I'm excited to be writing the first post of my very first blog series, Seeds. Last week I did an introductory post on the backstory of this series so if you'd like to catch up with us, click here. Well let me just jump into it! Hope this encourages someone!
I chose comparison to be the topic of my first post in this series because we all can agree that everyone struggles with this. Boy, girl, business owner, blogger, artist... everyone. The word compare means to estimate, measure up to, or note the similarity or dissimilarity between people. We all grow up answering the same questions, "who do you look up to?" "who inspires you?" "who's your role model?". Comparison in good doses is a good thing. People inspire us and help us navigate the life we want to cultivate for ourselves, but where should we draw the line?
I've found myself comparing a lot as an artist. A few months before I left for Hillsong college, I discovered my love for drawing/doodling. I looked up to some of the most amazing artists in the creative circuit and always found myself drawing and tracing their art work. Well... what I didn't realize was happening was that I found myself copying. Not creating. I was merely imitating the people I looked up to and claiming it as my own. I got so many compliments on my drawings and even got asked to use one of "my" drawings for a clothing brand on one of their products. I was so caught up in the flattery that I immediately agreed. The only issue was that even though I thought my drawing was unique enough to pass as my own, it still resembled and looked very much like the artist's original drawing that I admired so much. Shortly after the business put out their product out with "my" art on it, it was taken down due to art infringement. Luckily the business showed me so much undeserved grace and didn't ruin me as an artist as they could have done easily. I still have a great friendship with the owner today and she taught me so much about integrity through the way she handled the whole situation.
Comparison is a defining thing. We loose our uniqueness when we compare ourselves and it does a toll on our personhood. Especially in the blogging world. We flip from blog to blog and see successful person after talented person after creative person and then sit on our couch and think to ourselves.... "I wish I was more like this person..." but you're SO unique, talented and WILL find success in your own life. I told you about my faults because it can happen so easily. Sometimes comparison won't even have the same effect on you like it had on me. Sometimes comparison dwells within you and limits you from embracing your talents and creativity. Comparison steals your ability to stand out and kills your potential.
You want to know ways to overcome comparison? I can't say I have it completely figured out. I can tell you, though, that after the incident that I talked about earlier, I could've easily stayed down, depressed, let my pride get the best of me and never created anything again. But I chose to let it strengthen my integrity, mature me in my personhood and use it as a lesson to take with me in life no matter what I was doing. Since then I've learned how to navigate between inspiration and impersonation and I'm so blessed to have encouraging friends and family who affirm me daily to keep me positive in my creativity. I also read one of the most amazing little books I could've ever read as an artist... it's called Steal Like An Artist. It's an easy read that simply tells you really practical ways to steal inspiration from people you admire without copying. I think this can apply to all types of comparison whether it be physical comparison, relationship comparison (man I could go on a tangent about this one), comparison in your title, in your work place, in your talent... it's applicable for everything. I highly recommend it and it looks good on a coffee table. :)
I hope this enlightened some people and I hope me opening up a little bit about my story has encouraged you in your life. Maybe your comparison hasn't gotten you into trouble like it did me, but I promise that it's killing you in your self worth. Stay positive and love yourself. Create things daily even if no one else thinks it's beautiful. Encourage people on their wins and you'll see the good in your own life. And when you even think to compare yourself to someone else, remember that there will always be people better than you, but there's always going to be someone a lot worse than you too.
Love you guys!