Have you ever found yourself on a social media platform comparing yourself to the success of others? It makes you feel bad, doesn’t it? To see the success of others and compare yourself to them happens to all of us, and while it’s shouldn’t, we let it happen no matter how much we try to justify that there isn’t any reason to feel bad about yourself and instead every reason to feel happy for the person that has achieved their success.
But we end up feeling bad, don’t we? No matter how we try to spin it. But we shouldn’t, and according to Lauren Bacon:
“You have no idea what it took for them to get there.”
That’s the advice Bacon’s mentor told her one day, and it’s advice that has stuck with her ever since.
“Don’t act like this was unearned, effortless, or pure dumb luck,” said Bacon’s mentor to her. “Don’t go thinking that you have a single clue about what’s really going on behind the scenes.”
When you see a peer have great success with their indie game, it’s easy to say, “why was that him/her and not me?”
Bacon suggests that you start with this question and focus on your own success. Ask yourself the ‘why’ of the matter. Why are they successful? What did they do to achieve the success? What about their success is actually ‘successful?’ What do you think you can do to achieve the same success as them?
It’s hard questions to ask, but they’re mandatory. After all, if you want to achieve what your peer(s) achieved, you need to figure out how to achieve it yourself.
And do you really want their success to begin with? Obviously, if the peer achieved the million download milestone for their mobile game, that’s something to strive for. But what will it do for you?
Will you feel like you achieved something great if you copy the achievement(s) of your peer(s)? Maybe you will, maybe you won’t, but the best thing to do is to stop comparing yourself to peers and make your own goals!
What’s better than a million downloads? Two million. What’s better than releasing a highly-acclaimed game in a year? Two. Don’t settle for being a copy of your peers: instead, strive for being better than all of them!
Will it happen? Who knows. But I can guarantee one thing: throughout the journey, you are going to find your own accomplishments and have your own milestones to brag about that are unique to you!
Don’t compare your success to others and feel bad about it. They’ve put a ton of sweat and tears into where they need to be, and success didn’t just come automatically to them. If anything, a peer’s success should be inspiration enough for you to say, “okay, they can have this level of success and so can I,” and from there, you need to use this as a reminder to continuously work on where you need to be.
Ignore the impulses to be envious and jealous: instead, work on you instead of wasting time and comparison your success to other indie developers.
Easier said than done? Absolutely, but you can do it. After all, you’ve already come this far.