Ah so here I am again. Comparison Cliff. Somehow I end up with my toes hanging right off the edge, and even though it is a cardinal sin to look down when you are suspended miles above flat ground, I always find myself staring at what lies beneath my precarious perch. The funny thing is.. one wrong move and I could find myself plummeting straight down into the abyss of self doubt, negative internal dialogues, and discontentment that lies before me.
Now on occasion I can talk myself off the ledge, but sometimes all it takes is one perfectly edited Instagram post showing up at just the right time in my feed and I’m scaling Comparison Cliff all over again.
Why is it that creative people in particular (artists, musicians, actors/actresses, writers, poets etc.) are constantly clamoring up the cliff of comparison? It appears that it has been ingrained in our heads that there can only be one person succeeding at a time. We get so wrapped up in the fact that “so-and-so just came out with another new album” OR “they have so many more followers than me” OR “They get all the good connections... why doesn’t anyone recognize me?” that we miss out on the great stuff happening in our own journey.
As a singer/songwriter, I have to resist the urge to scale Comparison Cliff on a daily basis. And if I’m being honest it is down right exhausting. So I decided to come up with some ways to help us conquer Comparison Cliff.
1- A quest to find Unique
When you start to compare, stop and think of 5 things that are unique to your own creative journey. This will stop thoughts of comparison in their tracks!
2 - Combat negative thoughts with thankfulness
If the 5 things you came up with in Tip 1 just don’t seem to be enough to talk you off the ledge of comparison cliff, then come up with as many little things you are thankful for about your creative journey as possible!
3- Take a break from Social Media
Social Media is one of the biggest instigators when it comes to the comparison game. You have to remind yourself that most people only post the neat pretty things for their followers to see. If you need to take a quick break to refocus and remind yourself how great your creative journey is, go for it! Even the most famous YouTube and Instagram sensations need to take a hiatus sometimes!
4- Get Motivated
Listen to a podcast, read some selections from your favorite poet, or watch an interview featuring a creative person that you admire. Just do something to motivate you to keep striving to create!
5- Remind yourself that no one can be you! So get on with yo bad self!
It is totally ok to remind yourself that you are the bomb at being you. As my mom says, "Girl, you get on with yo bad self!"