Comparison is the thief of joy

There's something I learned to do, pretty early on in my business. It was probably the first giant stepping stone for me in paving the way for creating a brand and business I knew I had it in me to achieve. Now, let me be clear before I go on with this, I am still very, very much working on that path, as my business goals are still growing, changing, and perfecting daily. However, I do know that by doing this one thing several years ago, it allowed me to clear all of those debilitating voices in my head, that just constantly numbed me in fear and told me I could never climb that mountain. What am I talking about? Comparison... I learned that every time I viewed someone's work who had the same geographical client base as I, I just compared every little thing they did to my own talents and abilities, when in fact, they had different style altogether, or perhaps different business goals, or different life circumstances.

Looking back, I can see how illogical this was, when in fact, THE VERY REASON I decided to start my business was to bring something different, something astonishingly new to the area based on what I had researched and aspired from photographers around the globe and where I knew my own strengths and talents lie.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Because I know that I'm not the only entrepreneur, the only business person, the only photographer, the only woman that has felt this. And while I can't be sure of what any other person's private thoughts, aspirations, or goals will drive them to do, I'm fairly certain that achieving a dream is a capability every person has.

During the holidays, I was watching the movie Jobs that came out this year. It is a biography of Steve Jobs. If you know anything of Steve Jobs you know why he's one of the most influential creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century. One of the many inspiring pieces of advice he gave over his lifetime was this...

comparison-1

Whether that dream is to be a CEO of a large company, a stay at home mother who loves and raises a family with everything she has, whether it's to become a nurse, or get into college, or to make a large impact in the lives of many people--every one has something to prove to themselves. And that's a beautiful thing, because I believe if we didn't ever try to prove something to ourselves, we'd be a terribly boring, unmotivated, bunch o' people.

I posed an Instagram photo a while back that said, "Once you feel like you get over a mountain, you realize it was only a hill--and that the mountain is still ahead." This is certainly how I feel about running a business. But something I've realized recently is that when you get into adulthood especially, life really never stops challenging you. I've also learned, that that is the beauty of it. I used to have some abstract idea in the back of my mind that setting goals was like filling a cup, and once it was full, so was my capability to achieve all I wanted. But what I realized is, reaching potential means constantly setting goals, constantly working to better myself.

The world doesn't get more kind and I don't believe all comparison is bad. But, let's all strive for healthy comparison in 2014. Let's compare ourselves to only to the people we strive to be, the ones who challenge us to grow, healthily. Comparing to any others who don't push you to be your better self is, in my opinion, not only a simple-minded way of thinking, but it will also get you all of nowhere. Use that energy to challenge yourself to be a better you, instead.

Let's let 2014 be more about fostering the beauty in cultivating relationships -- romantic, friendships, or family. None of them last forever. Let's let 2014 not be about being frozen in fear or dreaming of the same aspirations you've dreamt for the past two years. Let's do something about it. Let's change. Let's never be the same again. (:

 

And now, for the winner of the voted Favorite 2013 Portrait that readers have chosen...IMG_8230The ever-sweet Cefalu family. (Callie came in 2nd, and the Owen family was a close 3rd!) Thank you everyone for voting, and even moreso, thank you to my clients who take my breathe away, time and time again.

Happy Thursday, my sweet friends!

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