community.” Or, “Blogging is not about competition, but collaboration.”

To an extent that’s true, but let’s face it, most of us are comparing ourselves to others on some level or another. (I wonder how much traffic she has? I wonder how much money he’s making? Look how many Facebook fans she has. I wish I had that opportunity. Wow, look at how many comments she got!)

If those are thoughts that run through your head, recognize them. Don’t act like they aren’t happening. It’s much easier to fight the beast (and live) if you’re willing to accept that it exists.

2. Call it what it is

When thoughts like those do run through your head, be honest. Where do they come from? Jealousy? Envy? Or maybe you feel inspired and you really don’t have ill feelings about the other person.

Mostly my thoughts fit within the jealousy/envy category, but sometimes the negative stuff really is absent and I can sincerely be happy for someone else. But when the feelings are negative and wrong, I need to face that and recognize it as such.

If it’s sin, confess it and then ask for grace going forward.

3. Rewrite the script

Change the subject in your brain. Move on to something else. If those thoughts start rollin’ in, slam the “pause” button. I actually envision myself punching a “pause” button sometimes. It’s a surprisingly effective trick.

4. Avoid it

I find the best way to fight jealousy and discouragement is to avoid them altogether. Don’t even go there. Don’t check out what she wrote today. Don’t look at the number of comments. Don’t compare follower numbers. Just don’t. Pull out your to do list and do your own thing.

5. Compare down, not up

Why is it that we always compare ourselves to those who have more than us but rarely compare ourselves to those who have less than us?

I’ve recently tried to make a habit of comparing myself to those with less than me. I find it encourages generosity toward others, rather than grasping at things for myself. I want to be generous. I don’t want to be a green ogre.

6. Practice gratitude

When I really stop and think about what I do have, it’s pretty much blows my mind. From the unexpected gift of a close parking space to a really fantastic family, I could spend all day listing out the things for which I’m grateful. Thinking about those things has a way of pushing the other stuff out.

7. Reach out (and a real life story)

As I mentioned, sometimes I just need to avoid whatever it is that pulls me into the jealousy / discouragement vortex. On the other hand, sometimes facing it is exactly what deflates the entire overgrown monster. I’ll give you a real life example that happened to me. (She has no idea I’m saying this and I don’t think she’ll mind.)

So, I was blogging for many years in my closet. Not literally in my closet, but I didn’t talk to anyone online. I was content to do my own thing. By myself. Leave me alone. Don’t talk to me. Because I’m part hermit.

Anyway, I thought I’d start a web design business to make some cash. It was my first real foray into making money online. So, I put a site together and got a few clients.

At the same time, everyone around me was talking about Joy from Five J’s Design. I visited her site on several occasions and even though I had never met her or interacted with her, I decided I didn’t like her. Why? Because I was jealous of course.

Then I went to a blogging conference in 2010 and guess what? I met her. And guess what? It was LIKE! at first sight.

Have you ever met one of those people that you think, Oh my stars, this girl gets me. Who else in this world appreciates the beauty of CSS and HTML and has a pastor for a husband ALL AT THE SAME TIME!?!? Five J’s, that’s who.

Late nights chatting on Skype about marriage, being a pastor’s wife, kids and life ensued. Design ideas (mostly her sharing her design wisdom and knowledge with me, not the other way around) abounded.

We’ve hung out and our kids have played together at the park. We’ve gone out for dinner. We’ve commiserated.

And then, when I decided I didn’t really like design after all? I hired her to design for me and I had someone I could confidently refer others to.

Sure, sometimes I wish she would lend me some of her brain cells, but you know what? I’ve got a brain too and we eventually decided that together, with her design ability and my usability ideas, we make a pretty good team.

My point is, the whole jealousy thing with Joy that I had built up in my mind has since evaporated. Completely. I’m sad when I think of what I would have missed if I had never gotten over what I thought she was like. I was so wrong.

In conclusion…

I won’t say, “Never compare yourself to others,” because you might.

I won’t say, “Never be discouraged with the success of others,” because it’s hard not to.

What I will say is, don’t sell yourself short by entertaining, embracing and nurturing those thoughts. Fight ’em. Hard if you have to.

