Don't compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 20.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately - as a kind of mantra. Because it's true. You shouldn't be comparing your new baby steps to someone else's leap ahead – they're only a leap ahead because they have been working at it for 10 years and you just started. But I find myself doing it all the time. Why?
They are two completely different ball games. It's not fair to you or the other person. And it honestly makes no logical sense to be comparing those things in the first place and here is why...
Everyone is on their own path. Your journey will look different than someone else's journey. If anything you should approach that person, ask them questions and learn about how they got to where they are. Take the opportunity to find a possible mentor in that person and make a connection.
I have struggled with comparing myself to other creatives for as long as I can remember. I think most creative people deal with this to some degree. I've always wondered why this is so common, but I have noticed some patterns across creative types and the first one is that we naturally lean towards sensitivity.
Art and design are so subjective, and everyone has an opinion. So when you pour your heart and soul into creating something and someone comes along and says something harsh about it and "I like so and so's better", it feels like a personal attack because we entrench our mind/spirit into our work. If we put too much stock into what that person is saying, we begin to believe that "so and so" is better than we are and then we begin to doubt our abilities. I feel it so often, but that's what I'm working on.
Creativity is related to so many emotions and feelings. So many beautiful thoughts, ideas and expressions come out of just sitting in your feelings. A world without creativity is a world without innovation.
With social media now, everyone's work is at your fingertips. It can be a terrifying place if you're prone to comparing yourself to others. You're always checking out other people's Instagrams and online portfolios like "dang, if only I could be as good as that person" or "why am I even trying because it seems like everyone else has it figured out."
First of all, if you ever find yourself having those thoughts, shake yourself out of it - they're not healthy for you or anyone. There is something so powerful about a shift in how you speak to yourself. Instead of saying, "I'm never going to be as good as them," say "I can get there, I am just at a different chapter than they are. What can I learn from them?" It's not easy, but rewiring your brain to lean towards being your own best friend rather than your toughest critic will lead you to a much happier place in life.
Trust me, I know it's hard. I'm in the midst of it right now and I definitely have good days and bad days. Our subconscious is a deep, deep abyss that needs some extra tending to.
It takes time and patience. And I'm a huge hypocrite when I say this because I do not have patience. I am working at it, but being patient has always been a struggle for me. I have so many plans and ideas and things I want to do that I just want them all to happen all at once.
But that's not realistic and that's not how life works. The PROCESS you take to get to that thing you've been planning or working at is the most important part. You don't want to skip the most important part. This is the GOOD STUFF. This is where learning and growing happens.
So don't be impatient and skip the process! If we were handed everything immediately, there would be no learning or growing. There is strength in falling down because when you get back up, you have learned something and you can utilize that in your next big plan and you will come out stronger and more successful on the other side.
Everyone has different experiences and grow at different paces. No two people are the same and that is what makes the world an amazing place.
(Side note: Not sure who quote credit should go to, so if you know, lemme know... The internet wasn't helpful in that search.)