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Do you get jealous of other people's successes when you see them on the internet? Do you ever feel like everyone's getting fabulous opportunities and riches except you?

When you feel like that, what do you do to help yourself get past those feelings?
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Diane Gilleland's profile photoFabrizio Martellucci's profile photoMelanie Polutta's profile photoChris M's profile photo
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Wow, this is heavy stuff. Very much connected to a lot of stuff I've been thinking and journaling about lately. Thanks for sharing.
 
I occasionally get those feelings, but they quickly dissipate when I realize that my goals are different from a lot of other peoples'.
My main work goal is to make a sustainable living from a job that I love without working on evenings or weekends, that affords me the flexibility to move (along with my husband's job), travel (for fun and family obligations) and take care of my health (by running in the mornings and cooking most of our food).
Am I going to miss out on some opportunities? Maybe? But can I let the jealousy monster get me? No! Because even if someone else makes a bajillion dollars running a craft blog, I can see that maybe that opportunity wasn't in the cards for me. Because that's not the kind of life I set my goals to attain.
As far as I can tell, no one has it all.
 
That's a great insight, Stacey. All the more motivation to have clearly defined goals.
 
That's a nice, productive way to cope with those feelings, +Stacey Trock ! Thanks for sharing.

I try to remember that NOBODY has exactly the stellar life I imagine they do. It's so easy to assume everyone's making six figures, and their house is always spotless, and their children are perfect angels, and they have better clothes and skills and friends than I do. But these perceptions simply never match up with anybody's reality. Everyone's life is human and messy in places, and everyone deserves understanding and kindness.
 
I definitely get the feeling I'll never catch up sometimes - need to work on a custom design for my blog, need to take better pictures, need to build an audience, need to network with crafters, etc, etc. So many people make it look easy, but it's a lot of work just to create a site you can feel proud of.
 
hang on a sec and I'll show you my messy.  ;)
 
It's not so much that the Internet causes me to feel jealous. It more can make me feel inadequate, if I'm not careful. It's like getting the alumni magazines in the mail, but every. single. day. My coping strategy lately has been to turn the laptop off and put it under the bed. :)

I can also get so easily overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff out here. Lately, it seems harder to find the worthwhile stuff in amongst all the chatter, and then I think, well, is my blog just chatter? What's the point? Hmm, I suppose that's some form of Internet existentialism? Again, the laptop goes under the bed. And I read a library book.
 
I wouldn't say jealous of success of others, because I know what my priorities are, and they are not the same as other peoples.  I'm actually pretty happy that my blog has remained popular! :)

I do occasionally get jealous of other people's talent though!  I know my strengths and limitations, and since I typically don't do just one crafty thing, but rather stuff that's all over the place, I'm not going to be expert technically in any one thing.  So if I try to make cakeballs, for example, I should know they are not going to look like Bakerella;s!  :)
 
Writing my own blog usually curbs any jealousy I have because when you do something yourself, you realize how much work is going into the fabulous blogs you adore.  And one day realizing that I spend a lot of time raising 3 kids and most of my fave bloggers don't released me from the rest of my comparing.  Taking a realistic look at what you want your daily life to look like is so helpful here.
 
My green eyed monster is not about the life of other bloggers. I find I can manage to rationalise the perceived blog life vs reality.

More difficult for me is blog recognition/opportunity envy. When I see people with obvious support by their readers through lots of comments, other bloggers through invitations for guest post series and shout outs and other great opportunities I find it very hard not to ask myself "Why not me?" I know there are some very logical answers to that question - others invest more time, have more skills, are better networkers etc, etc. I can accept that logically but emotionally I struggle more.

I know of other bloggers who have not been able to manage that adolescent feeling of "Why don't others like me?" and they step away from blogging all together.

The solution for me?
To remember that this is an issue for me and try and identify it when it is happening.
To remember why I started blogging in the first place and realise despite lack of worldwide blog domination (!) I enjoy it and have achieved some of my goals
To rationally assess what is missing and develop a plan to address this, if it is truly important to me. Often after a few days of thinking when I work out the time I would need to invest, it is no longer quite so important to me!

And finally, if all else fails...
Pull the plug and actually go and make something rather than look at what everyone else is making!!

