Vanessa Turner - Artist & Coach

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Comparison - The Habit Stealing Your Joy

Comparison – The Habit Stealing Your Joy

Comparison - The Habit Stealing Your Joy

Comparison – The Habit Stealing Your Joy

Today I want to touch on the terrible habit that may be undermining your efforts and denying you of the success you deserve:

  • It’s a habit that roots its ill effects long before we recognize it.
  •  A habit that destroys dreams before they are even given a chance
  • A habit the instills unnecessary fear
  • A habit that steals happiness
Do you know what that habit is?
It’s ‘Comparison’ – aka The Thief of Joy
And believe me, the nickname is VERY fitting.

Comparison – How it Starts

The internet and social media making it amazingly easy to access and share information. Almost anything we are seeking is simply 2 clicks away or 3 words away in a google search bar. Whilst accessibility to information is amazing, we have to be clear on where we might draw the line.

But before we can draw the line, we need to know where we stand! Tell me if you recognize some of this within yourself…

  1. You may be feeling unsatisfied about how a particular art piece is progressing, you may be wondering how to execute a specific technique, or you may simply be browsing through the work of other artists who uses the same medium…
  2. In your search you come across amazing work! And artists who have accomplished so much! In looking through another artist’s portfolio, who has 15+ years of experience ahead of you, you may think to yourself “How the hell does she do that?! She makes it seem so easy!”
  3. Maybe you feel inspired, but I bet that’s not always the case. I bet that because you are so passionate about your work and your dream that you begin to compare your work and success to those of that artist. Feelings of worthlessness, self pity, and concerns about future may begin to creep in.

BUT!! Do not beat yourself up over this. It’s completely normal. – Sometimes we use comparison to gauge where we are but often we use comparison in a way that shuts us down as opposed to building us up.

We allow comparison to be the thief of our Joy!

But guess what! Comparison is hella greedy! It doesn’t just steal your joy my dear. It comes in like debt collector, looking for the very last penny! Comparison may also steal your creative spirit, your motivation and momentum, your confidence, your uniqueness, your interests in growth, your willingness to take risks.

Comparison can steal ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING that is VITAL to the process of creating!
Comparison - The Habit Stealing Your Joy

Comparison Stealing Your Joy?
Well Let’s Steal it The Hell Back!

So, we accept that we have an unhealthy relationship with comparison. Now what?

Firstly, it is unfair and unreasonable to say never compare yourself to others. That’s probably not what you expected me to say but I firmly believe it. Comparison has become too far ingrained in us as a form judging our own success.

Instead, what we want to do is develop a healthy relationship with comparison and use it to our advantage.

Comparison won’t be the thief of our Joy because we’re stealing it the hell back!

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1. Embrace The Gap

No one ever tells upcoming artists about The Gap. Many times I have felt frustrated with my work and looked at the work of others wondering when my own work would reach such a caliber. I remember expressing this frustration to an artist that I admired and she said to me: “I’ve been painting for almost 50 years, what you see before you took 50 years of continuous painting and learning… if it was easy I would have been painting like this from day 1″.

You see no one tells artist that there is a gap between where they are now and where they want to be with their creative work. Like anything else, it takes TIME and WORK to close this gap.

The only way to reach that point, where the majority of your work gains your acceptance, is to keep going and do a lot of work. Every art piece affords you an opportunity for growth. Eventually, the culmination fo your time and experience will help to close the gap so that your  work becomes as good as your ambition.

2. Believe in What’s Possible

The work that you desire to create is within you. Believe in what’s possible. With continue effort and dedication, artists can exhibit immense growth in a short period of time. If you doubt this is true, just have a look at an art piece you completed 2 years ago and compare that to one that you completed recently. I’m sure you see some degree of growth. Comparing your current work to your earlier work, is a safe place for comparison and to build confidence. Now imagine what you’ll be able to do two years from now, 5 years from now, 10 years from now! Believe in what’s possible, because it’s waiting for you to discover it.

3. Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Sometimes you might feel like you are miles apart from everyone else. I’m sure as hell that 99% of artists all felt this way from time to time. This is because we’re continuously aspiring to be better than we currently are. Even as we grow, we keep aspiring, reaching and pushing our boundaries.

Nevertheless, we must get comfortable with being uncomfortable. We will always be aspiring to be better, we will always look to artists whom we admire. That discomfort is simply a combination of potential and impatience. But the key is to recognize those feelings and know when to depart from the comparison and instead turn inward to what matters most (your work!)

Are you ready to reclaim your joy?

Ready to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be?
Want to travel this journey with support by your side?

Consider the beautiful benefits of creativity coaching

Believe in What’s Possible!

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