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!
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