Don’t compare yourself to others, just get on with YOUR important work

Drawing sardines instead of painting a large landscapeIt’s all too easy to spend much of our time keeping track of what other people are up to, seeing their (apparent) happy and productive lives, measuring against our own, and finding ourselves wanting. Failing, even.

What a waste of time (and energy). I speak from the heart here. I spent many years comparing myself to others, usually people with a lot more energy than I had, I even tried to emulate one or two of them with disastrous results for my own health. Eventually I realised that the only life I could live was mine, and the only work I could do was MY work.

It took me a long time to learn this, and not before I’d spent a number of years trying to be a landscape painter, painting very large landscapes, because the artists I admired the most, including a teacher of mine who I was a little in awe of, were landscape painters. One day though, too exhausted to paint I drew a small tin of sardines instead and suddenly I was on a new and far more personally authentic path.

With this being ME Awareness month, it feels timely to remind myself that I need to take care of myself and my energy, not squander either and instead concentrate it on what is really important to me. This strikes me as good advice for everyone, not just those of us who a particularly limited in terms of energy.

If you stop comparing yourself to others you’ll:

  1. begin to discover what’s truly important to you.
  2. have more time and energy to devote to your own creative journey.
  3. feel FAR better about yourself.
  4. suffer far less from those energy draining feelings of jealousy and inadequacy
  5. be able to be inspired by others’ work rather than dragged down by it.

Resources

  • How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People: 5 Effective Tips over on The Positivity Blog
  • Creating a Life Worth Living by Carol Lloyd. Good advice and exercises to help you get your life into the right shape for you.
  • Never Too Late: My Musical Life Story by John Holt. My favourite inspirational story about how one man learns to follow his dream.