I saw a quote once, “Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.”

It’s true.

91 thoughts on ““How do you not get discouraged by the success of others?””

  1. This is amazing Amy thank you so much. It’s exactly what I needed to read. I know I’m getting better at pausing the thoughts and reframing them, especially when I now google to get amazing advice like this on how to do that! Congrats on your friendship and your success and thanks again for sharing on this.
    Laura x

  2. Geez, as a fellow blogger, I’m jealous of YOU. hee hee. I would kill to have this many comments one even ONE of my blog posts! I just returned from my husband’s high school reunion in NYC. Upon meeting the wife of one of his childhood friends, I said, “I’m a writer — I spent 15 years as a corporate writer and now I write a blog.” Then I asked what she did: She’s written four novels and one memoir, founded a well-known magazine and served as executive editor at several others. I wanted to melt into the floor with embarrassment. Me and my silly little blog. I eventually worked up the nerve to give her my business card; she said she’d look at my blog and get back to me. That was two weeks ago. If she DID take the time to look at it, she may have found it unprofessional and didn’t even feel it worth her time to comment. Anyway, I’ve been crying every day over this, and I feel like such an ass. I have to remember: I love writing my blog….I pour my heart and soul into it…and if even just ONE person reads an article, then I’ve turned somebody on to something new. Thanks for your excellent essay.

  3. This was an inflating issue for me a few weeks ago. I wondered why few people were commenting on my posts; why I had few subscribers. Was I not likable? Was my work not interesting to others? And then that comparison bug bit me hard as I saw others praised for painting a door when I had recently built a door from scratch. I was upset, discouraged, and even hurt. Blogging is a public declaration of self, and my self worth was being beaten.

    Then, I was humbled by a still, soft voice. 🙂 It whispered to me, “If you are waiting for other people to notice you, imagine how many other people feel the same.” Then my mind reset back to my original blogging demeanor. I set out to leave the comments and build the relationships I wished to have too. I started being the helper, rather than the girl behind the screen waiting for handouts in a crowd of millions seeking to be noticed.

    I can’t say that now I have an amazing and robust community, but I started to get quality comments and subscribers. I made a dear, good friend in the time frame of a few weeks. I feel like I’ve known her my whole life and we e-mail each other nearly every day. More importantly, I comment often now. I’m hear to listen, and I’m hear to share in kind.

    The funniest thing is, Just yesterday, when I had least expected it, someone featured one of my simplest projects on their site. I smirked and thanked that still, soft voice for teaching me so gently.

    1. LOL! That is awesome. You should coin the phrase. I read it and just figured I was behind the times as my children so quickly like to point out. 🙂

      I’m glad you could relate to the post. Down with jealousy, indeed!

  4. YES. A million times YES! I was just comparing FB likes and researching how to grow a blog while simultaneously asking the Lord…’why am I not as good as these people?’ or ‘why didn’t I start all those years ago like them?’ ‘Why don’t I get HTML?’!!! So, I googled ‘blogging discouragement’ and HERE you were 🙂 I am a FB fan and follower of you anyway….so blessed to have read this tonight. I HOPE I can get over this and just enjoy blogging without feeling the envy every step of the way!

  5. My blog has only been up and running for two weeks now, and I find myself doing it ALL the time… “How am I ever going to get there??” Not to mention the aggravation in trying to figure out this whole computer techy thing. I really appreciate the prospective you have put this in for me and I may have to bookmark this page so that I can come back to it when I find myself becoming discouraged.

  6. The writer in me would see this on another tangent (and an essay lesson): Compare and contrast. As a former English teacher, I’d use this writing tactic on my students as a way for them to learn to find similarities and differences, and how to make these compliment each other.

    It’s the same in blogging: When I find a site that I might be tempted to envy (Hello, Pioneer Woman and the Work at Home Wife), I begin thinking of ways I am similar to them and ways that I am different. Maybe one day my blog can be something that marries my two favorite sites — who knows? The thing is to not get discouraged, be humble and learn from the best.

