Last weeks i’ve been thinking a lot about comparison. As a photographer, i often look at the work of other photographers, which gives me a lot of inspiration and ideas. Also, it makes me look more critical at my own work and therefore gives me some motivation to improve my own skills. Only, the tricky thing is that i often compare myself with people who are in the business with many more years of experience than me, or i forget that they are just different than me. By reading blogs by, or talking with other photographers i realized that many photographers or bloggers are struggling with this same issue. This post is therefore a quick reminder of not comparing yourself too much with others.
Here are a few tips that helped me for not getting lost in comparison:
1. Be yourself.
Often when i just do my own thing and i am not aware about what others might think of my photographs or my business, i create my best work. Everybody has has a different taste in style and a different way of achieving something. Make sure your work is you, and don’t make things just for others to like it. If you are happy with the result it is ok.
2. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
You don’t have to be the best in every type of field. Everybody has got different talents, and their own strengths and weaknesses. It is ok to be better in certain things and less good in others.
3. Internet is not real life.
Every photographer posts their best work on the internet, every lifestyle blogger posts their nicest writing. Everybody knows this. But this is also something we often forget. Everybody has a bad day sometime, and everybody fails some time, but of course they don’t advertise with that on the internet. Don’t focus too much on getting a ‘like’ on facebook, a comment on your blog and don’t watch your competitors too closely.
4. See things in perspective.
It is not fair to compare yourself with others who are working many more years in your field of interest than you do. And realize that they probably went through the same things and struggles you are going through.
There will always be people who you envy and whose work you look up to. But the more you grow in your own creativity and work, the more people will see you as someone they look up to. There will just always be people who are better than you in the field of interest you are specialized in, but also a lot people worse. So why compare? Just accept that that’s the way it is, and try to grow and improve your work for yourself.
So in short, healthy comparison is good, just to see if your work meets certain standards and to get more inspiration for your new work. But don’t get lost in comparison, cause it will only bring you down and block your own creative process. To have a reminder of this, i have framed this quote and put it on my desk.
P.S. this quote is a free printable at how joyful.
P.P.S.S. How are you dealing with comparison?