What do you think? Is comparison the thief of creativity? I am fascinated by creativity in all its various forms. Last July, I went to Virginia to visit my sister, brother-in-law and two nephews (and Pennsylvania, but more about that trip in another post). At their house, on their lovely covered sun room, I discovered a new word: flamingle. I had never seen this word, but it is apparently fairly popular today. According to the Urban Dictionary it means: “The act of trying to flirt/mingle but you are so awkward that you come to be a flamingo.” Now I am not sure that definition makes much sense to me, but there do seem to be whole groups of people who love flamingos, love parties and love to mingle.
Back when I was a kid, a painted flamingo on the lawn was an icon for living in Florida. It was kind of looked upon as a cheesy yard ornament. Not so any longer!
Flamingo everything, is popular everywhere. Thus the big screen tv cover, my sister and brother-in-law created:
When I saw it, I was absolutely taken by the whimsical creativity of it. Here is a close-up shot:
I also came across a book in my sister’s library called the Wonder Years: 40 Women over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength.
As you know, I love featuring creativity in all its forms. I want to encourage those readers who don’t think of themselves as creative to start realizing that we all have something to contribute creatively. In the book, Brene Brown quotes a friend, Laura Williams, “Comparison is the thief of happiness.” Brene writes, “I can’t tell you how many times I’m feeling so good about myself and my life and my family, and then in a split second it’s gone because I consciously or unconsciously start comparing myself to other people.”
As I pondered this saying, I realized that comparison can also be the thief of creativity. Comparison creates fear and fear prevents us from even trying to create. So many of us are afraid that our efforts won’t stack up, will be embarrassing, or won’t be as good as…(you fill in the blanks). Comparison is divisive. Comparison distances you from the creative act and reinforces the “I’m not good enough” mental thought process.
Let me just say, that comparing yourself is downright unhealthy. It induces a competitive spirit that stops a person from even trying.
So I say, ignore comparison and get creative! Here are some lovely shots of my sister’s creative expression in needlepoint. I love watching her delight in what she is doing, and how it contributes to the beauty of her life and others.
Perhaps your thing isn’t needlepoint or flamingos, but maybe it’s time to discover how you can mingle creatively!
Lydia Brown · July 19, 2021 at 1:40 pm
Yes, indeed, comparison is a trap that breeds competition where there was none and can squelch creativity as well as taint relationships, our ability to enjoy the moment, even our hopes and dreams!