Have you ever gotten bursts of inspiration to do something WAY out of your comfort zone only to throw in the towel a few days later? Believe me – I’ve been there too.

I love the feeling of getting giddy with excitement to try something new. Days, weeks, best case scenario, months later, I would quit. I kept quitting.

Kinda a bummer, right?!

I never realized why I kept ditching my newfound interests.

It took me YEARS of thinking and tons of wasted money, spent on equipment, books, etc., to realize why I kept quitting – I simply could not stop comparing myself to others.

Every time I started a project, I would always look to see how others who had similar hobbies, but YEARS more experience, were doing. Of course when you are comparing your start to someone else’s middle, your results will look COMPLETELY different.

When you first start drawing, you will not be able to draw perfect human figures.

When you first start knitting, you will not be able to make yourself an intricate sweater.

When you first start photography, you will not be featured in National Geographic.

I am not here to tell you that these things won’t happen. Learn from my mistakes – you will NEVER achieve your wildest dreams by giving up before you even get started.

It takes courage to go outside of your comfort zone, ignore negative criticisms (or even your own), and get out there and live your dream.

It took me far too long to realize that by comparing myself to others, I am only holding myself back.

When I was growing up, I dreamed big because I had nothing holding me back – no feelings of doubt. I used to sing in my room for hours every night. I thought I was going to be the next Shania Twain, and there was no one out there telling me that I couldn’t be!

As you enter your teen years, thoughts of doubt and comparison start creeping in. It’s human nature of course, but think of what you could do if you weren’t questioning yourself. Think of the power and confidence you would have if you completely threw yourself into whatever you are pursuing.

I know you hear “comparison kills” all the time, but it’s true. There is no worse feeling – nothing more discouraging than thinking of what could be.

It takes an active effort to avoid comparison. You need to be real with yourself – think of where you are.

From there, analyze why your path might look different from someone else’s – there’s no one right way to do something.

In times when I find myself drowning in thoughts of doubt, I try to remember what I’m doing right – ya gotta be doing something right, right?!

Then, I take a look at the areas of my life where I lack confidencewhat makes me feel this way, and is it within my power to fix?

It isn’t always that simple though.

In times of spiraling doubt, I reach out for a helping hand (shoutout to Mama Lisa and Andrea). Sometimes, extra validation from family and friends can help push you forward and get you going again. Remember – these are the people who believe in you in times when you don’t even believe in yourself.

A temporary feeling shouldn’t stop you from finding long-term happiness.

Get out there and do what you’ve always dreamed of!

-Brittney

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