“Mommy, your face looks like a sad face.” My four-year-old’s observation had me wondering what was going on in my heart that had shown up on my face as I was tugging on the buckles of her car seat. When I looked a little deeper, I realized it wasn’t the buckles or her squirming as I tried to set out for our trip. It wasn’t the car or the afternoon and had nothing at all to do with my current situation. Without even realizing it, I had fallen deep into the pit of comparison.
Have you been there? In the pit of I’m not good enough. If only I had her equipment or his education or her artistic eye. If only I were smarter, wealthier or more creative, then I wouldn’t feel this way. I wouldn’t be struggling to make ends meet or wondering if this whole photography biz thing was even a good idea at all. Sound familiar? Welcome to the pit of comparison, my friend. It’s a dark pit of confidence-destroying deception. It’s high time we dusted ourselves off and climbed back into the light of reality.
In her book, You’re Already Amazing, Holley Gerth writes that our tendency to compare ourselves is actually how we’re wired as women. It’s a part of the relational way God made us. It’s what makes us great moms, loving wives, and compassionate friends. Phew! And here I thought it was just me! She goes on to say:
“Your story and strengths belong to you. God doesn’t compare them (or you) to anyone else, and you don’t have to either.”
We’re not made to compare, but to connect. Let’s say you find yourself wearing the sad face of I’m not good enough again. Instead of allowing your mind to wallow in the pit, what if you take that as a cue to connect. Try connecting with your family, a friend or a fellow photographer. Reach out to someone in the industry who is just starting out and help them along or to someone a little farther ahead on this journey and ask them to come along side you.
Stop comparing. Start connecting.
Let’s say we all made the crazy, impulsive decision to leave the pit of comparison behind for good and choose to connect with each other instead. We’d all have the chance to grow and flourish as photographers and women. We’d be happier, healthier and more productive. Let’s give it a try, shall we?
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