How Comparison helped me grow
If the title of this article resonates with you - know that I’ve felt the same way! Any of these sound familiar?
You’re afraid to start your business.
You’re friends and family are discouraging you.
You don’t think you are good enough yet.
You’re afraid to start charging.
You feel like you’re not getting anywhere.
You feel like you’ll never be as good as others.
I’ve got two pieces of advice for you.
- Everyone started out somewhere.
- Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to their Chapter 20.
“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly until you get it right” - Les Brown
I discovered Flickr a month after I got my first semi-pro camera. I fell in love with so many photographers and their beautiful images (Anastasia Volkova and Julia Trotti were huge influences on me). I had no idea how they lit or exposed their photos or even what lenses they might have been using. I'd feverishly set up shots in my livingroom while my baby daughter slept. I tried to recreate the beautiful images I was so inspired by. I’d load the images onto my computer just to feel a huge let down. I mean, the difference was night and day. But I pushed on… I'd bring my favourites of the bunch into photoshop because I was determined to elevate the style and give my photos some allure. The look improved, don’t get me wrong, but still I was nowhere near my photographic idols… in fact I wasn’t in the ballpark or even the stadium in terms of comparison.
You see… I compared my photos to those of my idols. We’ve been taught that comparison is bad.
Comparison made me strive.
Comparison gave me the desire to learn and educate myself.
Comparison showed me the difference between good and great.
I understand when people tell you not to compare yourself with others. They say - be happy with your own work and your own style.
Now, I agree with this statement and I do think comparison can be a deadly trap - that can literally paralyze and stop you from moving forward. And it can get your inner negative voice to tell you all sorts of tales, like...
….you’ll never be that good,
….it will take forever to learn how to do that why bother,
….she can do it because she has _____ and you don’t.
Realize, you’ve gone too far.
Be sure that when you look at others and compare, that you do so in a way that feeds your soul and motivates you to improve yourself. Interpret it as a soft nudge to go learn something new or develop/polish a new skill.
But remember that it will take a series of steps to grow and reach certain goals.
Be kind to yourself. After you learn something new, make a list of everything you now know that you didn’t before. I bet you’ll surprise yourself.
Just as we have growth spurts and lulls… have the faith, determination and, most importantly, patience as you grow.
P.S. Just to let you know...when I first started in photography, I tried reverse engineering other people’s photos. Then I learned about and enrolled in online courses...which has made all the difference. This important step helped me fast track my progress and success.
With love and gratitude and to YOUR success,
PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS YOU'LL LOVE
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