It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the comparison trap. In fact, it seems almost inevitable. When I ask other photographers what they struggle with most – comparison never fails to be mentioned; usually in the form of, “How do I stop comparing myself to other photographers around me?” And it breaks my heart.
It breaks my heart because I’ve been there, and I know exactly what it feels like to try and operate, both physically and creatively, from that place. And the truth is, it’s a black hole.
You want so badly not to fixate your eyes on it and just stop comparing altogether, but it’s so hard to look away. It’s everywhere you look; on social media, in the women you pass by in the grocery store. There’s this constant nagging thought, “she’s more successful than me, she’s prettier than me, more people like her and want to hire her over me, God has blessed her more than me,” blah blah blah.
If you don’t shift your mind away from someone else’s life and calling onto your own – you’ll forever be stuck in the comparison trap – and that’s exactly where the enemy wants you.
Truth is, I can preach all the feel good, confidence building, women empowerment words out there. But comparison isn’t a surface level issue girl, and it takes some deep rewiring and rooting to get rid of.
So this isn’t going to feel good at first. It’s going to wreck you, but we’re going to get rid of this green monster for good, friend. Because you don’t have another day to waste focused on someone else’s calling or journey instead of your own.
Disclaimer: this is a faith-based post, (Christianity is at work here, friends!) So if you’re not a Believer in Jesus, this may not be the info you want, and that’s totally okay! 💕
I want you to visualize the followers of Christ you look up to most. Whether it be Lisa Bevere, Christine Caine, Tasha Cobbs, Havilah Cunnington, Sadie Robertson, Jenn Johnson – whatever woman (or man) of Christ you look up to most. Think about them and the fruit they bare.
Now, imagine if they spent their life stuck in the trap of comparison.
You’d never know who they were. They are who they are because they’ve chosen to walk in THEIR purpose, stay in their lane, and live for God alone. Not that being “known,” is important whatsoever – but that’s a pretty solid example of the importance of staying in your lane; it determines the course of your life.
God can and will do HUGE things through you, but you’ve got to stay in your lane. You have to keep your eyes fixed on Him and who He has called YOU to be.
So, let’s dive into some actionable, practical ways to help us stop comparing ourselves to photographers around us.
1. Fix your eyes on Jesus.
He tells us to fix our eyes on Him, because just by doing so – we won’t fix our eyes on things unworthy of our focus.
We won’t fix our eyes on:
- more Instagram followers
- more money
- to get more clients
- more happiness
- more gear
- more material things
- to get more done
- to be better than others
- to be perfect
- (insert your greatest desire apart from Him here)
When our gaze is fixed completely upon Him, He lines all the rest up. He’ll help us stop comparing ourselves and focus on what truly matters.
Jesus, give us a one track mind for You. Give us tunnel vision for You. We don’t want what the world wants, we just want You.
So let “her” win the imaginary race or competition you’ve mentally come up with, (that doesn’t even exist.)
You are without rival because He has created you for a unique, divine purpose- for such a time as this.
2. Ask Him to help you.
I think sometimes we forget it’s really this simple.
It’s as simple as saying,
“Jesus… I’m really struggling.
I’m struggling with comparing myself to women around me and women in the same field as me.
I’m struggling with thinking they’re further along, better off, and more qualified.
I’m struggling with feeling like I, along with my art, aren’t good enough.
Help me to only care about You, and what You think of me.
Help me to grow in my craft and make an impact on people, for the better, with it.
Help me to stop comparing myself.
Help me to be so on fire for You and wrapped up in Your heart and purpose for me, that I can’t even see what’s going on around me.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
If you want a more in-depth prayer to be able to pin, print out, and read daily at your desk, this one’s been highly requested and is loved by many! God gave it to me in a season where I was fighting this very thing, and I still read it aloud from time to time to check my heart. 👇🏼🖤
3. Seek first the Kingdom.
Remember that God tells us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33
Friends, “all these things” covers a lot of stuff.
It covers your wants, needs, and desires, – (quite honestly it covers much, much more than just those,) but it’s a good starting point for your mind.
- John 15:7-11 – “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
- Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Rest easy in knowing that all you need to do is seek Him and His face, and He’s gonna work all the details out. He’s going to propel you into your destiny like you’ve never expected – just trust in Him.
4. Cut it off at the root.
Satan is the father of all lies, he’s the voice in your head telling you:
- You’re not good enough
- She’s better than you
- She’ll go further in her business than you’ll ever dream to
- People want to book her over you
- She has more clients than you and is more successful than you
- She’s the go-to photographer in your town
- You won’t ever be as good as her
What do we do with leaves that are dead that are still attached to our plants? What do we do with weeds that are taking up space? We uproot them, and we cut them off. 🙅🏻♀️
And that’s exactly what we have to do with Satan’s lies that are taking up space in our mind and heart. Ask God to help you cut these dead parts off, and replace them with His truth. Scripture can, and will, take root in place of the lies, and you’ll start to both see and feel a beautiful, Holy transformation take place in you. It is through this, and only through this, that you will truly be able to stop comparing yourself to those around you.
5. Separate your identity from your purpose.
Remember that you are who you are, NOT what you do.
You are a child of God. Period. Nothing more, nothing less.
We have a calling and a purpose and all that fun stuff, but at the end of the day – those things aren’t your identity and they shouldn’t be treated as such.
If you put your calling and purpose before your identity, you’ll forever wonder why you’re not measuring up.
You aren’t meant to be the best this, or the greatest that – you’re just meant to love and be loved by God – everything else is just a bonus.
Separating yourself from your work in this sense is so freeing. Your work isn’t your baby, it’s just an extension of you; how you see the world and how you love people. That’s it. Remind yourself why you do this in the first place, and just start having fun again.
Remember, everyone starts somewhere, and if you feel your work truly isn’t as beautiful as the photographer next to you YET, it’s because she’s further along in her journey. You don’t just start an expert. If I were to compare my work from when I first started to my work now, it wouldn’t be fair to my previous self. I had to grow and learn to get here, and that process was actually the most meaningful part. It means more than just the quality of work I create now. Embrace the journey.
Above all, it’s not a competition. It’s a process and a journey, and it can be a lot more beautiful than we’re making it. 🖤
Use these practical, biblical truths to help you stop comparing yourself. Eyes down. Focus set on Him. He’ll line all the rest up, friend.
Have any q’s about this, or just need to reach out about making these things concrete in your life? Drop me a comment below or shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (whatever you’re more comfortable with,) and I’ll be here, coffee in hand, ready to help!
If you need help building, growing, and/or systemizing your photography business, totally reach out and book a free strategy call with me. Helping you flourish is what I do best. 😉
If ya liked this little gem, you’ll LOVE this guide on how to create a photography business with zero competition. (Cause that’s what we all want, right!?)
Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉
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