How to Avoid Blog Comparison
I read a great phrase in a blog today: “Elitist Shacklings.” I don’t know if shacklings is a real word. It gives me red squiggly lines in my WordPress panel…but then again so does the word “WordPress.”
The blog was “Why I don’t teach natural childbirth anymore” by a childbirth educator Natalie Amparan (who happens to be my sister). If anyone is going to be a childbirth educator, she should! She’s gone through the wringer when it comes to childbirth. And through all the ups and downs, I’ve been a first-hand witness to a beautiful transformation that gave her battle with comparison the death sentence.
But it wasn’t always so beautiful.
When she found out she was pregnant with her first child, she decided to do the homebirth thing. Pride set in as she began comparing her decision to that of others. She never expected to have an emergency c-section. Before that night, she would have said that c-sections are the mother’s fault. (Now, she readily admits this is NOT the truth).
Her second attempt at a homebirth reeked of the trauma that occurred during her first birth. She ended up in the hospital — but she DID have the baby naturally and without drugs.
The third attempt was a success — but the baby experience some breathing issues so spent a few days in the NICU.
(Maybe next time she’ll have a successful homebirth with no hospital visits!)
But before she ever had a sucessful homebirth, she became successful because she threw away the “elitist shacklings” of comparison by eliminating the running scorecard of hospital vs. homebirth. She began to view childbirth as a way for her to get closer to God, NOT as a way to achieve the perceived perfection of a homebirth. As a childbirth educator, she still informs woman about how pitocin can increase the rate of c-sections, but she no longer sees herself as “better” than other hospital-epidural-having mamas (like me).
Imagine two Blogger scenarios:
You are an experienced blogger and you encounter someone that has less blogging experience than you.
(*You pat the seat next to them*) Let me give you a little advice, sweetie. What do you mean you don’t blog weekly? I podcast all my blogs. It’s the latest thing, you totally need to be doing that…I mean, please, really I can’t believe you are still using MS Publisher.
You are an inexperienced blogger and you encounter someone that has more blogging experience than you.
(*They sit, tight-lipped.) You ask them about how to do something on your blog. They give a curt answer that seems to say, “Don’t tell her any of your new ideas. She might steal them!” or “She’s not of your caliber. Don’t give her the time of day.”
I’ve never been on the giving or receiving end of this in the actual blogging world, but I’ve definitely distributed/received it in my own heart. I’ve opened up blog pages and thought, “Mine is better than hers!” But I’ve also opened up webpages and thought, “Ugh…hers is soooo pretty. I suck.”
God calls us to a higher standard. He tells us to NOT think of ourselves better, but to understand that he has given each of us a different measure of faith. In the same regard, he has also given each of us a different measure of ability. (Romans 12:3)
The difference between the way God judges us and the way the world judges us is simple. God judges us based on the ability he gives us, the world judges us based on the ability God gives others.
If I compare myself to another, I become one of two things: superior or inferior. There is no in-between.
Either I’m a better writer than my fellow bloggers or I’m not. Either my pins are swankier or not. My social media presence is either more engaging or not.
Comparison is dangerous to our souls and can be fatal for our blogs.
If we get too caught up in comparing our blogs to other blogs it can stifle us.
Author/blogger/speaker Jon Acuff says, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” I think that is great advice and I get what he means, but maybe we shouldn’t compare our middle to ANYONE’S middle!
Perhaps we follow God’s advice:
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. Galatians 6:4
When we realize we are running our own race and there are no other contestants, we experience freedom from the “shacklings” of comparison.