Anyone else a chronic comparaholic? Guilty and in recovery over here.
The reason I started my blog was because I was inspired by other people. That's the nice way to put it. If you want the full creepy confession, I was enamored by Kendi's knack for style, her remixing skills, and her witty humor. But if you are a comparaholic you don't just get inspired by people, you compare yourself to them. And mostly the way it went for me was, "I'll never be as stylish or as funny as her" or the more creepy version, "I wish I could just BE her."
But, at some point as a blogger you need to find your own voice. That's every blogger's number one advice to someone else, and I used to get annoyed when people said it. "Be yourself!” and “Find your own voice!" How cliche can you be? But the real reason I got annoyed was because I knew that deep down my urge to compare myself was stronger than my confidence that I had something to offer style blog land.
I looked at other blogs and thought how my style wasn't cutesy enough to have a style blog, how I didn't have the "right" clothes, or how my house didn't look enough like Anthropologie. For a good portion of the start of blogging I had difficulty fighting the temptation to be someone else.
I can't remember if there was a specific moment when it all clicked for me or if it was just a slow build up of daily fighting the urge to be how I imagined a style blogger should be, but the whole "be yourself" and "find your blogging voice" clicked. Eventually, it clicked. And lemme tell ya, it was FREEING.
Once I stopped focusing on what I was not, I could focus on what I was. I accepted the fact that I would never be as witty as Kendi or may never develop her taste for picking great items, but I felt empowered by the realization that I had other things to offer blog land. Other things that aren't even necessarily related to style. And through experimentation I figured out how to incorporate them into my blog in a way that I’m proud of.
It's clear in my job in full-time college ministry that I have a gift for teaching, training, and coaching. I'm particularly good at figuring out what people don't know, even if they’re not able to articulate it themselves, and I know how to break down concepts into bite-sized pieces to teach others how to do things. I'm really successful at that in my job, and one day I realized that I could bring that to my blog.
You may have noticed that I try to incorporate a teaching aspect here. My goal is to figure out what people don't understand about style, break down the concepts about style, and make personal style accessible. That has become my blogging voice, and at least from what you guys tell me, that's one of the main things you appreciate about this blog.
You Don't Have to be the Most Stylish
I used to think I had to strive to be super stylish in order to have a blog I was proud of, but it was incredibly freeing to realize that's not true. I learned that there are other things I can offer that make me uniquely me and make my blog uniquely itself, and whether or not I'm the most stylish person on the block I can still find things to offer blog land.
Similarly for you, style isn't all there is to having a style blog. There are other things you can offer that are uniquely part of who you are. You can apply those things to your blog to make your blog uniquely yours and offer your unique voice, giftings, and perspective through your blog.
What are things that you are good at, and how can you bring those things to how you blog? I believe you can do this regardless of what your blog is about. I could write a blog on animals (if I knew anything about them) and apply the same teaching skills to teaching people about animals. Get what I'm saying?
- Merrick from Merrick's Art utilizes both her creative genius and her ability to teach, knowing how to pull things apart step by step to create great tutorials. She doesn't just show you her creations, but she writes clear tutorials so that you can do them yourself.
- Shanna from Because Shanna Said So writes a style/lifestyle blog, and what stands out to me about her blog is that she is great at making you feel like you're her best friend. That's an incredible gift of building relationships. If you read what she says about her life, you'll see that she has a wide and deep group of friends in real life too, and she has been able to translate that relational gift to her blog, drawing in her readers through relationship.
- Grace from Camp Patton writes about life and being a mom, and she is ridiculously hilarious. I believe it's her humor and her rawness about parenting that draws so many people to her blog.
- Fran from Franish brings a logical approach and discerning approach to her clothing purchases, writing helpful and informative reviews and tracking her budget as she builds her closet.
All of these ladies have fantastic style, but I think what sets them apart as many people's favorite blogs are the extra things they bring that are natural extensions of their gifts and personalities.
What skills or gifts do YOU have that you can bring to the table? How can you incorporate them into your blog, whether it's conveyed in your pictures, in your style, or in your writing?
And, from last week's post on creating useful content, if you can figure out how incorporate your gifts in a way that adds value to other people, even better!
My hope would be that instead of spending so much time trying to be like everyone else we would embrace how we are uniquely created and share that with others. You might be surprised by how many people you can bless and encourage just by being yourself!