How I Fought the Comparison Cliche

Bristol Blogger The Owlet in the sunshine in Portishead

Hey Owlets,

They say that comparison is the thief of joy. I have no idea who “they” are exactly but they’re right.

It’s such a cliche phrase that even as I’m writing this I’m desperately trying to come up with a title that doesn’t have people rolling their eyes and scrolling past - the internet is all about clicks after all. The thing is, that’s the problem.

For five years now I’ve called The Owlet my home on the internet. I’ve been lucky to meet incredible people from across the globe, create a life that gives me freedom and makes me truly happy. I open my phone to an inbox flooded with kind messages and happy anecdotes that people just wanted to share with me. I’ve created content that I’m truly proud of and worked with brands that I could only dream of knowing I exist. I am so lucky and I have worked so hard to have these things in my life and yet this week I lost sight of it all. 

Ever since social media began people have been using it to share their moments of joy, to create a highlights reel of their lives or to show off. We all know that Photoshop and Facetune were a huge problem a few years ago and, if you land in the right corners of the internet, they still are. You’re probably sick and tired of hearing “don’t compare yourself to others” and “what you see on the internet isn’t real life” and while it’s true you also need a reminder sometimes.

Becky The Owlet on a beach in Portishead, Bristol

This week I needed that reminder. At the start of 2021 I began a job search that I knew deep down I didn’t really want to do. I was offered an entry level position that wouldn’t fulfil me but would allow me to buy a home with my boyfriend. My logic was that even if I hated it it would only be a few days a week and it was worth it to be more mortgageable. Thankfully the company took enough time to process my information as a new starter that I came to my senses and declined the job.

So why am I telling you this? It might seem irrelevant but it gets us to where we are now. I was fully aware that by turning down the job I was choosing the harder option, and I’ve worked like I had something to make up for ever since. If I wasn’t going to accept the comparatively “easy option” then I had better turn what I do online into the most successful business I could possibly create. Mortgage lenders don’t like self-employed people and when I had the option to settle I chose to be un-mortgageable. Since then I have pushed hard to create more content across more platforms - I have a Tiktok, I create Reels, I restarted my Youtube channel. I’m also writing a book, creating two new websites, pushing my services as a freelancer and working on some digital products to launch my own Etsy store. I’ve been keeping so many plates spinning and it’s exhausting. I hate to use such a cliché phrase but I’m burnt out. 

While I’m doing everything I possibly can to turn The Owlet into a successful business and running on absolute empty I’m seeing my friends score incredible collaborations with brands that I adore. I’ve watched them check in to amazing hotels and go on press trips that I feel like I used to be invited to. They’re wearing my favourite clothing brands and thanking them for the gifts and looking absolutely stunning while they’re doing it. At the same time I’m sat here in pyjamas, scrolling through Instagram to procrastinate doing one of the MANY tasks that I’ve set myself while knowing I’m doing too much. I’m working hard to create content that features my favourite brands and leaves me out of pocket, and in return I’m getting ghosted by brands and watching my engagement levels drop, and I feel like utter crap.

UK Travel Blogger Becky The Owlet in Tenerife looking at a cruise ship

Despite the fact that it sounds like it, I promise you it’s not all about the PR gifts and press trips - they’re a fun added bonus that allows me to create more content for you but I’ve always said that if they disappeared tomorrow I would carry on. Guess what? In 2020 they did and I’m still here. Kind of.

Comparison usually stems from an insecurity and for me that’s not being a good enough blogger. I scroll through others’ feeds to see how I can improve, look for inspiration and watch hours of tutorials, but there’s one thing that I always used to have that’s been missing recently and that’s my personality.

I’ve always prided myself on being positive but being real. I always tell things as they are and I don’t sugar coat anything because I want you to have the best experiences possible. That’s still there but somewhere between taking on 1000 too many projects and pushing to make The Owlet a business I’ve gotten a little diluted. It’s hard to show up with 100% of yourself and your personality when you’re trying to split it between so many things. While I’ve been busy comparing myself to others I’ve been letting the things that you know me for slip.  Please take this as my apology if I’ve not seemed my usual bubbly and energetic self. It’s not you, it’s me - literally.

The thing is, while I feel like I’m failing I’m not. I’m so lucky to be able to live in a beautiful home with the person who makes me incredibly happy. I’ve built a successful platform, I make you happy and in return your messages keep me smiling. I’ve got freedom from the 9-5 (the thought of which has always terrified me) and I’ve just come back from a trip that makes me grin like a cheshire cat every time I think of it.

UK Travel Blogger The Owlet in home office

Just because other people are doing well, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t in your own right. Comparison is an easy trap to fall into, but it really is the thief of joy (yep, I rolled my eyes then too). If things aren’t going the way that you would want them to then here is your reminder to put all of your energy into changing things rather than staring at other peoples’ highlights reel and wishing you were more like them.

Social media isn’t real - I don’t post photos of me eating leftovers in my pyjamas or working at my desk for 14 hours straight because no one wants or needs to see that. Just because someone is posting about the incredible things that happen in their life, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t boring or less happy parts that they cut out too.

Take this as your reminder to stop the scroll, give yourself a break and put that energy into bringing more joy into your own life.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

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