HAD A GREAT DISCUSSION my friend Kyle Steed today. I told him how impressed I've been watching him grow into himself through his work, becoming more fully Kyle every single day.
I was reminded how important it is to focus on becoming fully who we are in a world where it's the default state to compare ourselves to others who are not us.
Seven years ago I wrote In The Valley of the Shadow of Creativity after seeing amazing design work and being bummed rather than inspired by it.
I described the temptation to measure myself unfairly against others and the work they do, judging my own work harshly when I fell short.
Since then I've shifted my mindset in two ways:
1. To celebrate the great work others do, letting it inspire and not deflate me
2. To focus on the unique work I'm able to do, striving to be the best me I can be
That shift in mindset has made all the difference.
Rather than feeling I'm competing with others, I can appreciate, enjoy, celebrate and encourage the work I see them doing. When I take this approach, it encourages me in the process, inspiring me to be my best while enjoying others' success. It's also a net positive, because those who are celebrated are encouraged to do the same for others.
Celebration of others reminds me how unique they are and I am. I then focus on ways to become more true to myself in the work I'm doing. How can I bring my unique experiences into my work? In what ways can I express my personality, thinking and sense of humor in the projects I do for myself and others?
My challenges to you:
1. Let go of your comparisons with others who are not you.
2. Ponder what unique qualities you have and how they can impact your work.
3. Focus on becoming fully who you are.
4. Become the best you possible.
Stop apologizing for who you are - Jeffrey Platts