The Game of Comparison
The game of comparison is a scary and dark place. It's easy to make yourself feel useless, rubbish, unworthy when looking at the world around you.
I have seen so many bloggers, artists and people in general bringing themselves down in the game of comparison. Judging themselves against someone else's ideals, judging their attainments against others. I'm awful and constantly compare myself to others, and often indulge in a bit of a pity party about the whole thing.
The endless comparison can't be good for anyone, especially not in the realm of art, it's easy to fall into a mess of "What didn't I do that" and the ruminating that follows.
The beautiful Shannon tweeted something that I obviously had to screencap for my 'remember this Erin' folder.
Shannon reminded us all that in creative work we have to trust that our perspective is important.
Unsurprisingly we're all individuals, blessed with our own ideas and judgements. Important to note is that although we can all be wildly different, we also have tenuous links and that can be so easily over-looked when we don't feel like our efforts are getting through to the right people.
As a constant over-analyser I'm quite partial to becoming completely obsessed with certain characters, investigating them because to me they're absolutely fascinating, or, I see something of myself in them and the comparison is astounding.
I see, basically, a better version of me.
Maybe it lies in the feeling that we're not good enough, or maybe it's a social thing that has been ingrained into us. I remember as a child of seven completing exams and being judged against my peers. Did I ever get top marks? Probably not but the girl who sat next to me did, and I remember this vividly, when in reality I should probably remember if in my next exam I beat my original marks.
It seems far healthier to pit yourself against yourself and focus on improving than pitting seven year olds against seven year olds. (Lets not forget that children seem to be inherently horrible until they learn to empathise).
Our individual perspective is important
It's also far more important than we give ourselves credit for. Our perspectives can open up new ideas and new practices, we can open new dialogues and discuss ways to move forward and improve. Comparing process to outcomes to find the best way forward for you, I and everyone else. It's that difference that means the world, how the way the world works can impact in so many varied ways.
Our individual experimentation in our lives brings about a whole wealth of knowledge, and that knowledge is important to the individual, and I'm betting that in a world as big as ours is that that knowledge is important to at least one other person.
The knowledge you've gained may well be the light at the end of someone else's tunnel.
And all throughout it all, it's that that really fascinates me, how certain deep feelings we can all relate to are so personal, yet so wide spread. It's all about how those deep feelings have left their mark, and the perspective gained. It's the supporting of each other in our journeys. Life can be tricky and kind words can make everything seem a little better at times.
Maybe, while remembering that our perspectives are so important, comparison can help us learn, explore and grow into spaces we never thought were possible.