Please stop comparing yourself to others. Seriously.

How to stop comparing yourself to others

This is a PSA from a fellow creative – please stop comparing yourself to others.

It does you no good, and actually makes your productivity and creativity suffer.  This great article on Fast Company talks about putting yourself out there and showing your work to the world:

If you’re just starting out, Kleon recommends following and interacting with people who are established in whatever field you’re interested in. “You have to start pointing your attention toward the world that you want to enter,” he says. “If you want to get fans, you have to start out as a fan.”

 

One caveat to that article:  don’t put yourself out there and then waste time comparing yourself to the person you are a fan of.  It defeats the purpose!

If you are a beginner, an amateur, or any of the above – that fresh new thinking is a good thing!  That’s where the great ideas come from.  The new, fun, amazing creative ideas.  The stuck in the trenches types who have been in the business for awhile tend to get stuck, and we (yes, myself included) need new stuff to get our brains going.

If you are a professional, long term photographer – we need to see new things.  Don’t look at the new kid on the block and think “they have nothing to add” or “damn, they’re good, I need to make sure they don’t steal my client”.  You will miss some great new inspiration and possible collaboration.  There is always something to learn!

By the way – need some new skills? Photo Concentrate has some great classes online, along with this awesome Creativity Guide.

Please share this post if you found it helpful! Do you get sucked in to the rabbit hole of comparison?  How do you stop it?

 

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  2 comments for “Please stop comparing yourself to others. Seriously.

  1. May 15, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Hannah, Thought you might enjoy this thought I saw, though I am not sure just where to appropriately post it on your blog spots.

    “Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important, develop from negativity and if things don’t turn out, take another shot!”

  2. May 15, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    How often do we all “fail to explore our own possibilities for creativity” because of comparing ourselves to another’s creation? It may be shyness, not enough self-esteem or self-worth, fear of failure, or lack of funds….or even how society tends to make us become more conformists rather than exploring our imaginative side. Thomas Edison said, “If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” Recognizing talent in another’s art, music, invention, etc. doesn’t lessen the fact that within each of us is a wealth of potential creativity to explore.

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