The Comparison Game

Okay. I'm about to open up on here and be very transparent. I know I'm not the only one who has this problem, and I think it's something that needs to be discussed.

We all do it. We watch TV, read certain blogs, scroll through social media, and begin to get that "blah" feeling. Like we're not good enough. Like there are all of these good-looking, talented, perfect people out there, and we're just...average.

I find myself feeling this way particularly when I see other artists creating amazing work. Of course I love just looking at beautiful design, and I feel happiness for the artist behind the work. However, I'll be perfectly honest...I also feel a bit of sheer panic. 

Maybe I'm jealous of them and their talent. Maybe I feel like I'll never be as good as them. Maybe I feel like I'm never going to "make it" in this industry, and I feel embarrassment for even thinking I have the talent for it. Whatever the reasoning behind my panic is, it's not good for me or for those around me.

These are thoughts that I have almost every day. Some days I'm better at being confident in myself and my work. Other days I feel like I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing....in my career and in life in general. I'm not alone, right? (Please tell me I'm not alone!!)

Why do we compare ourselves to others so much? Why do we covet what others have, be it money, possessions, talent, etc. instead of being thankful for what we have? Why can't we just be happy for others, and live our own lives confidently and happy? It seems as though we all have this notion of the "perfect" life. And when we see someone who appears (note the word appears) to have that life, we feel inadequate. The thing is, we don't know what's going on behind-the-scenes in their life. They may look like they have it all together, but may also be struggling in some other area of their life. 

This is a problem that I'm constantly trying to fix in my own life. I have to constantly remind myself that most of us only portray the good side of our lives on social media. That artist whose work is absolutely stunning? Maybe she has been working for years to find her own perfect style. That blogger who seems to have it all together? Maybe she never thought she'd end up where she is today, but she persevered and made it happen slowly over time. That mother who is always showing off adorable photos of her kids? Maybe she went through two miscarriages and years of grief and prayers before having those precious children.

Instead of looking at pretty Instagram photos at face-value, we need to remember that there is a story behind every single person. Everyone has their own struggles, temptations, triumphs, failures, and victories. Life isn't simple...it comes with all kinds of bumps along the way. There's no one specific way we are all called to live. 

I started really thinking about this after listening to the most recent podcast from Kelly Rae Roberts. She mentioned the quote below, and it got me thinking about how comparing ourselves to others robs us of all our joy and peace. We are all in this thing together, and we shouldn't be so quick to make comparisons. So let's stop comparing ourselves to others, and live our lives as fully and as positively as we possibly can. 

Weekly Favorites 2.1.16

I'm going to start a new weekly blog post where I share some things I'm loving/wanting/inspired by. This is going to include pretty much anything, but mostly things that are design-related. We all could use more inspiration for creativity in our lives and I just want to start out my week with some fun inspiration! 


fresh start

Even though changes usually make me a little (or very) anxious, I truly love the start of something new. Graduating from college was nerve-wracking, but I was excited to start my career. Moving across the country was terrifying, but I anticipated the chance to start over. Quitting my 9 to 5 job to chase my passion was (and still is) scary, but I'm feeling happier and more fulfilled every day.

I also always get this sort-of-anxious-but-mostly-excited feeling at the end of every year. Even though tomorrow is technically "just another day" it marks the ending of one year and the beginning of another. The end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. I'm a firm believer in viewing life as chapters, or seasons, always changing, never staying quite the same as the one before. This mindset has helped me overcome tough seasons and not get "too big for my britches" in great seasons. (Sorry, y'all...I'll limit myself to only one Southern saying for this blog post.)

2015 was a big year for me. I left my job in advertising to pursue my dream career. I still don't know exactly what I "want to do with my life," but I'm not wasting any more time just following the well-worn path of mediocrity. (That's not to say that the advertising industry is mediocre-I actually love the industry. It just doesn't get me as excited as design does.) I want to make my own path, and I began that process this past year. 

I'm looking forward to 2016 for several reasons, one of which is to learn more about design and illustration, and hopefully turn this into a lifelong career for myself. I also have many personal, physical, and spiritual goals as well. I'm not a huge fan of resolutions, just because they tend to be forgotten by the end of January (we all know it's true), but this year I'm going to be centering each month around a specific word. I don't know yet what each month's word will be; I'm guessing that I'll know when each month approaches. My word for January is "habits." This is a pretty obvious word because it's very broad, but specific in that I want to be able to focus on clearing out unhealthy or energy/time/life-draining habits and load up on new habits that will help me grow physically, mentally, relationally, and spiritually. They say it takes three weeks to break an old habit or make a new one, so this gives me a little over four weeks to set my intentions on this and make it happen!

Fresh starts can be scary...like starting a new job, going to college, starting a family...but without fresh starts, our lives would be extremely boring. Here's to a fresh start and an awesome new year!!