    For the record, I also used to envy this blog. Just a leeeetle bit. 😀 😀

  7. Amy,
    I could not resist commenting, because this post made me laugh out loud.
    I have a list of a very few sites I visit regularly, one of them is yours, and MoneySavingMom is the other. I have also been drooling over JJ’s Five Designs more than a few times, waiting for the day when I’m making money so I can afford her awesome work, lol. 😉

    The Lord has been really been impressing on my heart that instead of pouring over other sites, I should learn from them and learn how to improve my own site.
    It made me laugh that you mentioned JJ’s Five Designs when your site is one of the ones I tend to envy. I suppose it just goes to show you we’re all human, no matter how awesome or humble our websites are!

    1. Well, I appreciate your kind words Christina and totally hear ya! I’m envious of Joy too. That girl is somethin’ else! 🙂

  8. Wow, what a fantastic post!! I feel this way sometimes, but I have found that sometimes a great deal of inspiration comes from it. I like to look at other successful blogs as a reminder to myself, that yes they have more traffic, but there is nothing stopping me from gaining that much traffic either. The “web” has MILLIONS and MILLIONS and MILLIONS of people constantly searching for content. Just as I stumbled across this post and your website, I know that others will stumble upon mine. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and words of encouragement!!!

  9. Thank you Amy. I’ve had a blog for a long time and almost no one looks at it. I see women out there making money from home using their talents and I feel like I’m just too dumb to do it too.

    Thanks for this : )

    1. Oh no way…I was the same. I blogged for over 6 years before I made any money. Slow and steady… 🙂

  10. Thanks for this post Amy. I mostly feel jealous about bloggers who are already friends and comment on each other’s blogs and go to conferences together. As a new blogger I kind of feel like the outsider looking at the cool kids’ lunch table. When I start thinking about it too much I feel so embarrassed that I don’t even know how to jump in. It’s nice to see that a great blogger with lots of comments still deals with jealousy too.

    1. Oh I’m the same way! I still feel outta the loop much of the time. I’m an introvert so for me, it takes a lot to step out and make contact with others. In fact, I was blogging for 6 years before I really started commenting on other blogs. And even still I don’t comment a whole lot. It’s not because I don’t want to, but sometimes I struggle to know what to say without it sounding forced. You are not alone! (If you have a chance to go to a blogging conference, I would highly recommend it. I was a nervous wreck at my first conference but was pleasantly surprised when everyone was so friendly and welcoming.)

  11. Oh, this really hit home with me. I started my blog at the exact same time as another person who happens to live in my same city. We have the same blog topic with a slightly different slant. At first we were both up-and-coming and learning things together and emailing occasionally. Then her blog blew up…it got HUGE and I got jealous. I got angry every day when I would read her blog, thinking at times that she was stealing post ideas from me. Whether she was or not, I don’t know. But, no matter what she posted I got mad. I didn’t think I was jealous at the time, but looking back I definitely was. I finally stopped reading her blog and deleted her from my feed. Not out of spite, but because I knew it wasn’t good for me to subject myself to all of that anger.

    Now, her blog has 20,000 Facebook fans and mine has 1,000. Would I like more? Yes. But I have been able to release that jealousy and focus on myself. I changed the direction of my blog slightly and no longer feel like I have to keep up with Jones’ of the blogging world. Plus with a little bit of distance from the situation I can see that she has more readers and more money, more everything because she works harder than me. She posts 5 times more posts than I do and posts about every single topic imaginable. I can’t do that. So she deserves her success because she has worked really hard for it. And I’m happy in my little niche now. But it took a long while for me to get here and I still occasionally get those thoughts of “Why didn’t *I* get that opportunity?”

    Thanks for such a great article about a somewhat Taboo topic. It really did speak to me, so thank you!

  12. Nice post! I am not much of a believer in conventional religion, and don’t pray regularly. But after reading this post, I did say a silent prayer to get a hold on my own personal battles and it is amazingly very calming!

    Thanks for coming out and saying it as it is.

