Crippled by consumption: a personal tale of a crisis of confidence


“Create more than you consume” it’s a saying I’ve seen thrown around a lot of Instagram, but today I finally understood why the message is so important.

I consume a lot online. I mean, I work in digital marketing, so I should, right?

No, of course I shouldn’t. If I’m completely honest with you, I’m sure I spend more time looking at what other people are doing than I spend on my own work. That can’t be good.

Even worse, I follow people on social media that work in the same industry as me. I imagine this is what it’s like for teenage girls to follow beautiful celebrities. 

You enjoy their content, you wish you were like them. But you also fall into that terrible comparison trap. For those teenage girls, I’m sure it’s about their figure, or their perfect nose, or their hair. 

But for me, it’s that cool thing they’ve just launched, or I’m envying their big teams, beautiful offices, and their fancy holidays whilst sitting at my Ikea desk at the back of my one bedroom apartment. It’s like an addiction, I know how it makes me feel, but I do it anyway.

What’s ironic, is that I’ve always prided myself on not superficially comparing myself to the fitness models or makeup bloggers of the online world, I know that most of it is staged and I don’t feel an ounce of envy when I see them. I just don’t care. 

But what I didn’t realise, is that I’ve been comparing myself for months. Just in a different way.

Today I watched someone in my industry launch something I’ve been working on for about six months. It crippled me. I suddenly felt like dropping the project and starting again (which will be the third time I’ve done that in 12 months).

If only I’d been too busy creating that I hadn’t seen their promotions. I might have still launched it.

Then I saw this print by Dominique, a talented designer that I admire.

I bought the print and I scrapped those negative thoughts. I’m launching. 

I might not be as 'successful' as the other person, but I'm me, which means I'm different. And it's about time I started celebrating that.

And I’ve promised myself: the next time I feel like consuming, I’m going to create something.