In this episode I share my own (embarrassing) stories of envy and getting stuck in the Comparison Trap, and the tools and armor I’ve used to keep the creative channel open, all in the service of answering a listener question.
Melissa, I often get caught up in creative incubation rather than creation. I do my research and my homework, then fret and obsess over what I’ve found. I diminish my own creativity by comparing myself to my research. I never win this battle, don’t create, and become horribly depressed. I want to be creative fruit fly since I have lots of ideas, but how do I move past feeling inadequate compared to others, so I can create more freely?
- Ask yourself, what are you really envious of?
- Envy shines a light on your true desires.
- Comparison Trappage means it’s time to draw on inspiration wherever you can find it.
- Your value lies in your uniqueness.
- Armor against the Comparison Trap includes:
- A tribe of champions.
- Teachers and sages to remind you benign reality.
- Mantras, affirmations, validations.
- Anything that will inspire you: art, music, poetry.
- There’s a time to do research and homework, and there’s a time to shut everything else out.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
The Snow White Syndrome, by Betsy Cohen
The “No Comparison” painting I created:
The original “Irresistible Woman” artwork:
(These designs, and other similar ones, are available as prints, cards, T-shirts, and more here.)
Martha Graham quote (as remembered by Agnes de Mille):
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open… No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
Thanks for Listening!
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.
Also, please leave an honest review for Live Creative Now on Tunes! Ratings and reviews make a big difference in how the show is ranked, and that makes a big difference in helping other people find it, and that helps grow the Creative Uprising!
So you can be an important part of this movement simply by leaving a review.
Plus, if you have a question about living a creative life that you’d like me to address, type it into your review and you may just hear it featured on a future episode! (Yep, to incentivize you to leave a review, I prioritize questions that are left inside reviews. )
If you’d also like your voice to be heard on the show, leave your question as a voice message right here.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.
Now go get creating!
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!