  13. Thank you SO much for this article! I’m just getting started blogging and feel like I must have had my head in the sand for the past 10 years! There is so much to learn! Actually, I’ve been a little busy with homeschooling 4 little ones, but I keep getting down on myself. Self doubt is a major factor in quitting, I’m sure. Thanks for the inspiration. I didn’t realize there were so many people feeling the same way!

  14. This was such a wonderful post! It really is so hard to not get wrapped up in the feeling of “how much more others can do than you can!” It’s really one of those concepts where you have to rely on the Lord to help and strengthen you! We are all amazing people and need to realize everyone is always looking at everyone wishing they could be like them. The difference between jealousy verses admiration is love.

  15. I think it’s key to first recognize the spiritual issue when we (I) get jeoulous. We can call it fuzzy, fluffy names, but it’s sin. You’re so right.

    There’s also practical things we can do, just like your suggestions to “Avoid it”. I found myself tickled when my stats jumped within the first few days of advertising on a website with a great on-line presence. [I need very specifics, so I’ll give very specifics. My unique visitors averaged around 10-ish for quite some time. Then, the first day of advertising on a particular site, I 42 (or so), the next couple days were 105, and 90’s.] When you’re brand new to blogging, that’s HUGE. The visitors then dropped a little (~50’s), but they were still very “healthy”. BUT I was a little dissappointed (ungrateful). Then they dropped to 30’s. Then…

    I got to thinking, “I better start being appreciative for what God has given me before He has them drop any more.” It’s so easy to be the ungrateful kid with two handfuls of candy, overflowing on the ground, and think… “Why don’t I have any candy in my pockets???!!!”

    Because of this, I decided to NOT look at my Google analytics until I knew they would be high numbers. Instead of looking at them daily or numerous times per week, I haven’t seen my stats in 2 MONTHS!! I do, however, notice the FB likes and comments. For me, it’s been much easier to handle the emotional roller-coaster of jealousy or UNGRATEFULNESS this way.

  16. I was kind of shocked when I first read that you sometimes feel this way too because you are so generous with sharing with others the how to’s and the ins and outs and because I see you as being so confident and successful. It was actually pretty freeing for me to remind myself again that we are all human (even you) and struggle with insecurities. I appreciate you sharing your feelings and your personal story about your friendship that may not have been if you had let jealousy win. I’m glad you got past it and were able to focus on your strengths instead of comparing. I am going to practice this today. For me, it’s not so much about jealousy as it is about insecurity, negative thoughts and that kind of thing, but this article was super helpful in that. Thanks Amy!

    1. Oh yes, everyone’s human just like the rest of us. (P.S. I know the insecurity monster just as much as I know the jealously one. Right there with ya.) 🙂

  17. Thank you for taking the time to write this post, Amy. I am brand new to writing blogs, long tine reader, and I have already begun to be have jealousy rise up. What you wrote about not comparing yourself to others was a wonderful statement. Also, thanks for the personal example of how you dealt with “comparison”

  18. Oh Amy this is so timely. I was recently on a forum where a woman was so happy she had hit 100,000 visits. I was happy for her a little jealous but mostly in awe. I asked her how long she has been blogging. Her answer was since 2007. So I couldn’t really compare myself to her could i? I just started. Thanks for this post.
    Linda
    PS – It’s nice to meet a fellow believer. 🙂

    1. Yes, so many differences in our experiences and situations that comparing ourselves is never fun. Just be yourself! 🙂

  19. Amy – Thanks so much for this! Esp. LOVED your story about Joy @ Five J’s – Timely post for me as I was just chatting with a friend at the gym this A.M. who’s about to embark on her own personal blogging journey and I was recommending both your site and Joy’s to her! Thanks for all your insight, wisdom, encouragement and experience!

    Molly

  20. Amy, I love your article! I think, given the number of responses you got and my own experiences, we are all in this boat together. 🙂 My blogging is very different from yours, in that it is not a money making blog, but there is still that desire for readers.
    In some ways, I think a lot of what stirs up envy, jealousy and discouragement is having a wrong motivation for our blogs. I have to step back and examine my motives daily. If I’m only out for the numbers, then my heart is amiss. Again, my blog is not a money maker, but I hope that it is a “fruit bearer”. Even if one person reads it and gets something out of it (knowledge, encouragement, a different perspective…) than it was worth it. I’ve blessed someone else.
    Thanks for sharing! You have encouraged and blessed ME! 😀 Blessings on you and your site!