And Amy Hood, I couldn't agree more. The creative community on the internet has become so huge, that new ideas are truly rare. So maybe we shouldn't strive so hard to look for them? I also feel my blog is just contributing to the chatter, but that's OK, because my chatter is for me!!
But again, I don't think creativity is a spectator sport, so I know I feel happier when I am doing more and looking less. But here's that irrational envious part of me again... I just want everyone to look at what I am doing and really really like it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
+Maryanne Docker  I DO totally relate to that.  And my green eyed monster might come out a bit.   I don't get a ton of comments on my posts, even on stuff that's really popular.  Here's a post even the great +Diane Gilleland did on Dabbled, and it had 38,000 views, but only 5 comments and 2 are tweets. http://dabbled.org/2009/07/how-to-make-a-cute-candy-sachet.html 

Now, when I had time to spend ages commenting on other people's blogs, I got a more comments (but never like some blogs--i think some people just connect better with readers than I do.)  Now I don't have time to comment much, and if I like something I tweet it, or share it in other ways. So I'm probably stuck in an endless loop of never having a bunch of comments ;)  

But other popular blogs I like don't get a bunch of comments either, and that makes me feel better. But it is disconcerting when I come across some relatively small following, but has 20 comments on each post!  
 
+Nancy Dorsner +Maryanne Docker , I really think blog commenting has been on an overall steep decline over the past couple years. People's commenting energies have scattered to social media channels. I'm only getting a handful of them on my most active posts these days. I struggle with making time to get out there and comment, too. I used to make myself leave one comment a day, and these days, I strive for a couple a week. We are all overloaded. And this is definitely not a state of affairs to take personally!

...And yet, I think we all do at times. I think it's pretty universal to wish, as Maryanne beautifully put it, that everyone would look at what we're doing and really like it. And early in the blogging era, that was infinitely easier to achieve!
 
+Leah Hitchcock Ybarra , I definitely hear you there. Blogs are never-ending. I need to make a long list of improvements to mine right now, and that list is always in existence. Hard to find the time, though, with everything else life involves!
 
I almost wonder whether a blog series on "Reality Checks" or something similar would be useful for dispelling some of these jealous feelings. Imagine sharing photos of your normal messy workspace, or that pile of stuff you shove out of the way to take blog photos. Imagine sharing a few little-known, very human facts about yourself, like "I sometimes work so hard I forget to change out of pajamas" or "I haven't done laundry in three weeks."

What do you guys think? Would that be liberating, or do we really not want to see this stuff about each other?
 
I think for me it helps to remind myself of my goals. My income goals are very closely tied to paying for my kids' tuition at private school (the public schools here are atrocious) and I'm reaching that goal and growing, so that's all good.

But I struggle more with knitting design folks who publish what seems to be some variation of the same pattern over and over and enjoy great success. Then I remind myself that I knit most of my own samples - and I don't want to knit the same thing over and over - boring! And I further remind myself that establishing a good footing in different sorts of pattern genres will allow me to keep working when the current craze has passed.

I just have to be logical with my crazy green eyed monster!
 
+Stacey Trock I also like to remind myself of my goals. To see how far I have come and how much I have achieved (or are getting close to achieving) is very encouraging. It isn't my goal to get a book deal or design fabric. So why should I be jealous when others have that opportunity?
 
+Diane Gilleland I love reality checks. :) I have been thinking of doing a tour of my "sewing space" which is all over my house. You don't need a beautiful room to enjoy sewing. (although I won't complain when I have one!)
 
+Jodi Bonjour - my husband has just started working from home and yesterday he commented, "Wow, you really like to spread out, don't you?" Normally I try to contain my knit designing supplies and books before he gets home, but now he's seeing the ugly truth!
 
I also want I mention how awesome it was to read +Elizabeth Rogers Drouillard's post about organizing her blog reader. I realized that it was OK to not read the blogs that don't help me feel good. Not as a judgment in the blog, but just to be honest about my own needs.
 
Another thing that helps me overcome jealousy is to get to know the blogger. They are just a person with their own gifts and struggles. :)
 
uh, yeah, I thought everyone had their own imaginary war with their imaginary arch-nemesis.  I just wish I didn't pick an arch-nemesis that wasn't already 10 times more successful than me. 
 
YES, +Jodi Bonjour, it's amazing how getting to know someone dissipates the jealousy. That's such a great strategy.

