“Comparison is an act of violence against the self” – Iliana Vanzant
I wish I could say that I was one of those people that always had a strong belief in myself but it has taken me a long time to get to a place where I could believe in myself without outside validation.
As far back as I can remember, I always thought what I had wasn't enough. The other kid's ice cream cone looked better than mine, all of the other girls in dance class were prettier than me, my sister was better a singing harmony than I was, my brother was more athletic than me, boys seemed to like my friends more than me. At a young age, I started to have a good ol’ case of the grass is always greener syndrome. I started to tell myself stories about how what everyone else had was better than what I had and that I would never be able to catch up. When I look back, it’s no wonder that everything in my youth felt like a struggle!!
How To Stop Comparing Yourself And Live Your Most Creative Life!
In my early teens, I found the entertainment industry. I was ripe with insecurity and the theatre was a perfect setting for me to continue down a path of comparing myself to everything and everyone I met. After graduation, I entered a performing arts college where I continued to compare myself to those around me. From the outside I looked like I was fine, attending classes, laughing with friends but on the inside, the constant comparing was giving me anxiety and full-blown depression, although I did not recognize it at the time. I never told anyone. I went to the college counselor once, and they weren't much help ( at least that’s what I told myself) so I told myself I am just going to have to grin and bear it for a couple more years and throw myself even more into my work and it will go away. And it did. I was all work and no play for the next couple of years. It’s amazing was surpassing your feeling can accomplish when you really commit! #winning
I graduated and entered the biz and my anxiety and depression were getting worse with each audition, and every contract. I was still comparing myself, which at this point just felt natural, and I felt judged by everyone. I felt I was not thin enough, pretty enough or wanted and I looked for every experience I could to make that story a reality. I was completely joyless and my depression had spiraled downward leaving me creatively drained. I couldn’t remember why I wanted to be an “artist” in the first place and blamed the industry I was a part of instead of looking inward and figuring out what I was doing to contribute to my current state.
Today, on Cue To Cue, I am sharing some insights on playing the comparison game, how it killed my creativity and how I have managed stop this useless habit and develop a strong sense of self and restore my creative passion.
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