I struggle with self-doubt and comparison, often getting stuck in the headspace of thinking there are so many artists and creators out there, what could I possibly have to offer the world? Sometimes I have trouble thinking of reasons why anyone would care about what I have to say or create if there are people saying or making something similar, or even better.
The other day I spent some time painting watercolor eyes for the first time, and I was actually proud of what I’d done until I started to share it on social media and thought about how others might view it. Then I was too embarrassed to even post my work and my progress. Thankfully I caught myself in that moment and had to work my way through those unhelpful, negative feelings because I was all too aware that this is something I struggle with often, especially lately.
When I see people doing things similar to what I’m trying to do, I instantly compare and think why should I bother when others are already doing something like it? I let my self-esteem lead over logic and self-compassion.
I had to think about what would I say to someone I cared about who came to me with this struggle, and that lead me to a realization that I really needed to have.
No one is telling your story, no one shares your exact experience, and no one has your heart, your brain, your soul, or your voice. So sharing your work, your message, and your struggle is important. Even if your work might be similar to another’s, you never know what small difference is going to stand out and mean something special to someone. Your work is uniquely yours and deserves to occupy just as much space as anyone else’s.
There are billions of people on this planet, all with their own preferences, tastes, and opinions. Each one of them is looking for something that resonates with them, something that makes them feel something, something that inspires them. And those people own more than one book, buy more than one piece of art, listen to more than one podcast, enjoy more than one band, and cook with more than just one recipe.
There is an audience for every kind of art and artist. There is someone out there who will love your style, your voice, and your message. There are people who will appreciate your uniqueness, your authenticity, and your creativity.
There’s no need to compete with other creatives, to compare yourself to others or feel insecure about your work.
You deserve to create. To express yourself. To share your vision. To make something that matters to you.
There’s room for all creatives, for everyone to make art, music, books, movies, games, etc.
I hope that my self-pep talk helps you as much as it helped me, or that maybe you already knew these things and just needed the reminder. I hope that it encourages you to keep making art, doing the work you love, pursuing your passion, and following your dreams.
Because you have something valuable to offer. You have something beautiful to share.
We are important and deserve to feel good about what we create. There is more than enough magic to go around.