  21. The FIRST thing I did was look at how many comments were on the post! We’re not even in the same niche! What’s wrong with me!?!

    LOL, seriously though, the jealousy monster grabs hold of me often. It’s most likely related to design though. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my design. But I’ll see something cool and all of a sudden I HAVE to have it right now. Which has resulted in me breaking my blog way too many times, because I have NO business messing with my own CSS.

    I think that there would not be as much jealousy if the people that you look up to and admire were more “touchable”. Like you did with Joy, I have built up some of the big players in my niche into people that would likely want nothing to do with me…so I have it in my head that I probably wouldn’t like them anyway. Now, do I know ANY of this for a fact? No, I actually don’t. In fact the one big person in my niche that I do have some level of contact with is always responsive and kind when I email her. I think it’s just a defense mechanism though. Their big #’s and busy-ness can be ignored if I think they are all just mean stuck up people (which most likely they are NOT! You don’t get massively big if you are just a jerk).

    Sometimes I feel like if I could just chat with some of the big players in my niche in a laid back friendly way, I’d get over so many of my insecurities. Because I’d have to realize that they were real people just like me.

  22. So first off, am I the only guy reading this blog?? lol Seems based on the comments I might be…

    Great question and great write-up. Definitely something I’ve struggled with, especially when it comes to Darren Rowse (aka Problogger). What I try to do though is think to myself: They are really no different than me, and rather than be discouraged, I try to use their success to encourage me in what I can become and can do if I work hard.

    I posted my side income earnings for the first time ever today on my blog and was really hesitant as I didn’t want to discourage anyone or have anyone feel I was rubbing it in their face. But, I decided to go ahead as I wanted to encourage those readings to show them what they could do.

    I enjoy reading your site,

    Larry – Your only male reader 🙂

    1. Nah, you’re not the only male reader despite how it feels. True, there’s more women here, but you men always offer such great, practical insight. So, please stick around! I agree, it’s always important to remember that even though some bloggers feel celebrity-ish, they’re no different from any of the rest of us. And you’re right, if they can do it, we all can, right? Great point.

  23. My goodness, I have jealousy problems and “closet blogger” problems. I’m working hard to overcome both and your tips are very helpful. I also try to remind myself that I didn’t start blogging to become popular or even to make money but simply because I wanted to work on improving my talents and share my knowledge with others. So really this blogging thing is about me and I ask myself where comparing myself to all those other fantastic bloggers fits in with my purpose… well, frankly, it doesn’t.

  24. Amy~
    Your candidness on this topic is absolutely refreshing! Thank you for saying what so many of us are thinking, but don’t WANT to say. And equally, in fact, more importantly, I thank you for bringing in the spiritual aspect…it is sin and it is wrong, not healthy, not something that will make us better. Yucky, ugly sin and we must humble ourselves.
    Many blessings to you,
    Amy

  25. Amy, that was so well said!!

    Because you asked, I do have a thought or two…
    Jealousy all begins with a single thought. Although it’s easier said than done, we need to take every thought captive. (2 Cor 10:5).
    The Apostle Paul told us how to think in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” If we are able to do that we will think the best of others.
    And then I’m reminded of the great commandment: Matthew 22:37-39 ” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
    There’s plenty there to live by. The question is….will we make the wise choice? Or will we stick our toes into the green pool of jealousy?

    P.S. I’m not one to throw out scripture willy nilly. And just because I know all this doesn’t mean I always do what I should. But when these verses come to mind….I then must choose how I will think.

    Thanks Amy for tackling a tough subject head on.

  26. Amy, I love this post. Love it.

    I think you hit the nail on the head in #3 about confessing- being honest with God that we feel like we’re not enough (and that someone else is). The root of all of this, at least for me, is that we’re not exactly confident in the ‘different’ that God made us. Instead, we’d rather just be someone or something else. 🙂

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  27. VERY well said! I haven’t gotten myself out there the way I should (the way I wish I would have). I am considering going to Blissdom next year. I live 30 minutes from Nashville so I have NO excuses!!

