Chapter 9: Food for Thought: The Full Package

Hi, my Autumn Artists!

It is day 3 of our Online retreat. Quite a lot is happening in our Art Journals, Creative spaces and our minds already! Can you feel a bit of the change? Can you see how much you can offer, and are you ready to receive gifts and inspiration from others? I hope the answer is yes!

Today, we are moving to one of the most popular blocks among creative people – comparing with others and a bit of jealousy.

Although it may sound familiar, and we all experience these feelings occasionally, we may not be too comfortable discussing these topics with others. Both these feelings are often tied tightly with a sense of guilt and shame – but I’d like you to approach them in our usual, positive and light-hearted way! Are you ready? Let’s jump in!

Food for Thought:

We live in a highly competitive world, among people who praise the achievements, admire the winners, and follow the people who achieved a lot. We are trained from a very early age to believe we have to succeed in life; only then we are worthy, and we will get a life filled with all the things we desire. Some people take this approach to crazy levels and try to convince us we have to work hard to be loved and respected – and this all together pushes us into a rat race, which we can experience in many aspects of our lives. Modern technology and media make this problem even more visible by giving the space to people willing to share their achievements and results, which, on the one hand, can be encouraging, entertaining and motivating, but on the other, it opens the door to anxiety, self-doubt and lack of confidence.

Naturally, this goes to every aspect of our life, including creativity.

What should be our natural space for relaxation, fun, experiments and gaining new skills in a healthy, encouraging environment often changes into another race or a beauty pageant. Too often, we get dragged into comparing talents and skills, giving value to the things that are impossible to measure or compare. We get trapped in another game of power while nobody explains the rules. Does it ring a bell?

It is easy to get caught in the trap of comparing yourself with others, and a bit of jealousy comes naturally to us when we see something we admire – but the decision of how we will feel about it belongs just to us.
When we catch ourselves diving too deep into self-doubt, it is good to ask ourselves questions to see what is going on in our minds and return to the right path. It is much better to cheer for others and encourage them to go on instead of burning our energy out for envy and jealousy… do you remember the “rule of sympathy?” Similar things attract each other!

Here are some questions to ask yourself that may help in a moment of doubt and discouragement:

  • Do I really know how long it took this person to learn the skills I admire?
  • Am I ready to spend similar time, effort and equal energy to get similar results?
  • Do I know what is the skillset this person had in the past before starting this activity?
  • What skills and talents are unique to me that I can use as a base? In which fields can I improve, and what topics inspire me?
  • What is my priority and goal to focus my energy on? What do I want in my life?

The truth is that – in short words – we would love to have the talent or skill, but we don’t think about the full “package” that comes with it. It is often overlooked because it is not a fun and inspiring aspect to discuss – it takes a lot of glamour from the whole story!
Jealousy is very short-sighted as we see only a tiny portion of reality and lose precious energy over things we most likely won’t enjoy. Comparing ourselves with others is natural – but it should be done carefully and mindfully, considering there is always a bigger picture!

Your starting point should be looking into yourself and finding out what YOU want in your life. What aspects are worth working on, and what are the right ways for you to grow? What is your story, your path and your true colours?

Looking up to others makes sense once you have these questions answered!

We are all blooming flowers – but our looks, smell, environment and timing are so different…yet we are all uniquely beautiful and needed!

Now, let’s take our thinking to another level – it’s time for some creativity!

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