Has anyone tried Julia Cameron's Jealousy Maps as a tool for processing these feelings? They're described in the post I linked above.
 
For me, jealousy isn't as much of an issue as just being overwhelmed by how much work it will take to get where I want to be. I am jealous of people who are able to work full time in the crafts and blogging industries, but not because I think they don't deserve it - I'm more jealous that they've already gotten there, and I'm starting over. (I had a jewelry biz, took two years off to be home with babies, and things have changed!) Does that make sense? I don't resent other people being successful, I just wish it was a little easier to get there.
Chris M
 
+Maryanne Docker my feelings mirror yours quite a bit.  I also have more trouble with jealousy when it comes to the number of comments I get.  But what +Diane Gilleland said is something that I've been keeping in the forefront of my awareness lately, which is that blog comments have lessened quite a bit.  I've noticed this on others' blogs and also that some of the quantity that still happens at some blogs has to do with the bloggers' own comments in response to comments!  When I play a numbers game I always have a distorted view of reality.  I also try to remember that, when someone offers a giveaway, there are suddenly dozens of comments on a blog which usually gets 5-10 comments.  That means that people are there...we just don't know about them directly!

I also don't have time to leave comments daily, as I used to be able to.  Even if I have time, I often don't have the energy.  It might be my age or my desire to be more of a 'quality responder' than a 'quantity responder', but I will often review things that interest me quickly, and pick and choose what I'm going to respond to.  I just don't have the time and energy I used to have.  And I've tried and given up many social media outlets, realizing that I can only do so much and still appreciate my face to face with family and friends.  So...

when I'm feeling jealous or less-than about comment volume, I try to remember that the main thing is to be doing what I am passionate about, respect others by acknowledging them, give appreciation when someone's talents really rock my world, and invest in the really valuable (to me--different for everyone) parts of social media, the art community, and keeping in touch with people I love.  If I have to ignore twitter, flickr, emails, or even my blog, in order to do that once in awhile, it's just because I'm only one woman.

As for feeling jealous about others' talents... no way!  The more the better!  More inspiration and beauty in the world--that's what I say!
 
+Diane Gilleland I love the idea of a reality check... but I think it doesn't fit into everyone's social media personality. For example, my main customer base (for my blog) is folks who are learning to crochet and are looking for tips. Do they want to know that my office is messy? Prolly not.
If I had a larger audience of fellow designers, then I think it would be easier to post messy pix on my blog.
If you're interested in writing a 'real life' post on your blog... I'm happy to contribute pix! I just don't think it'll fit in with my blog... (if that makes sense)
 
I think another thing that fits into this mix is that the feelings of jealously are largely about work-things... because we don't share everything about our personal lives. For example, it looks like I get a ton done (at least, that's what people tell me), but I also don't have a dog, a child or family nearby... and I also have a semi-workaholic husband. That means it's much easier for me to get stuff done than someone who has to worry about family obligations/etc.
But, unless we post our schedules... no ones going to know!
Hey... that's an idea I've been thinking about... spending a week keeping track of my schedule and posting it... so I can see where my time goes :)
 
+Stacey Trock. Amen! I'm in a similar situation - I don't have kids, and my partner is also self-employed, so he and I are comfortable working a lot. This means I produce a lot of stuff, but I'm also missing out on some of the enriching experiences people with children have. There's no universal yardstick!

Great point about online audience and reality checks. I'll have to think about this idea a little more.
 
+Stacey Trock I've enjoyed the "Day In the Life Of" posts I've read. It's fun to have a peak in. I'm afraid if I kept track I would be embarassed how much time I spend on twitter/facebook. :)
 
Yep +Stacey Trock I would imagine my day in the life schedule of being a mom-taxi and keeping up with my teenage boys would be quite different than yours. But I also know I could do more if I better managed the free and down time I do have. But then the one thing I totally don't get is how folks with little kids do it - my boys are self sufficient mostly - except for transportation, but I see designers who have toddlers who are very prolific and I'm like "what?!?!"
 
