There is nothing that kills every ounce of creativity quite like comparison.
Well, at least the wrong kind of comparison.
The kind that I’m talking about is the jealous, hopeless kind.
I started video blogging, or “vlogging” 200 days ago. I’ve done 118 vlogs and probably sunk close to a thousand hours into the process of learning and doing it.
I’m now up to 882 subscribers on my YouTube channel.
Now there’s two ways to look at that:
#1 – I have almost a thousand people wanting to watch the content I’m putting out each day which is actually pretty phenomenal.
#2 – The vlogger I look up to, adds 882 subscribers to his YouTube channel about every 96 minutes.
The first option is actually super-encouraging, but the second option makes me want to quite right now.
Because I’m comparing.
But quitting is actually much better than the other thing that can happen when you compare: being jealous.
I don’t know if you’ve ever gone to an event where you’ve posted a picture on your Facebook only to see that someone else posted a similar one and they’re getting way more likes.
Or maybe you’ve scrolled past someone’s Instagram and they’re doing something just like what you want and it makes you a little mad on the inside so you just keep scrolling without liking it.
Maybe I’m the only one who can relate to those.
When I catch myself, I realize that I’ve fallen into the trap of comparison.
And when you’re in that trap, you stop doing things because you love them.
Your best work never happens here because you’re wasting brain cells on worrying about others.
I find those little twinges of anger and jealousy you get when you’re seeing someone else’s fantastic work is actually you being mad you for not spending enough time being you.
Meaning, you know you’re not spending the time creating and working on the things you should be.
And, if we’re honest, and we have enough time to be looking at other people’s work and being jealous, we probably have time that we could be working on our own craft.
Getting out of the Trap
So if you recognize that you’re in that place, here’s what’s helped me get out of it:
1. Go and like that person’s status or picture or video. Recognize that they’re not the enemy and they’re actually doing what you want to be doing. Support them in that, knowing that you’ll get the same support later.
2. Look at what you do have and be grateful. If 6 people liked your photo, those are real people that took time out of their day to give you feedback that they liked what you’re doing. That’s amazing. And if you can’t be grateful for 6, you won’t be grateful for 6,000.
3. Spend a few minutes thinking about what you really want to be doing and do something to help make sure you do that. Sometimes I send a message to someone asking them to come do something with me or hold me accountable.
4. If at all possible, that very second, go create or learn something. Find a YouTube video that will teach you something or go for a walk and snap that picture. Just start moving.
Soon you’ll be back on your way to doing what you want to do.
Everyone starts at 0. It’s only through hard work and perseverance you end up where you want to be.