Creativity to Fight Comparison

by Ines Quandel

Nothing kills my creativity faster than when I start comparing my work with that of others.

I love taking photos. I think some of them are even pretty good. I’m happy to share them regularly on both Facebook and Instagram. But … when I start thinking about what other photographers do, there goes my confidence and with it my creativity. Instead of going out to capture what I can see, I compare everything I see to what someone else has shot. Nothing good comes from that mindset for me.

My aha moment came while reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. I just finished Guidepost #6 Cultivating Creativity - Letting Go of Comparison. She encourages us to be creative and original as a means to get away from all of the comparison have become a constant in our world. I love her statement “Creativity, which is the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared.” I may need to tape that saying to my camera case.

That’s not to say that I won’t learn more about photography, get inspirations from what other photographer do, and take a few more photography courses. I do want to improve my craft and that won’t come from just practice. There is a time though for learning, when the comparisons and the critiques are necessary. There is also a time to put what you learned into action in your creativity, without comparison to anyone other than yourself. And even then, maybe cut yourself some slack.

In which part of your life do you need to be more creative and spend less time comparing?

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