+Corrina Ferguson I am no where near prolific, but I am far more productive with a young family than before I had children. I think it has to do with the role creativity plays in my life. With 3 small children and working part time in the profession in which I trained, my creativity has become my space, my retreat and from a psychological perspective, so important to me. I am willing to be constantly slightly sleep deprived to give myself the time to create. With an increase in obligations to others, the time for myself has become so much more important
 
That is one blog hop I would read - a series of "Day in the Life" posts by bloggers with dramatically different personal lives.  I think most of us know that messy studios/rooms exist, but unless we track time like  +Stacey Trock suggested, scheduling feels more nebulous.  I've been tracking my time more recently and it's helped immensely.

I have found that jealousy always comes back to me - it's my problem. I was jealous after a post yesterday and when I thought it through, I realized it was because they had tried something I had wanted to, but hadn't. Basically, I was disappointed in myself.

Prolific and/or successful people work really hard, and at the end of the day I think it comes down to the fact that it's easier to be jealous of some phantom advantage we give them, than look at ourselves and organize our own time and priorities better.
 
I actually wrote a blog post recently on my take on "success". I don't have a creative lifestyle because I have monetary goals - I do it because I love it. So if every day I love what I do, and what I do excites and inspires others, I consider that a successful day. ♥
 
Sometimes I'll notice that a blog or website gives me a bad feeling. It can be envy, but it can also be something else... This is hard to explain, basically I'm getting a bad feeling because I don't share that person's values.

Of course this gets just as annoying and destructive online as offline. For example, it wouldn't make me feel good if I went out for coffee with a friend who's values or personality simply jarred with me. 

So I disconnect. Try the same things as I do in my offline world, seek people who inspire me, who make me feel good about them and myself. 

This is all very easy to say, sometimes I DO find myself reloading a page that gives me a bad feeling... but it won't take too long before I remind myself. Take a step back. :) 
 
I really enjoyed reading this discussion.  Thanks to everyone!

I, too, get feelings of jealousy.  I would love to have a fabulously popular blog that made some money for my family.  When I get those feelings, I try to remember why I started blogging in the first place.  I love DIY, I love to be inspired by other people's DIY, and I love to talk about my own adventures in DIY.  Simple.

I liked what Diane said about getting a "reality check".  Even in the early years of my blog (I started in 2006), I would stop myself from posting because I couldn't get a perfect picture.  Some bloggers appear to be living in Better Homes & Gardens with perfectly staged and gorgeous photos around every turn.  I would love to see more "low-fi" photos!  And, I would love to see more craft fails.  There's no way every single thing a person makes is perfect!
 
My goodness, +Elizabeth Rogers Drouillard, this is a lovely statement you made: "Prolific and/or successful people work really hard, and at the end of the day I think it comes down to the fact that it's easier to be jealous of some phantom advantage we give them, than look at ourselves and organize our own time and priorities better"

I'd even add to that, "be as gentle as we need to be about our priorities." We all have times when our lives allow us to work hard, and times where so many other commitments get in the way. All we can do is flow with that – or re-forge our landscape or commitments, if that's even possible.
 
+Nancy McGinley I'd love to see more "lo-fi", too. I guess the trick is to present it in such a way that it can capture the fleeting attention of most blog readers the same way a beautiful photo does. Hmmmmm...
 
+Nancy McGinley +Diane Gilleland I think it would take taking beautiful photos of these "lo-fi" moments to keep readers coming back for more. Grainy cell photos just won't cut it, if you readers are used to beautiful stylized shots.

Another thought, isn't Instagram a way of being lo-fi without losing the artistic edge?
 
+Jodi Bonjour , +Nancy McGinley Hmmm - maybe filters are the answer here! I'll admit, I'm one of the Luddites who hasn't delved into Instagram quite yet. But I think you're onto something there, Jodi - the filters would help render the chaos more interesting. Elevating it an artistic level perhaps. :-)
 
I always try to remember when I get that feeling reading others' blogs that they are posting all the good stuff and it's a filtered view of their lives. I have tons of "bad" things that happen in my business.  this year has been full of big deals falling through and things not working out and lots of crying. but i don't post that on my blog because #1 i  don't want to sound like I am whining #2 I don't want to look undesirable to other clients.  But still when I read others blogs who are successful and make tons of art on top of being mom's to babies etc etc I get down on myself. then I try to remind myself that this a filtered view of their lives. and if someone were to read my blog they would probably feel the same way.
 