  28. I’ve had a lot of jealous thoughts creeping up in my mind since I started blogging and since I became a mother! People warned me that this would happen, but I had no idea what it meant. Then, BAM-there it was. My general reaction has been to stuff it down and avoid those people.

    What I find the most helpful is getting to the root of my jealousy. Most often, I find that it’s not that I’m inadequate comparatively. What I discover is that I’m not making the best use of my gifts. And, I use that jealousy to motivate me to action, to be better, to work smarter, and to be inspired. It’s not easy, but that’s the approach I TRY to take. I also remind myself that we all have different gifts. Sure, I don’t know squat about code or HTML. But, I know about other things! 🙂

    Another tactic that I find useful is mentoring others. You mentioned comparing down and not up, and it’s similar to this. But, what I mean is teaching others what I have learned, what I am good at. Not only does this empower others to grow, it makes me strive to be better and do better.

    Excellent post, Amy. Applies to so many areas of my life, not just blogging!

    1. Yes, such a great suggestion to pass on what you know/have to others. Definitely my goal as well. Thanks, Keri!

  29. Wow. I’m jealous just seeing how many comments you already have….

    Just kidding… 😉 I write my blog because I like to. I don’t feel like I’m in competition with anyone (at least most days I don’t!) I’ve gotten steadily more page views and unique visitors every month so I’m happy with that.

    Also, I look at other blogs and don’t feel jealousy mainly because most of the blogs I vist (frugal blogs) have been around a LOT longer than mine so I’m realistic in my expectations. I guess I just know that if I keep going and keep putting up original content that my readers enjoy, I’ll get there eventually!

    Really great post, by the way!

    Anne
    DailyCouponAdventures.com

  30. WOW – can I first give you *wild applause* for your blunt honesty? I think I hear a collective sigh of relief across the blogosphere…

    Here’s one thing that has helped me. When I feel jealous or competitive, I try to harness those negative feelings in something positive for my blog. And when I start an ambitious post series, humor piece, etc – now suddenly my focus becomes on me, and what I’m doing on my site. I find doing things on my site that make me feel unique have DEFINITELY helped the jealousy feelings.

    I also wanted to add, and I’m sure you weren’t headed here, but – I would caution folks in how or if they “compare down.” You don’t want to find yourself at the opposite end of the spectrum. You know that old saying, “Pride and shame are sisters?” 😉 While I whole heartedly recommend reaching out to bloggers who are newer/have less traffic/etc than you, just watch your thoughts and judgment so pride doesn’t take over, either.

    Thanks so much Amy, for a wonderful post and opening up great conversation here!

  31. Amy – thanks so much for your encouragement – I especially love #3 and #6 because it helps me to refocus. I know in my heart that every sucessful blogger got to the place they are at with good old hard work and I am not afraid of that. My biggest “jealousy” right now is that I don’t have the time needed to put in that hard work. That is where #3 comes in and I thank you again so much! 🙂

    1. Oh, right there with ya on that! Even if I spent 24/7 online, I still think I’d want more time. I just have so much fun! 🙂

  32. thanks Amy! This is such a good thing to be reminded of… competition and jealousy are the devil’s tools. And confession is the Lord’s victory!

    I loved the story you shared about Joy… she’s an incredible woman, isn’t she? What a gift she’s been to me, and so many others.

  33. You know what’s crazy…I was just doing this over the weekend! I met with two amazing bloggers…and I started this comparison in my mind.

    You know what — God completely stopped me in my tracks.

    Through church on Sunday and through a book I’m reading, I felt like God literally took it away. I had an a-ha moment. It was simply this: 100 years from now, does this matter? Will it matter that my stats are low? Will it matter that my blog wasn’t as big as someone else’s?

    No way.

    Seeking to glorify God and point to Him no matter what I do — blogging, mothering, etc. is what I’m called to. If I’m doing that, I don’t have to worry about my stats! Of course, I’m sure I’ll still have to remind myself… 🙂

  34. Oh my lands. I love this post’s guts right out!

    You are so on target with this. It is hard not to be jealous and pouty when you think others get all the attention/stats/offers/etc.

