And you know what? Sometimes, because of all this, it starts to feel a bit shit. As happy as you are for other bloggers doing well, it does nothing for your own self-esteem. I think we'd all be lying if we said we never felt jealous of other bloggers, or wondered why everyone else was getting the big breaks apart from us. Hell, I feel like it all the time. As proud as I am of my blog, there's a big part of me that always thinks that it's rubbish, that I'm no good, that my blog is nothing compared to the "big bloggers" and that there's really no point even trying to compete.
When I hear of a blogger getting an awesome brand deal, or being whisked away to some far-off exotic destination to spend four days being photographed in bikinis that another brand has paid for whilst drinking cocktails and getting paid for it, I get a bit miffed. I love that blogging has taken on a life of its own that means so many of my blogging pals can go off and experience these things, but a sinking feeling inside of me always thinks, 'Why not me?!' 'What's so wrong with me that they didn't choose my blog for that?' and these thoughts go round and round in my head until I eventually get mad and stop looking at the dozens of Instagram posts with a sponsored hashtag, and instead feel a little bit like giving up... I'll never compete, so why bother?!
It's the same when I start looking at numbers (which is never a good idea for me, I was always terrible at maths). I'll see a blog that started 6 months ago already has more followers than me and start to wonder what the hell I'm doing wrong. Or my post that I'm really proud of won't get any comments, whilst all some other blogger has to do is post a selfie and their comments are in the hundreds. Sometimes I'll pop on over to the 'popular' page on Bloglovin' and see which posts are doing really well, feeling disheartened that I rarely find mine in there. It's crap, and it honestly makes you question everything.
Don't even get me started on the size thing.... at least five times a day I think to myself 'If I lost weight, my blog would do better. I just know it would.' which really, is the most ridiculous thing anyone has probably ever heard uttered - but I can't help but think there is some truth in it. Being surrounded by so many slim, stunning girls, who also have extremely successful blogs, can only ever make you think a bit like maybe that's the key to success. I know it isn't, but when you're in a hole of doubt over yourself and your blog, you can't help but think a tad irrationally.
When I feel like this, and it does happen more often than not, I have to take a step back. I have to remove myself from 'the blogging bubble', and put things in perspective. Why did I start my blog? Because I wanted to write, because I wanted to make a career out of writing and I wanted to get my writing out online. I didn't start it to become popular, I didn't start it to become the next 'big blogger', I didn't start it to become 'internet famous' or even to make a living out of it (hell, when I started blogging, earning money from your blog wasn't even a thing). I started it because I'm passionate about writing and I wanted to share that. I wanted an outlet, whether anyone read it or not, to get my thoughts out and have them somewhere for the world to see, if it wanted to.
And I should be proud of the things I've achieved through blogging. I have a following I never dreamt of, a platform that now thousands of people read, as well as all the amazing opportunities I've been given through this little space on the internet. Whether it's receiving a product to review in the post, being invited to an event, or even being whisked away on a blogging trip (I still cannot get over the fact I was flown over to the MTV EMAs in Glasgow back in November), I appreciate every single thing my blog has given me. Okay, so I'm not getting millions of hits a day, nor am I making a career out of my blog like so many others, but you know what? That's okay. I never set out to do any of those things, and the things I did set out to do, I've already achieved.
So, when I start to feel down about where my blog sits in the already over-saturated world of blogging, I remind myself that it's not a competition, that I've already achieved so much from my blog and that things can only get bigger and better. I also remind myself that even the 'big bloggers' feel like this sometimes, and that to some people, I myself am a 'big blogger'. Finally, I remember the most important thing about blogging at all - that I blog to inspire, empower, and enlighten, and I should be proud of the amount of people who feel those things through reading my blog. I don't blog to bring other people down - I do it for the love of it, to bring people up and make them feel better, and so that, in itself, is a reason to be oh so proud of my little space on the internet.