Mondays with Meg: Creativity, not Comparison

This past weekend, I did a LOT of filming for my documentary production class. (I have to get used to it, since it is what I’m studying!) I attended a suicide prevention awareness walk, which was such an emotionally charged event. As I was filming, I kept thinking to myself, Will my footage look as pretty as my classmates’? Will I be able to edit this in a way that looks as good as everyone else’s films? I couldn’t stop thinking about my filmmaking compared to others.

I am a HUGE Pinterest addict (and you should check out Campus Calm on Pinterest too!). If you haven’t heard of this website, it’s basically a virtual pinboard for anything you could possibly imagine: food, animals, DIY/crafts, movies, books, fashion, quotes…so many quotes! I always look to quotes for inspiration, and decided to dedicate one of my boards to inspirational quotes. Scrolling through pages and pages of quotes on Pinterest, I came across one that has had a huge impact on me:

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Wow. A lightbulb went off in my brain. I had (and still do) constantly compare myself with others, and it drives me CRAZY! What was the point of comparing every single thing I did with those around me? Life is not a competition. Yet, I couldn’t stop myself from looking at all of my work, my creativity, my life and comparing it to those of my peers. I would berate myself if I wasn’t doing “as well” as someone else–“They have a killer internship, and I’m working this summer! I won’t make contacts!” or “I got a B on that test, and I know she did better. What an idiot I am!” Boy, that turned out to be exhausting.

When I learned to start being grateful for all that I had and stop comparing myself to others, I found that creativity came so much more naturally to me. I wasn’t afraid to try something new because I thought it could “ruin” me. This has been so helpful to me, especially in my schooling now. When I go out to film something, I’m not afraid to experiment with my technique. I’m not afraid to get a little crazy in the kitchen and try out a whacky new recipe. I’m not afraid to paint or draw or sing (well, sometimes!). I can be creative and not competitive.

How do you embrace your creativity? Let me know :)

-Meg

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