    Thank you for your honesty, Amy!

  35. Amazing post (as usual) Amy! Thank you for addressing something EVERY blogger struggles with whether they admit it or not. Your transparency and honesty is truly refreshing. And your advice is spot on! As another commenter mentioned, God knows just where we each need to be and what we can handle. He is avidly working in our lives. I “try” to choose to trust Him where He has me and not concentrate too much on numbers or competition. This has been a huge blessing this summer as I have not had the time to put into my blog as usual. It’s so nice to be “ok” with it just as it is.

  36. It’s simple but I count my blessings, name them one by one. Of course, I run out of steam before I run out of blessings but I believe God has a Plan for Me that only I can fulfill. If I’m trying to fulfill your plan, or envious of your blessings, I’m missing out on my own.
    Not good. Not good at all.
    It took me years to become content, happy and secure with myself. When that happened, the insecurities melted away, leaving me to enjoy God, life, self and others…oh how I can now enjoy Other People and their successes! What an incredible gift that has been in my life! I can be happy for other people! I’m also happy for myself and for the work and life He has set before me, allows me to have. Yes, it’s difficult and, sometimes, downright hard. My husband has terminal cancer but that’s allowed us to see each day as a gift in the present; time is sweeter, days more precious.
    Life is, simply, MORE.

  37. Wow, I needed this! I blog but I have just started so I don’t struggle with it so much as far as my blog. I DO struggle with it when I read how ‘put together’ other ladies are at home! I read several homemaking/ frugal living blogs and I find myself thinking why can’t I be that organized, what’s wrong with me.. blah blah blah. I have to make myself remember that I am unique and God made me with a completely different set of talents. Thanks for the post and the reminder!

  38. Great Post! Jealousy is so self defeating, but we all go there. Recognizing it and moving beyond is the best solution. Hopefully we can all be inspired by those that are doing a better job and succeeding. Thanks!

  39. God has taken my insecurities and has transformed them into a blog where there is no name, it is not listed. there is no way to take credit and thus i know i am not in a race to catch up with anyone else, i am moving to my own pace. it has been a humble step, but quite freeing. i had a reader comment that “this seems like a calm place” the Lord confirmed for me exactly what i wanted for it to be 🙂

  40. I don’t know if it’s jealousy or just “Trying to keep up with the Joneses”. Is there a difference? LOL
    I don’t find myself disliking other bloggers due to their success, but rather trying to find how I can follow in their footsteps.

    I need to recognize it’s not going to look exactly the same since our experience, family life, and backgrounds all differ.

    But I do find I am trying to keep up with the “big blogs”. At the same time, I really enjoy helping others who don’t know what I know because I was once there, too, and there was someone there to help me.

    So, maybe discontentment is the word for me? Still something that needs to be kept in check though, otherwise I’ll work myself to death and neglect things that are more important. {You know what they are}. 🙂 (Though, I don’t see blogging as “work” lol)

    1. I hear ya. I really enjoy blogging and don’t see it as “work” either. That’s why it’s so easy for me to get all out of balance. 🙂

  41. Lisa Cash Hanson

    This is funny because I think every human on the planet struggles with this at one point or another. Some things that help me when I find myself doing it is to remember God said if you compare yourself to others you are not wise.

    I try to remind myself that there is no one NO one on earth like me I’m the only one. God has a divine plan and a divine destiny that only I can fill and if I focus on the plan of others’s it’s just a distraction from my own destiny.

    Another thing that helps me is I just start thanking God for everything He has already done for myself an my family…then the focus is on HIM and not on all the things I’m jealous of LOL.

    Lastly I was watching a preacher who said recently ” If you think the grass is greener on the other side it’s because you can’t see the poop from where you are” I think that sums it up pretty good :))

  42. This is something I ,too, am working on now, mostly in the form of confidence. If I am confident in who God made me to be and in what HE is doing in my life, then I won’t be jealous or intimidated by the success of others. I will be inspired by it. I will know that HIS timing for me is perfect. If my focus is on allowing Him to mold me into what He wants, then when HE says it is my time, then I will truly be ready.

