The sentence itself is rooted in self-comparison.
When we feel behind, we have to ask, “Relative to what?”
We tend to forget all the other aspects of our lives when we start looking at others to see where we “should” be.
Sarah landed her dream client as a graphic designer, but she lives with a partner who doesn’t treat her kindly.
Janice just got hired at a Fortune 500 tech company, and her twin brother got into a freak accident 2 days ago.
Daniel made a boatload of money through his work as an entrepreneur, and he has troubles falling asleep at night.
The reality we face is that we live in an edited world. All the raw footage and unfiltered emotion doesn’t make the cut to our social media (the main medium we use as the world is in lockdown).
Everyone else is trying to find their own place, and we are too.
Getting into the routine of forming groups and working with multiple minds, no matter how frightening it can be to hear the opinions of others, is one of the most beneficial things a creative can do.
The addition of one voice can be amplified through a second voice, made more diverse by a third, and so on, and so on.
It’s easy to work on a project by yourself and answer all the questions on your own behalf. There’s nobody to question you, or to tell you that more work in a different direction could bring you more insight. Inviting others to critique and observe is more real, and it’s a lot harder to do because it challenges us to manage emotion and spin it into action.
Doing things with the help of others is not a sign of inexperience or weakness, but of growth and connection.
And in this time, the growth and connection part is so much more important than allowing inexperience drag you behind.
This is about doing the thing you want to do and then being able to share it so other people know.
Sometimes we hope for miracles to happen, like getting “discovered” on our secret side Instagram page, catching the coattails of a big movie producer from making our 5th YouTube video. Or, hearing from your dream design agency by posting one portfolio piece on LinkedIn.
Does it happen? Possibly.
Is it a good strategy? No.
If you’re reading this, you likely want your work to be noticed by somebody you care about. You don’t want to be romantic about it and wait for their response if they see it, because you’re a professional. Instead, you want to let them know that you’re here for them, 100%, always.
The narrative that plays like a record in your head that says, “It’s not good enough, it’s not ready to be shared” is everything that keeps you from making your first move as a creative.
It’s fine if you’re naturally quiet, introverted, shy, and don’t intend for your work to reach anywhere beyond your borders. You can stay where you want. This post isn’t for you.
However, if you’re looking to create your own megaphone so that your work can be amplified (even just a few degrees forward), we have to mute the voice in your head that keeps you from sharing.