There is a lot said in the creative world about comparing ourselves to others: how we shouldn’t compare our rough sketches to others’ finished paintings, and more specifically, how the act of comparison is the thief of joy. As I sat on my couch this morning, scrolling through social media and comparing myself to what I was seeing, I felt momentary panic, frustration, and doubt. Am I doing the right things? How can I do better work? Why can’t I be like someone else? Fortunately, I didn’t stay in this state of mind for too long. Guided by Daniel Pink’s words, I found a new question to ask myself: How can comparisons be used for good?
Six ways to use comparisons for good:
- To reveal gaps in our knowledge: What learning opportunities have you identified as you compare yourself and your work to others?
- To identify our influences: Who influences you and how does their influence shape your thinking and actions?
- To find new problems to solve: Where is your curiosity leading you as you go from comparison-mode to inquisitive-mode?
- To understand your uniqueness: What do you need to do to build your skills and confidence in yourself? Conversely, what do you need to let go of?
- To refine your vision: How is your future-focused vision propelling you forward through the mud and glue of life and work?
- To transform negative responses into positive action: How can you transform negative responses into positive actions?