They say comparison is the thief of joy. That statement couldn’t be more true and hits close to home for me. It’s hard not to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. Whether it’s with parenting, work, possessions, talents, or goals, it can be a challenge to silence the voice of “look how much better they are”. This mindset truly can be so incredibly damaging. Over years, we have learned to lean on competition instead of sharing our love and support with those around us. The biggest lesson I’ve learned as a newborn photographer is not to compare my work to other photographers and to enjoy my own journey. I’ve learned to practice, practice, practice, and only compare my progress today to my progress yesterday.
It used to be neighbors, friends, or fellow acquaintances you would run into and compare how you’re doing against them. The old “keeping up with the Jones’…” You know how it goes. With the invention of social media, the scope has broadened and the comparisons can be endless. That cute pipe cleaner project you just finished with your two year old? Just hop on Pinterest if you want to see true crafts. The pretty outfit you put together for lunch out with the girls? A few clicks on a fashion blogger’s site can take your confidence down a few notches. There are thousands of talented photographers, and scrolling social media it’s easy to be in awe over their flawless feeds and beautiful work, but I have learned to appreciate my own hard work and not fall into the trap of comparison.
You have to make a conscious effort when you choose not to let the work of others affect your own. Someone else’s beautiful work doesn’t make your own any less. That craft you did with your two year old will be forever treasured on your fridge. The outfit you picked for lunch will pale in comparison to the much needed girl talk of the day. I can only work on myself, and be better today than I was yesterday. The only person you should compare yourself to is you. Comparison is the thief of joy. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to lock up your joy and not to hand the key over to the thief.
As a newborn Photographer, I have learned over the years that comparison truly is the thief of joy. The key to success is practice.