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Life Lately-Battling Comparisons and Negative Focus.

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Life Lately-RefocusI have been in a period of focusing on what I don’t have and what I haven’t accomplished.  Somewhere along the way I started comparing my journey to others thanks to social media and have found myself in an insecure place. I’ve realized that the only way to get back to contentment is to change the way I look at the situation.  Sometimes, there are things that bog you down because you are focused on the wrong aspect of the situation.  Anyone heard of the glass half full?  Ha.

For me, this pertains to my blog.  Times have been tough lately. I’ve questioned my success with this blog because I often contemplate whether I’m offering anything of value to my audience. Plus, stopping the Etsy shop and then several drops in commissions caused my income to drop dramatically.

Also, I get really frustrated with social media.  For a blogger, social media is necessary in order to alert people to your blog posts and point people to your blog.  However, because of followers and likes being visible to anyone and everyone, it is an indication of where you’re at in your success.  Your followers and likes are seen by everyone and if you’re not careful that number can define how you see yourself or your success.

On top of that, scrolling through my feed is picture after picture of more successful people who have figured out their style, their lighting and seem to constantly be doing “Instagram worthy” activities. Instagram in particular started becoming such a point of frustration for me.  Everyday, several times a day, I would wonder why so and so has so many more followers then me.  What am I doing wrong?  Why can’t I figure this out?  Staying in my own lane and not comparing my journey with someone else’s journey is something I struggle with.

Then it dawned on me, this is probably what many people feel whether they’re running a business or just running their personal life.  And then I took it a thought further and started thinking of young adults navigating through the popularity contest that is social media.  What are we coming to?

Social media isn’t going away anytime soon.  If it’s not Instagram, it will be another platform that will serve as a reminder that we aren’t good enough. I lost the popularity contest in high school.  I’ll be damned if I continue to participate in another one at the age of 40! Hence the refocus.

I realize this probably sounds very immature and shallow of me.  I really do.  I don’t know if I’d care if it weren’t for my extreme need to be successful through this blog, but I felt so compelled to share because I really don’t think I’m the only adult questioning my worth from time to time because of the endless diet of perfect, curated photos with thousands of likes making me feel less then I am.

So what to do?  For me, I realized that my focus was all wrong.  I was so honed in on the negative and totally forgetting the many blessings this blog has brought.  Numbers on social media don’t determine my success or who I am.  God does.  My blog is a success if for only the reason that it sustained my daughter’s and I when my x-husband left.  Not only did I not have to lean on my parents or go into debt, I was able to stay at home and keep things the same for my daughters during a very hard time in our lives.  If nothing else, that was enough and a valid measure of success.  And if I didn’t have that, my blog is still a success because it makes me happy and I’m proud of the work I’ve done.

By reframing how I’m thinking about my success, I feel I’ve broken free from the chains of negative feelings surrounding my blog and actually moved forward in a more positive light.  I’ve had some tangible success with my daily numbers on the blog and an outpouring of creativity.  By capturing every negative thought and replacing it with the realization that I am successful no matter what my bank account says or my social media numbers say, I am able to focus on the positives and therefore the positive thoughts are multiplying.

What I hope you takeaway is that success is not measured by man.  Success comes from within.  It comes from how we feel about ourselves and who God is through us.

One last thought-I heard a quote that said the fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else.  I also read a quote from Theodore Rosevelt saying that “Comparison is the thief of joy”.  How incredibly true both these quotes are.

As always, I aim to be transparent but at the same time uplifting and encouraging.  Forgive me if this post was all about me but learning to focus on the positive is one of the most important lessons I try to teach my daughters and no matter what your story is, refocusing pertains.  Finding the positives and focusing on them can change everything.

xx, Jenni

P.S. Taking a break from social media is always a good idea in my opinion.  That is just what I’ve done with Instagram.  I’ve also stopped following several people that by no fault of their own were contributing to my negative feelings.  My other blog, Stealing Pretty has been completely put on hold until I feel I can contribute something of value that represents me and not what everyone else is doing. Taking a break can do wonders.

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Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

19 thoughts on “Life Lately-Battling Comparisons and Negative Focus.”

  1. Hi Jenni,

    I’ve been struggling lately with self-acceptance and all kind of stuff and I think its really hard not to compare yourself to others but it’s worth it or at least you should try. Anyway, thank you for all the excellent posts!

  2. I would just like to say that I appreciate you! If I need a change to my skin care routine your blog is the first one I hit. I make most of my own skin care and what I buy is usually something you have recommended. Thank you for the time you have invested in me!
    Side note…I am 62 years old and my skin is amazing!

  3. This hit close to home. I think as women comparing ourselves to others is what we all struggle with to some point and it’s crucial to our emotional well being to just stop. (easier said than done, I know)
    Let me just say how helpful your blog has been for me. I am an Aesthetician yet I have struggled with my skin for a long time. I’ve tried every trick I know and have used so many different products trying to keep it hydrated and prevent the flakiness. My Rosacea flare ups were getting worse and I was so frustrated, I mean how my skin looks represents my work.
    Several months ago I stumbled across your blog and really liked everything about about it, from the layout to how you explained things. I started by making a serum and a face oil, then a face cream and let me tell you my skin has done a complete turn around! There are no more dry flakey spots and my Rosacea has completely disappeared. I’ve always played around making bath stuff but never ventured into face care, I am now hooked!

    Thank you so much for all your hard work and know that you are making a difference in peoples lives!

    1. Tammy-Oh my gosh I love this! Thank you so much for telling me this. I’m so glad you have been able to improve your skin! I wish as women weren’t so prone to comparing. With social media it makes it almost impossible. Most of us just want to be the best women we can be and by rising to where other women are at is one way to do it. It just can go sour so easily doing this. Again-thank you so much for taking the time to tell me this. It made my day!

