Comparing yourself to others will stunt your growth

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

When I was in the 3rd grade I remember being excited when we got to go to art class. In my school we got to go to art class once a week. It was my favorite day of the week. I could create anything that popped in my head I never paid attention to what anyone else created I was so focused on what I could make. Until Angela the new girl came to class and worked right next to me.

She was very nice and very funny. We got along really well. We got to paint on big sheets of paper one day. Our teacher told us to paint our houses. I was very excited because we had just moved into a brand new house. I was so proud of my green - yes you read that right - my neon green two story house I painted. I made it super big and used all my paper. Again, I am oblivious to what others are doing until my teacher looks over my shoulder and comments on my big neon green house. My teacher gave me her usual half grin as I stood there super proud of my creation. She looks over at what Angela had painted and stopped in her tracks. She says to Angela "Well it looks like we have a natural talent here. " I look at Angela's house which was half the size of mine but the door had a nice detailed frame and a fancy doorknob the windows had shutters. Her house was amazing. At that moment I knew this art thing was not for me. I didn't have that kind of talent. I didn't even think about putting doorknobs on my front door. That is the moment I decided I was not an artist.

I have admired these magical people who could draw and paint amazing things all of my life. I always believed they were the special ones. Fast forward 45 years, when I got smacked across the head with reality. I watched a few of those "Talented" people on social media and got the nerve to talk to a few of these special people to find out what it was like to be as amazing as they are. One of them said to me "Hey I appreciate that you think I am talented but really I am not that special." He told me to scroll down to through his gallery feed to see what he was painting about two years ago. I did, and I was dumbfounded, because it didn't look like his work. He explained that he just decided about two years ago to start practicing everyday. He said

he missed a few days but really he did his best to paint or sketch something everyday. The lights came on in my head and the myth about talented people disappeared. I finally understood what talent really is... practice.

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