Fall season is all about change, carrying a fresh measure of energy and inspiration. As the leaves and climate begin to shift, we wanted to take this time to shed some light on a sensitive but “must-have” discussion topic…Keeping up with the Jones’
The pressure and negativity that comes with comparing yourself to others can become emotionally draining. You start to develop that ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ mentality, thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. Being in this state of mind prevents anyone from producing their best work, resulting in more negative thoughts about yourself and your photography, and falling into an abyss of stating why you aren’t as accomplished as others in your industry. But trust me, we’ve all been there:
“Gosh they seem so busy”
“Look at how many followers they have and the amount of likes they get.”
“How does she/he get people to pay that much for their photos?”
If you feel the need to keep up with the Joneses but desire to stop pursuing crazy competitiveness. These are a few of the key questions we asked ourselves to prevent us from continually “one uping” others.
Question 1: What’s causing us to compare ourselves to others?
What is it about that photographer that makes you compare yourself to them? There’s usually a deeper reason as to why someone envy’s another.
In the beginning, we constantly compared our lives and work to other professionals in our field. We aligned some of our goals and values with others, thinking that their route is the ONLY road to success. But as we grew and matured in our craft we realized none of it was healthy or beneficial to us. We had to learn that the only people we had been competing with were ourselves. That “ah ha” moment played a really important factor in our career, because it was a moment we identified our self-created barriers, and came up with action plans on how to overcome those obstacles.
Question 2: What about their work appealed to us?
Although more than often it’s about the money, success, and the amount of work or clients people receive, sometimes it’s several aspects the “Jones-type” photographer exudes that drives people insane, including the type of relationships they hold and the amount work prestige they have.
Question 3: How was our obsession of keeping up impacting our life?
In some cases, a little envy can serve as some sort of healthy motivation by lighting a fire under what one considers to be faults or inequities in life. But, if you’re constantly keeping score or tabs, you’ll soon realize that you may have an unhealthy obsession that’s only impeding you.
Your focus should be on what you can control; your photography and growing your business.
Question 4: How far have we come and what have we achieved?
Sometimes being overly focused on what someone else is doing causes someone to forget their roots and how far they’ve come. Eventually they soon take for granted the achievements and progress they have made.
Take our advise, go back to your original goals, hopes and dreams and remember why you once loved what you do. Chances are, those goals have nothing to do with the “Joneses.” Instead of trying to keep up with your competition, forget about them and do your own thing at your own pace!