  4. Jenni, you have a beautiful family…if that isn’t success I don’t know what is! Always appreciate your transparency. As someone doing something very similar I thankfully haven’t gotten too caught up in the comparison game. Every now and then I wonder why something didn’t get many likes, but for the most part I am thankful that I have a (small) core group of followers that are truly engaged. Personally I find myself stuck with my blog. I get so much less engagement that something I don’t even know why I do it. Putting yourself out there in the world can be scary at times.

    1. Elizabeth-Thanks for sharing! You are doing so well on Instagram and it’s so good to feel that you have a community! I’m definitely seeing more engagement on the blog and sometimes hear crickets on social media! Who knows-it’s such a mystery to me! I guess the key is to keep focused on your message and who you are and not let social media become a popularity contest!

      1. Yes! That’s exactly it!!!! If you are passionate about your message that’s what matters. And that is the way I feel the majority of the time…totally passionate about what I have to share…like I really can’t wait to tell people. Every now and then I’ll feel a little less inspired and just let myself take a break from it.

  5. Jenni, this is the first comment I have ever posted on any blog. I loved your blog from day one. You have a great style and I am shocked that not more people are reading it! I have been wanting to start a blog years ago and still haven’t done it, so you are way ahead of the game! I have so many great ideas but I don’t do anything with them. The fact that you were able to support yourself and your daughters is incredible and you got to spend time with them! I have a good job but I am not passionate about it and I spend 2 hours commuting each way and obviously that eats into the time I have to spend with my son so I consider you to be successful! The reason I decided to post is that you spoke what I have been feeling! Thank you!

    1. Jenya-I’m so glad you decided to comment! It makes me so happy to hear you’ve been reading since I started! I got so lucky that I started the blog when I did not really knowing there was money to be made with DIY skin care. I am now focuses on what a huge blessing that was and how it all came together in perfect timing. That really sucks to have such a commute. I wish you luck in finding something you are passionate about!! Thanks again for reading!!!

  6. I decided a long time ago that my goal with Fresh Picked Beauty was going to be mainly for myself and as a way to document my recipes and beauty formulas. If people loved it they were welcome and I was happy to have new readers! I loved Mountain Rose Herbs, so I became an affiliate but I never tried to turn my blog into a money maker because I would just end up working too many hours for too little pay! I don’t have very many followers on my social media accounts and that is fine and dandy with me. I would rather people be there that truly want to be there instead of just a bunch of professional contest entry people just looking for the next giveaway. I tried doing product reviews but I realized that if I truly said what I felt about a product in a critical way, that nixed my chances of getting future products. Plus, I would spend hours writing the blog post and would literally make less than minimum wage for a free lipstick or foundation set. Good on you for putting your goals into perspective and running your own race! I love your blog and have a special place in my heart for a fellow Oklahoma girl!!! I have had my blog since 2011 and will continue to plug away at it as long as I am happy. I am the only one I aim to please! Cheers!!

    1. Shannon-Hi! Still love your book! Thank you so much for saying this. It means a lot coming from a fellow blogger! I have definitely gone down the path of making this a job mainly because I didn’t want to go back to work when my x-husband left. This put me on a different path and I’ve had to find my way back to being more genuine. Now I say no to 90% of product reviews and just stick to what I want to blog about. However, it still bogs me down when I try to grow and see numbers actually moving down rather then up. Since writing this post though-thanks to some really sweet and forthcoming comments including yours, I’m feeling so much freer and happy to let it go. Thanks again for your words-super inspiring!!

  7. Jenni, I have been following your blog for about 3 years now. Your recommendations and personal stories are so insightful and honest, and they have truly influenced how I care for myself (physically and emotionally). I make some of your DIYs regularly, I also bought at your etsy shop right before you closed, and recently I have tried products that you reviewed. But I am the kind of person that never leaves comments, I try not to subscribe to newsletters and I rarely share posts on social media, partly because of time and partly because it’s not who I am.

    But I wanted to tell you that numbers on social media are likely misleading: I’m sure there are many people like me, who have benefited from your blog but do not make it explicit. I see now that there is no way for you to know how much your blog helps but from comments or likes and I’ll try to do my part from now on.

    I thank you for sharing your knowledge, tips, and experiences with us. Through your blog, you do make a difference. Truly!

    1. Dani! Thank you for commenting! I totally understand what you mean. Honestly, if it weren’t part of my job, I wouldn’t post much or even want to be on social media. I find it a necessary evil but am trying to reframe it and look at it as a way to connect and hep.
      Thank you again for taking the time to write these kind words. I truly appreciate it!!

  8. Hi Jenni, totally understand how you feel! Although I don’t have any kids, I’m separated as well. Last year, I took the leap and started my own business. 1 failed business partnership and lots of down moments and struggle later, I told myself that I’m not in a compeitition. I’m still struggling… but I always tell myself that bad times won’t be here forever. As for your wonder whether your blog is of value, I can safely say it is! I love the way you explain the various ingredients you use and delve into the science of it. It is far far superior than how superficial some blogs are when they give you their diy recipes. Your blog is one of the first few I’ll visit when I want to make something else beside my own diy recipes =) Take all the time you need to give yourself a break and regroup! Your fans will understand and wait for you!

    1. Clara-Thank you so much for this! The stakes become so high when you’re on your own-I totally get that and think it contributes to the pressure and comparison. I hope you are close to better times!! I can honestly say, I’m so glad for the hard times because I’m so much stronger and know who I am. I guess we constantly have to remember that it’s really not up to us how successful we are! Good luck with everything!

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