OK, so hands up if any of the following scenarios sound familiar…

You find yourself scrolling Insta and happen to see that girl you met at an event recently and… hold on… her green smoothie pic has 59 likes and yours only got 12… you scroll on and you can see that a super cool brand you love is having a blogging mixer and you don’t remember even receiving an invite, and yet, that person with waaaaayy fewer Facebook followers than you is there? WTF?!

Or, perhaps you find yourself on the website of a health blogger you really look up to and yet, compared to her and what she’s doing you feel you’re not creative enough, don’t post regularly enough, are not fashionable enough or informed enough, in fact, compared to her you feel like an amateur, a fake, a nobody with nothing to add to the health blogging scene. Ouch.

If you find yourself nodding along to any of those examples then you’ve experienced a dose of ‘Compare & Despair’ and it can leave a really icky feeling.

As the health and blogging community continues to grow and thrive, this presents a complex situation, in that it tells us there is growing interest and demand for the message (Double ‘Woo!’) And yet, for those of you creating content and wanting to share your voice it also means there is A LOT of content to compare to.

Seeing what others are doing, writing, saying and creating can be a wonderful source of inspiration for us to interpret into our own blogging vibe and enhance our own healthy viewpoint, as well as feel like we’re part of a movement, so comparison isn’t all bad.

Unfortunately, however, being inspired can be the minority experience and, more often than not, comparison makes us look at other health bloggers and feel isolated and separate from them and, in many cases, we can develop secret rivalries, pitting ourselves against one another and competing in the ranks of Insta followers and Facebook likes and shares, and that’s before we’ve even got on to book sales!

We have to get ourselves out of the comparison trap, as it’s about as healthy as a Coca-Cola and a chip sandwich.

Comparison can make us obsessive on other’s people’s blogs and movements. We fixate on things we have zero influence over and, to be honest, it’s a very sophisticated form of self-sabotage, up there with perfectionism, in that, it keeps us in a state of fear and analysis paralysis which is an easy distraction from us taking action for ourselves and rocking our own light!

Every minute spent looking at what another health blogger is doing – jumping to conclusions in the process – is time lost that YOU could be spending investing in YOU and your own blogging voice. We never get that time back and staying in a state of comparison, frustration and envy is only going to hold you back and arrest the progress you can with your own blog.

Your book or podcast deal will have nothing to do with your very well considered opinion of another blogger’s wardrobe or, in your opinion, overuse of chia seeds! Whatever your version of success, it will come from you and your focus on your own dream, and if you’re going to meet your goals half way, you’ll need to give yourself your full backing to make things happen!

Comparison has no place in that plan as it will only keep you small and just dabbling with your health blog.

To help get you #comparisonfree and you and your health blogging self ready for the spotlight there are some key rules to follow:

Hone your message and fully commit to your own brand of health blog

Comparison can take hold when we lack confidence in our own ideas or approach – it’s by being consistent and releasing and following through on our ideas, recipes and suggestions, that our confidence grows and we can get the feedback we need to give our best to our followers and subscribers.

Don’t compare your start to someone else’s half way

It’s soo easy to make a ton of assumptions when comparing your blog to other people’s – the followers, the shares, the likes, the comments. But the facts get lost along the way – if a blogger you aspire to emulate has four books and 6 figure Instagram followers after 5 years in the blogging world…. And you started last Christmas… OF COURSE they’re going to have done more and, as you perceive it, ‘further along’. That’s what it takes – that’s science and has nothing to do with what you are or aren’t doing. And she deserves it – she’s done the work so let the rewards flow to her, just as yours will to you.

Remember success is not a zero sum gain

A win for one health blogger does not mean a loss for you. It just demonstrates it can be done – there are not a finite number of book deals, your social media followers will never be capped, there will always be another brand that wants to associate with you… you just need to…

Trust the timing of your life

This is the biggy. The overarching belief that will create magic for you and generate ALL of the results you ever thought possible and dared to dream. Things aren’t happening TO you, they’re happening FOR you. Keep your head down to deliver to your community, your eyes on your own game to hone your unique blogging style and delivery and your beautiful heart open, and the ideas will flow and the results will appear exactly as they should, unique to you!

Collaborate, don’t compete

As I’ve highlighted before – success is not a zero sum game. There’s no such thing as a shortcut but there are plenty of ways to accelerate how opportunities come to you that have nothing to do with luck!

Connections strengthen everything

The health blogging success you’d like for yourself can be accessed through reaching out and connecting with other bloggers. This might be via a podcast series or it might include featuring an interview with one of your peers on your own blog, but by combining your energies you duplicate your reach and impact!

IF unfortunately the comparison nasties prove hard to budge it might be time to help yourself out in order to increase your own confidence and self-focus in your blogging game. Treat your social media feeds like a house party – unfollow and mute the unwelcome guests and individuals that trigger your comparisons (come on – you know who I’m talking about)… and in with the people, brands and things that make you feel inspired and entertained.

As a health blogger you have a unique role to play in helping people, including your community, feel the benefit of an alternative approach to food and life. You deserve to shine, as do your peers, and after all, a rising tide raises all the boats!

Lucy Sheridan is the UK’s first and only Comparison Coach. Featured in national press such as Grazia as well as OWN TV, she is hell bent on helping Gen Y get over the compare & despair of social media and live #comparisonfree. Find out more at www.proofcoaching.com and follow her mission (and dog pictures) on Instagram and Facebook