Have you ever heard the expression “comparison is the thief of joy”?
In my experience, that expression could not be truer. A comparison can stifle your creativity by choking it or killing it entirely. That comparison can prevent you from starting something new, which is kind of sad.
I’ve started doing something that’s been super fun, which is watching Masterclass trailers because I find them super inspiring. There’s always a golden nugget within the trailer, which makes sense because it’s meant to hook you in. (Kudos, by the way, to the marketing team.)
As I watched more and more of the trailers, I noticed something.
It isn’t just one writer teaching a class. There are multiple different writers, types of writers, genres, styles, and storytellers.
Even their trailers and their personalities are all different.
There’s more than one cook.
There’s more than one philosopher.
There’s more than one designer.
In fact, there’s more than one of pretty much everything.Comparison is the thief of joy and the killer of creativity and individuality. Click To Tweet
When it comes to the Masterclass trailers, Margaret Atwood was probably one of my top favorites. She says any form of human creativity is a process of doing it and getting better at it. It’s perfecting a craft or a skill, like in her case, writing, but in her own way with her perspective, tone, and words.
She talks about how getting better at it means you just have to keep doing it. She says you do it and then do it some more. You fail, but fail better. There’s just no other way. If you want to learn to write, you got to just start writing.
The idea is that it doesn’t matter if it’s crap. It will eventually become better.
Back when I was in grade school I was asked to play basketball because I was tall. I was a solid runner, but I wasn’t great at dribbling. Honestly, I wasn’t in love with the sport. I didn’t perfect that skill. I quickly gave up and did long distance running instead.
While I was good and made it in the top three for nationals in our area, there were two other people that were better. The ones that had the edge above me made it seem effortless to me. But, the reality was they trained more. They practiced more. I KNEW I wasn’t practicing or training. I was just running.
I had this raw talent that I probably could’ve turned into something more, and I settled for mediocrity. I settled for just doing it in the time that it fit into my world and that was it.
Because of that, I couldn’t really sit there and cry over the fact that I wasn’t number one because I wasn’t really working towards being number one.
Now, I’m not saying there’s something wrong with mediocrity. But when you’re getting ready to pull together whatever it is you’re going to do, “comparisonitis” is going to show up.
You’re going to see people who are at the top of the pack, the ones who are at the top levels of their field. And you’re going to start thinking you can’t do it, or you might not have it in you to do it, or what you see around you is fruits of labor that isn’t quite there yet.
We need to remember that these people are where they are because they’ve put in the time. They’ve practiced. No one rolls out of bed doing this stuff perfectly out of the gate.
The goal is not to quit. The goal is to keep going, but not in the same way you did yesterday. It has to evolve.
When I think about why I love the Masterclass trailers, it’s because there’s always something there for me to be inspired by. They make me want to learn continuously and that’s exactly the point.
We’re all learning continuously.
Every day, you need to be learning something new that you didn’t know the day before. It could be a mindset shift. It could be a whole new skill. It doesn’t have to be super big, it just has to be something.
If you walk away from your day not having learned one thing, then you’re doing yourself a disservice, and you’re not living your fullest life.
In business, and in entrepreneurship especially, it’s hard. There are days, times, and seasons, when things are all clicking, everything is going right, and you’re soaring.
Then, there are other times when they come crashing down around us. But that’s where the winners are made. It happens in that moment where things are crashing down. It’s in that time when they think they can’t do it, and they somehow wake up the next day, they pull themselves up from their bootstraps, and say, “No. I will do it today. I will do it. I will do it more. If I fail, that’s okay. I will fail better than I did yesterday.
This concept is a good reminder for all of us as business owners. There is a place and a voice for you in the market. Your perspective, your way of doing it and your process, and that’s what makes us all different.
Success from failure means you learned a lesson and tried again. Click To Tweet
So when you fall down, or that little voice in the back of your head starts saying you can’t, remember this:
And if you fall down, pick yourself back up, learn the lesson and try again.
Because that’s what winners do.
Lysa is a creative strategist and collaborator who helps clients build stronger relationships with their customers online. With 18 years of diverse experience in broadcast and digital media, she provides a wide range of opportunities to work with a variety of clients and teams, both virtually and in-person.