I am guilty of one seriously jealous blog issue.  I feel terrible when I see others being healthy, and thus having time to accomplish a great deal, building inventories, selling a lot, being sparkling and wonderful.  I am ill, I don't sparkle much.  Can't build enough inventory to sell.  I am lucky to finish one or two or three projects a month.  But I save myself by thinking that these healthy folks, blessedly, don't have to know what it is to get up and feel like poop every day.  Then the cheerleader in me comes out and says, "Good for you!"  And the jealousy passes.  If I couldn't get past it that way, I would be sad all the time.  I don't want to live my life like that.  I wish I were healthy, but I'm not, and the only way to cope is to turn it around, get over petty jealousies, and do what I can.
 
Outside that frame of a perfect picture in the post is possible mess :). +claudine hellmuth , I hear you. You might like to read the series that were started by design sponge : "things I'm afraid to tell you"—it's quite encouraging.
+Nancy McGinley , you're right—"Some bloggers appear to be living in Better Homes & Gardens" :))

I get jealous sometimes, but I wish others to succeed. I'm mostly jealous because "I'm not there yet", I don't go to bed early enough and get up early or don't leave in NY etc.

This jealousy usually kicks my butt though. I start working harder. 
 
I used to get really jealous of the success of others because I felt as though I was working just as hard, but getting nowhere fast.

But when talking with a friend one day, I realized something profound...

A lot of those people I seemed to be jealous of probably a) filtered their worlds online so we were only seeing through rose-colored glasses and b) did a lot of extroverted stuff that I have never mustered enough courage to do myself and c) weren't holding themselves back because they wanted to be a readily available sahm first and foremost. In order to reach the level of success they've reached, they've had to give up time with family that I wasn't willing to do.

So now, when that ugly green-eyed monster starts to appear, I remind myself that they deserve the success they get and I shouldn't begrudge them that success. I wish them well, and then I battle my own demons... reminding myself of the life I chose to live and being grateful that I got to be that stay at home mom instead of having to work three jobs and missing out my kids lives the way my mother had missed out on mine.
 
+Diane Gilleland and +Jodi Bonjour I was pondering about lo-fi photos along with you and agree that Instagram (or other filtering apps) might be the answer.  I use Instagram, Tadaa, and PictureShow.  I don't use them for all my photos but they certainly add more interest to some photos that are a little blah.  Also, they would distract from any dust bunnies that make it into the shot.   :)
 
Thanks +claudine hellmuth  for sharing this. I feel much how you do +Marta Spendowska because I am not there yet. I want to be, I try so very hard to be, but no matter how late I stay up it will not build Rome any faster. By the way, your artwork is stunning!
 
It's been so comforting just to hear all these stories of the feelings we get and how we manage them! I've learned a lot from all of you here. Thank you so much for sharing!
 
+Nancy McGinley If you like the look of "filtered" photos for all of your pictures, maybe you could experiment with "actions" for photoshop or the equivalent in lightroom (I can't think of what it is called at the moment).
Chris M
 
+Diane Gilleland +claudine hellmuth +Cody Nations +Jodi Bonjour +everyone! It is really helpful that comments keep coming in along with suggestions.  I think it's very easy to read one or two comments and feel better and think that we're going to own it and remember it, but by the very virtue of having this forum remain vibrant and hear continuing thoughts, it brings the points home so much better.  The fact that we are almost always presenting our best sides and our happiest moods (and that's fine) does no one any good if we define each other by those moments alone.  The cult of celebrity in our country and the world, and online!, gives us each a skewed idea of what real life is like for every human trying to achieve like goals. 

Thanks, Diane!
 
I don't feel blog envy, I just get disheartened that my stuff is not good enough :(  ! Thank you to +Diane Gilleland  +claudine hellmuth  to bring this up, it encouraged me to write an article about it and face my 'Calimero' feelings ! :)
 
Thanks Diane, it's a short one but it's how I felt about my own experience with dealing with a mental illness, basically I need to 'protect' myself from further blues, if that makes sense. But I also get so tempted to have a good look and being in awe of other's crafty peeps work of 'heart' ! :)
 
I remind myself of two things, that my goals are not their goals and that I can reach my/that goal, given time. Patience is what helps me ignore any jealousy I might feel. In my everyday life, I often remind myself, "I can do anything I want to do, I just can't do it all Right Now."
Chris M
 
Very good perspective.  Concentrating on what we love, and what road our passion takes us on is always the most rewarding way to work, I think.
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