Comparison.

{photo courtesy of the wonderfully talented Bethany of Rinse. Repeat. Quotation added by me}

This past week, my coworkers and I participated in a training focused on the gifts and talents we each offer to our workplace. At one point during the workshop, the facilitator discussed comparisons. She talked about how once we begin comparing ourselves to others, we lose. This stuck with me and a week later, I'm still mulling over this idea.

Through social media and blogging, we showcase our talents, our gifts. I hate to cook and am quite possibly the worst cook ever. Adrian says it's because I can't make decisions quickly enough. I say it's because we can't both be cooks. Regardless, unless Adrian guest posts, you will not see recipes for the best dinner ever on this here blog because it is just not where my talent lies. You will, however, find stories and photos and parties and blog designs because that is what I like to do and what I believe I have a gift in.

When I first considered offering blog designs to other bloggers, I passed through a serious bout of self-doubt. I thought "Who am I to offer designs when there are so many other designers more knowledgeable and more talented than me?" It wasn't until I did my sister's design and started receiving requests to do others that I finally began to see that people actually want my designs. And the more I've created, the more I've seen that I offer a truly unique approach. My designs are colorful, clean and classic. While I am able to adapt a bit to accommodate a particular want, people come to me because they see something in my style that they appreciate or connect with.

I think this is also why blogging has become so popular. I follow many, many blogs because each blog is so very unique. Each offers something that I just cannot find elsewhere. Because each person is an incredibly unique combination of talents, interests, passions, upbringing, culture and life circumstance.

When we try to compare ourselves to others or we try to emulate another blogger, we always lose. As an individual and as a community. Because when you offer the community a replica of someone else, we all lose out on the opportunity to know and appreciate you as you were meant to be.

And this is also why we must stop comparing ourselves to each other. There will always be someone who is more fashionable than me and someone who can paint things I've never imagined and someone who can photograph that perfect autumn walk in the woods better than me (I'm looking at you Bethany!). But if I dwell on their talents and fail to cultivate or share my own, we are all lesser for it.


I was so excited when Bethany agreed to allow me to use her photo as the basis for the quotation at the beginning of this post. I had been searching endlessly through my own photos and hadn't been able to come up with the perfect photo. On Friday I came across this photo in Bethany's instagram feed and e-mailed her right away. She said yes, quickly e-mailed me the photo and then boarded a plane and I started working on the quotation. 


I've been thinking about this for a while now and this experience and this post has confirmed that I want to move more towards collaboration. Rather than comparing myself and competing, I want to work together. You bring your talents and passions and I'll bring mine and together we can create something new that neither of us could have done as beautifully without the other.

On Wednesday, I'll share how I'll be moving forward from here. In the meantime, share with me your thoughts?

5 comments:

  1. The blog is looking good!

    I love that quote, it's so true.

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  2. yup - spot on. everything you've said is totally true and something I need to hear regularly.

    Looking forward to seeing how you move forward!

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  3. I know it will be hard to not compare yourself to your awesome sister, but if you need me to collaborate with you, I can. Hehehe

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  4. I enjoy your blog and will now be looking forward to what you will be collaborating on. How exciting!

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  5. There are so many wonderful things about blogging, but it's true that the comparisons can get overwhelming. I beat myself up sometimes for not posting consistently enough, not putting enough time into learning more about html and other blogging stuff, etc. And sometimes, when I discover a blog with 1000 followers that's only been around a year, I wonder what they're doing so right that I'm not! But ultimately, you're right that comparing ourselves to others is silly, and that includes the blog world.

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