The Enemy of Creativity – Comparison

Who doesn’t compare. We can’t help ourselves. However comparing your work to someone else is ultimately comparing your worth. Comparison comes from a place of insecurity.

And comparison is all about conformity.

Conformity? I was challenged when I read this in one of the books I’m currently enjoying, “The gifts of Imperfection”. I had never thought of it this way. I looked at comparison as a way to stay ‘current’ in my graphic and web design work. And unfortunately it can becomes a way to measure ones own worth. But it really makes sense, if we are all looking alike we’re conforming with something and it’s not unique to who we are and what we uniquely offer.

Most artists don’t want to look like everyone else, but still… we compare. We compare our style, our skill, our vision and even compare how many ‘likes’ our work is receiving over others on Facebook. This has brought comparison and popularity to a whole new level. Some of us silently stalk others who seem to have it all together based on their Facebook posts and likes.

So how can you escape your own personal trap of comparison?

First we need to look at creativity. At the root there are no rules. That is the freedom of art and creating. It’s what you feel, want, imagine and bring to life. There is no right and wrong in what you make.

So why do we compare?
Again it goes back to insecurity and rejection at times. Instead of looking so close at others, look closely at how far your own work has evolved. As you work on your skill in your artwork, set some goals that you can reach. Focus on this, not on what others are doing. Set your own path and stay focused on it.

We should celebrate

You can be who you are and let others be who they are. When you let go, you can enjoy your work. You can enjoy other peoples work too. You can have a more open mind to learn from others who are further ahead. As you accept yourself as the creative person you are, you can accept and encourage others.

Letting go of comparisons requires constant awareness. Awareness of the triggers that get you caught up, that will trap you and ultimately drain your creativity and energy.

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