I have a mentally debilitating habit. I constantly compare myself to others, and rarely in favor of me. Although this keeps me motivated to be my best, it is also devastatingly inhibiting to my true self. Too often, sometimes daily, I interrogate myself. Do I look ok? Am I pretty enough? Am I getting enough accomplished? What more could, or should, I be doing for myself or others. Did I do those things correctly? Was I offensive to anyone? The pressure I place on myself is unfair and daunting.

I have been, and continue to be, exposed to many talented individuals. I have been fortunate to have a front row seat to their artistic, musical, and intellectual products. They have set the bar to which I compare myself and my works to. Is it as good as theirs? Am I as good as they are? The whispers of self doubt circle through my psyche.

I have slowly, and all of a sudden, connected my creativity to my personal joy. Enter stage left, fear and self doubt. I have an artist’s soul without the ego. Does my inspiration serve as a springboard, or am I merely reproducing what I’ve seen? The intimidating clouds of my friends’ talents roll over me to cast a paralyzing shadow. Instantly, I succumb to inferiority. I’m not as good. Good?  What is “good?” It’s a judgement that I have placed on myself. This opinion is not of my critics, but one of my own act of self limitation.

Either singularly or all at once, what’s inside me fights its way out, and is expressed through art, movement, and/or word.  This is purely a creation of my own.  I was exposed to all sorts and kinds of creative expression. Professionals and fellow novices modeled their crafts for me to witness. I was taught, and I learned. I took notice of their creativity and was empowered to find my own.  This is how creativity should behave. It’s amazing how an act of creativity spontaneously leads to another, and without warning or ceasing. It is good. Such a lesson and a good reminder to not ignore one’s artistry.

I am not a mimic. I am an attentive student to the world around me, taking notes at each corner of my journey, and determined not to waste the talents of my role models. I only need to honor my gratitude towards them, and remember I am creative. I am able. I am good enough. I do, therefore I am an artist, potter, writer, and dancer.

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