Honest Thoughts on Comparison in the Digital Age
Written by Founder Kayla Hollatz
Ah, comparison. The word alone makes me want to shovel pass it to the nearest person like a hot potato to get rid of it. We all know the sting it brings.
Even the greatest creators in the world like Shakespeare, Da Vinci, and Elizabeth Gilbert (seriously, I love her work so much!) have fought against comparison in their creative journey.
The internet is comparison's new breeding ground. Even the device attached to your hip can be turned on and within a few seconds, you are reminded of what everyone else is creating and doing. This seems normal to us now because it's so engrained in our culture, but wow, does it ever create complications in our creative process.
When I experience comparison, I start to:
- wish I had another business owners's skills (my inner dialogue often looks like I wish I was creative like them)
- wish I had a "sexier" brand
- avoid networking events altogether
- talk less and less about my own business
Maybe you're nodding along with these or maybe you have different indicators. It's good to understand where comparison is most often born so you can be more aware of it in your creative process.
Here are a few thoughts I have on releasing the power of comparison when it tries to run your creative life.
Don't compare your behind-the-scenes life to someone's highlight reel
Instagram and Facebook are notorious for reinforcing that everyone seems to have the "perfect" life but you. When we take a deeper look, we see this isn't true. Every tropical vacation has its stressful moments, every new job or client comes with transitions to navigate, and every event has its awkward moments.
To combat this, I keep a daily gratitude journal where I list 3 moments every day I'm thankful for. It helps me remember there's beauty in a simplified life too.
Don't let comparison become an excuse for not doing the work
All it takes is a few scrolls on your favorite social media platform to see hundreds of people killing it on their blogs, with their visual and video content, in their newsletters... the list goes on. Whether we like it or not, we're constantly surrounded by what others are doing and creating.
The easy thing to do is to curl up and hide because you don't think you have anything to bring to the table. It's harder to keep creating anyway but you must do so. Pick up the paintbrush, hold up your pen, put your fingers to the keyboard, and start again.
Community > Competition
We hear this message throughout the online world of business but it's so important and true. Competition is born from comparison so it's best to stay in our own lane and remember that no one has your voice or your message. No one can duplicate how you make people feel with your art, and that's what it's all about, right?
If there's one thing you can do today, it's to create something, anything, that's new and completely your own. You've got this.
KAYLA HOLLATZ, FOUNDER OF #CREATELOUNGE
Kayla Hollatz is a copywriter and social media strategist by trade and a community builder, poet, and storyteller by heart. She founded #createlounge, the first ever Twitter chat for creative bloggers and entrepreneurs, and has grown it into an online movement. She can frequently be found fighting Minnesota winters with a cup of hot chocolate in hand.