Comparison syndrome is an issue that hits writers harder than most, and it sneaks up on you when you’re least expecting it. It’s that feeling of discovering something about another author that instantly makes you envious, while at the same time sending you into a shame spiral.
Maybe the other author is younger than you, and has had more success. Maybe they just published their fifth book in a series, while you’re still struggling to get even halfway through the first draft of your first novel. It might be as simple as seeing how many followers they have on social media, while you don’t yet have a working website. Whatever kind of success they’re having, you see it, and it makes you feel awful. It makes you feel small, and insignificant, and kind of stupid.
That’s comparison syndrome, and if you are a writer who suffers from toxic procrastination and/or crippling perfectionism, then you most likely feel it on a regular basis.
The reason that comparison syndrome shows up so much for writers who have toxic procrastination and crippling perfectionism is because these types of writers were almost always raised in a home where they were taught that it’s extremely important how they appeared to other people. They were also given the message that their own personal feelings didn’t matter. As long as they made their parents proud, or the neighbors or the school or the church approved of them, it didn’t matter if they felt sad, disconnected, anxious, or worthless. Sometimes their family said this out loud to them and sometimes it was more implied, but however it was delivered, this message was always made very, very clear.
These types of writers are so susceptible to the damaging cycle of toxic procrastination and crippling perfectionism, because when they were growing up, they were never allowed to speak their truth, and they never felt truly seen or heard. As adults, they desperately want to connect to their own spark, to the creativity they know they harbor deep inside, but it’s so incredibly difficult, and every time they try to do it, all they feel is pain.
This is the cycle of toxic procrastination and crippling perfectionism and it’s oh-so-very-common in sensitive intuitive writers. I talk more in-depth about this in the video below, and also how we can begin to move past this, to a place where we are writing and creating in a way that feels good to us, and not so painful and hard.
I just released a new video course, designed specifically for writers who struggle with severe levels of procrastination and perfectionism, and who have tried everything in the past and still can’t seem to move past it. If this sounds like exactly what you need, you can check out the course HERE. It’s unlike any other approach to procrastination and perfectionism and it works extremely well for writers of the INFJ and INFP personality type.
Lauren Sapala is the author of The INFJ Writer, The INFJ Revolution, and the creator of Intuitive Writing, a six-step online video course for INFJ and INFP writers who struggle with writing. She is also currently offering a free copy of her book on creative marketing for INFJ and INFP writers to anyone who signs up for her newsletter. SIGN UP HERE to get your free copy of Firefly Magic: Heart Powered Marketing for Highly Sensitive Writers.