    So, my step towards this is continuing to get to know Him in such a way that I can’t help but be CONFIDENT that HE has begun a Good work in me. When I do feel jealousy in my heart, I will, as you said, confess it, but will also use that time to reflect on His faithfulness in my life so far.

  43. “Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.”

    pretty much sums it up. It’s tough to celebrate the success of others, but Karma is always watching.
    great post

  44. GREAT post Amy! I love the way you point out so boldly that jealousy is sin and we need to ask forgiveness. It’s amazing how quickly that feeling passes once you’ve recognized it and repented from it. Also, I tend to take your #6 a bit further and reach out to the people “below” me. I find it incredibly rewarding to encourage someone along who is struggling even more than I am. And God rewards this behavior too. After I was disappointed by the response one of my digital scrapbooks was getting in the Shutterfly gallery I started leaving encouraging remarks on other people’s work. Not only did my book get more attention (people returning the favor so to speak) but my effort to encourage others was noticed by Shutterfly and was the reason I was asked to be part of the Shutterfly Guru program. 😉

  45. I think we all struggle with this at one time or another! Thank you for sharing some great tips to avoid that discouragement! If we let jealousy take over, we will miss out on the incredible blessing that the blogging world can be! 🙂

  46. Thanks for this great post, Amy. It’s one of those hidden sins that people don’t like to talk about. One thing that has helped me is to realize that when I compare, I’m likely comparing my blog beginning to someone else’s blog “middle.” And there’s really no way to compare.

    Thanks for your helpful tips, hints, and nudges in the right direction. Even if we’re quiet about it, rest assured that MANY are listening (or reading), 🙂

    1. “I’m likely comparing my blog beginning to someone else’s blog “middle.”

      Yes, great point, Julie.

  47. Oh gosh Amy…the timing of this is scary. I have been trying to improve my blog and in the process have been driving myself crazy comparing my blog to others. I look at side bars and think “Oh I wish mine looked like that.” I look at followers and facebook likes. It’s all so stupid. Anyway, I am realistic enough to know that I have probably missed the boat in the home/garden blog ocean. And it’s huge ocean. I’m about 2 years too late. I think the big blogs will remain the big blogs unless they quit. There are too many newer blogs to even count or keep track of. The bottom line is that I need to continue for the right reasons. I need to keep going because I like it and because it fulfills something missing in my life. I started my blog to battle empty-nest syndrome and I have to admit that I am fully recovered! So I guess that’s a good thing…there are still things I want to do with my blog and I have goals I would like to meet. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I am a faithful follower and appreciate all the help you generously give.

    1. “I need to keep going because I like it…”

      Yes! That’s definitely key. Discouragement comes so much quicker when we aren’t enjoying what we do.

  48. All true. Great post and point well taken about what you might have missed. Thanks for sharing. (It is easy to wish you had followers, commentors, or ideas like other bloggers out there and to be a little bit envious). Or just plain happy that someone is successful.

  49. God knows what we need right when we need it…
    And I needed this RIGHT Now!
    Thank you Amy!
    thank you so very much !

  50. It is really tough not to compare and get discouraged. I have a tendency to look at the best example of what I hope to accomplish, and feel like a failure if I don’t reach the same level in short order. I have learned in my years of blogging that it’s more important to be myself, and I can be proud of even the smallest successes if they were accomplished on my own terms. There are ways in which other bloggers make lots of money that are absolutely against my nature. I have been tempted to switch gears, especially when times are tough, but I know I wouldn’t feel good about myself if I was trying to be someone I’m not. I hope that eventually my hard work and personal blogging style will pay off 🙂

      1. @Jen – I completely understand how you feel. I started my online business in the fall of 2010 and follow several others in my niche. One of them is absolutely killing it, so the bar is pretty high. They key is to remember that those that are ahead of you, likely started way before you. When compared to people with the same experience as me, I’m probably the one that is envied..but it never feels that way to me 🙂

        @Amy – great blog. I’m now an RSS reader 🙂

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