The first rule of Comparison Game is… don’t play Comparison Game.
The second rule of Comparison Game is… don’t listen when other people play it!
The third rule of Comparison Game is… any attempts at playing the Comparison Game shall be immediately and thoroughly wiped from your thoughts.
Now this is all very contradictory and nonsensical, because how can you follow the rules of a game that you’re not supposed to think about, let alone play, and how can you possibly make your way to Rules Number 2 or 3… but I don’t care, because I am not COMPARING myself to the way games are supposed to work, I was just trying to make a vaguely amusing Fight Club rules reference that may or may not have worked. Moving right along…
Stop comparing yourself to other people.
Stop going onto the blog/website/instagram of another voice actor you follow and admire and looking at how many voiceover jobs they have and how many followers they have and how brilliant they are at voice acting and then thinking “woe is me, I shall never be as talented or busy or well-known or generally amazing as them!”
I know I’m being very bossy, but really, stop it.
In any kind of creative business, like voiceover, the comparison game is pointless and stupid and discouraging and does not achieve anything good.
Recently I’ve been working hard on Linkedin marketing. I’ve refined my profile and bio, I’ve included all the “voiceover”, “voice actor”, “elearning”, “online video” handy-dandy keywords in my descriptions, and I’ve been posting and engaging every day. (Thanks to Marc Scott’s Making Money with Linkedin course.) I definitely see progress – my profile views and search results are up and my posts are being seen by people who seem interested.
I look at other voiceover artist’s posts on there and see how many reactions and comments they have and my head goes “woe is me, I shall never be as talented or busy or well-known or generally amazing as them!”
Here’s the thing – maybe they’ve been working hard on their social media presence for years longer than me. Maybe they spend more time each day doing it. Maybe, bear with me here… maybe their journey is theirs and my journey is mine.
Whatever the case, me spending time comparing my social media to other voice actors’ social media is going to achieve what? Say it with me: bugger-all.
(okay that may be Aussie slang, but I’m pretty sure you can figure out what it means.)
I just came across a quote that says: Comparison is the death of joy.
When was the last time that comparing your career to someone else’s made you feel happy, joyful, enriched, fulfilled? Nope! Stop it.
And Henri J M Nouwen said “We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”
Chose joy by:
- Focusing on your own goals and the steps you need to take to reach them.
- Celebrating with other voice actors when they achieve something great – it doesn’t take much time or energy to send a heartfelt congratulations, even if you missed out. Positive mindset towards others is waaaay more joyful than jealousy.
- Being grateful every day for the work you do, the (big or small) achievements you make, the love you have around you, the freedom you have to run your business as a voice actor.
- Build friendships and professional relationships with other voice actors – both more and less experienced than you. You can learn and teach a lot, wherever you are on the career timeline.
- Keep busy, but not too busy! Do some work on your voiceover career every day, but don’t obsess about it. Take time off and relax, too. (Don’t you dare worry about how much time off someone else might take compared to you!)
Okay I think that’s enough of me bossing you all around. I bet you’re not as bossy as me, oh gosh, I’m so bossy compared to other… wait…
I would love to read your thoughts about comparison and joy! Please comment below and subscribe by joyfully dispatching your email address into the yellow box. Thank you!
Images by @wanaktek , @opkirilka and @kyraklopp via Twenty20.
Yes! A lot more gets done when I focus on MY journey and not someone else’s. Thanks for the reminder, Sumara!
True! Not only does comparison kill joy – it wastes time, too. Thank you Sarah. 😊
LOVE Henri Nouwen’s stuff – excellent reference! And what a great article that helps us avoid such a common pratfall. I do it too. Thanks for the good word, Pastor Sumara!
Haha! I am the Minister of the Church of Fabulousness, and I preach joy and delight to all who have ears!