Leaving the Culture of Jealously and Comparison
This month I have been thinking alot about comparison and jealously within our culture. As a musician it is very difficult not to get caught up in jealously and comparison, especially in a social media age. I often find myself saying 'I am so jealous that they got to play at that show!' or 'Look how many followers they have compared to me!' It is very easy to do but it is not a helpful thing to do. Today I'd like to address this issue with some advice and be a little vulnerable myself.
This September has been nothing but busy for me as a musician. I have continued to be fully booked every week, I played at a gorgeous wedding in Santorini and I released my last single Found after working on it earlier this month. It has been busy but being on social media so much to promote these events meant that I was constantly in what I call 'Comparison mode.' I looked at local bands, singers and saw that they were more booked than I was, their music had more attention and I began to think 'Why isn't this happening for me?' I have times where my friends won't even share or listen to my music and yet here these local musicians are having SO much support on social media. I have had many comparison and jealously moments this year. I absolutely hate the feeling of jealously because it does not achieve anything. What is the point of being jealous of those who have something you want? It won't get you anywhere and yet I felt this way. My little goals and dreams weren't being ticked off as quickly as they were for others and there I was getting angry and upset over other peoples success. In this world where jealously and comparison is almost normal, I want to be different and be happy for those doing well and continue to encourage them even if my dreams aren't being ticked off.
I also became very aware this month that there could be people who look at me and are jealous or comparing themselves. It is a vicious cycle and one that I would certainly encourage people against. Social media is very misleading at times. I cannot even tell you how many times I posted 'Great gig!' and actually I had an awful time or something bad happened but in the picture I look so happy. So don't go by pictures or posts, go by conversations with people face to face. It is very easy to look at pictures of people doing well or being happy and think 'Why am I not like that?' but actually it is a still moment in time. Everyone has bad days, everyone has days where they binge watch friends and cry eating icecream.... atleast I do! I had a good old pep talk to myself this month and challenged myself not to fall into the culture trap of comparison and jealously. Instead I have asked myself to focus on ME, what I am doing and what I feel makes me happy. Achieving goals in life is fantastic but is is not everything. I use to think success would make me happy but it doesn't. It brings me joy for all of about a day and then I am focused on the next success. My advice for anyone would be don't put your identity in your likes, followers, successes and achievements. I did and I can tell you first hand it only made me want more and it only made me envious of others when I want to be an encouraging person.
So I absolutely love dogs! They are so loyal, kind and all around just happy creatures. I was once told by many people in my life 'You are like an excitable puppy!' I really liked that compliment because dogs are so great! I often hear people say 'Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were only dogs?!' I would have to agree as they are such wonderful animals, they understand people so well. Having a dog myself, Obi is always knows when I am sad, when I am happy and no matter what mood I am in, he is there. As I sat down this week to write this I thought about this concept of being encouraging and there for people, I thought about a culture where people do this as dogs do for people. What an amazing life that would be if rather than getting jealous of eachother and not being kind to eachother we actually cheered eachother on and helped eachother. It is rare that I see musicians sharing other musicians posts, I never see musicians willing to help other musicians with opportunities. This is something I would like to see more and something that is slowly improving. I attended a music event Monday evening and wow the people there could not have been more encouraging and lovely. I was so shocked at other musicians wanting to help me. After witnessing this it has made me realise that I can help others too, whether it is giving advice or sending them a kind message.
So I don't know if you can relate to the things I have said above. No matter what job you have, what friends you have or where you are in life I think everyone can relate to being jealous at one time or can remember comparing themselves. If you are struggling with this please remember that you are an amazing human. We are all different and unique in so many ways. We are all complex and so our journeys in life will also look very different. My advice would be to have a week away from social media if this is something you struggling with. My friends call it 'FOMO' fear of missing out and whenever I feel this I have a day where I do not go on my phone and I do things I enjoy like baking or going to the beach. It really helps me mentally and I am always reminded of the simple things in life rather than worrying about what to do next or show other people next. You have nothing to prove and I want to encourage you today to create a culture of encouragement and love rather than jealously and comparison. Comparison kills, jealously kills but love and encouragement bring life to you and to those around you.
Thank you for reading! I hope I have been honest enough and given some good advice!