Comparing yourself to others may have some benefits from time to time, BUT as artists it usually can go south pretty QUICK. RIIIIGHT?!?! And in some seasons it can be hard to recover.
This past week Laurie asked the question: “What advice would you give to someone who struggles with comparing or feels insecure about their [work/business/life]?” And it really got me thinking about how we deal with this issue. We all do it!! GUILTY!!
Although I am not any kind of self confidence wizard I listed out a few things that have really helped me navigate through the artist’s “depths-of-despair”, as Anne of Green Gables would put it.
REALIZE THAT THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS AS THEY SEEM
I’ve learned through experience that things aren’t always as them seem. It might look like The-Perfect-World for that person/company/business from a distance but you never know what’s going on behind the scenes. I’m sure they’d tell you it’s far less than perfect (in so many ways).
If you focus so much of your time, energy, and brain power analyzing other people/businesses/companies you start to loose sight of who you are and who you were made to be. You start feeling intimidated, competitive, jealous, uncertain, worthless, fearful, and pretty soon you’re in the Depths-of-Despair. Tim Sanders Says: “Uncertainty is a spiritual enemy that will siphon your rocket fuel [confidence]… It turns go-getters into giver-uppers.” DETOX these toxins. In a time of rebuilding your self confidence sometimes you just need to step away, detox, and re-group (whatever that means for you and your situation).
CULTIVATE A SPIRIT OF THANKFULNESS
We are all created uniquely. No one has your *unique set* of giftings, personality, talents, passions, skill level, etc. Clearly articulate yours by jotting them down. Be thankful for them and turn your focus towards making them better. See every opportunity as something to be thankful for. Count your blessings. We all have a LOT to be thankful for. Cultivating a thankful spirit will turn your life perspective upsidedown.
I believe this is a BIG one and something we can all improve on. Put others before yourself by encouraging them even when you are feeling low. Have you ever heard someone say “If you are having a bad day…just start smiling/laughing… and you’ll feel better?” I think we can apply that thought to encouraging others as well. Sometimes you just gotta DO IT! And the after effects heal your heart, soul, and mind. We are made & put on this earth to love others so it only feels good, healthy, and natural to do so…for the other person and for yourself.
“Shoot for the moon and you’ll land among the stars” -Les Brown
So, What IS your moon? Identify it and put your focus there. I wouldn’t imagine it’s the peer that your comparing with. So stop waisting your time and energy comparing and focusing in the wrong places.
I’d like to hear what YOU do when the comparing game starts to head south? How do you deal?
Promise Tangeman is the Owner and Creative Director of golivehq.co. She's also the Co-Founder of DesignerVaca.com.