Journal With Me: Comparing Myself to Others
In this episode of Journal With Me, I wanted to remind myself to do my own thing, and only compare my current self to my past self. To measure progress on my own terms, and not by anyone else’s journey. Check out my chit chatty process video on YouTube:
I primarily use journaling as a way to record memories and because it's a calming experience, but I also like to process certain emotions through journaling. Jealousy, anger, resentment, feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and negative thoughts are feelings we all deal with at some point. I'm not saying that journaling can solve all of these things, but it can be a helpful tool to some people, including myself. I actually do vent, but not in this particular journal. I have a separate notebook where I vent if I need to. I love sharing my journals with you all, but I need a journal that's for my eyes only so I can write as freely as possible, without any pressure or fear of judgment.
A flower does not compare itself to other flowers. It just blooms.
As far as this quote goes, I wanted to remind myself to focus on bettering myself rather than dwelling on how I stack up against others. I am no stranger to feelings of jealousy and despair when I compare myself to people that are more talented, have more than me, or just seem happier in general. I especially have this problem with artists that are super good at portraiture, which is something that I struggle with, and I don't consider myself to be a strong portraiture artist. I'm okay at figure drawing, animals, and nature, but for some reason, I struggle with rendering faces to look like my subject.
I used to try to deal with those feelings by thinking 'Oh, they probably have issues that I don't know about. They're just showing the good things in their life, and hiding all the bad.' I think like this, because that's what I do, especially in the age of social media, where we can curate the highlights of our lives more efficiently than ever before.
But this way of thinking, of projecting negative thoughts onto others, doesn't really help with my own feelings of inadequacy. It just prevents me from actually improving my own skills. So I've found that in moments when I want to compare myself to others, it helps to shift my attitude. I try to change potential feelings of jealousy into moments of inspiration. Instead of thinking about ways that the person may be lacking in talent, I think, 'Wow, that person must have spent a lot of time and energy practicing portraiture. I admire their hard work and perseverance. I want to spend more time practicing portraiture, and studying facial proportions.'
If I still feel like comparing, I try to compare my current self to my past self. I'll pull out some old journals and sketchbooks and see how far I've come along. I'm still working on this, so let me know if you've ever felt this way and if so, how you have dealt with it!
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