On Other Creators as Competition
It’s easy to think of other successful people as competition. I’ll admit that I do all the time. Sometimes it’s envy, other times despair, or confusion — but it’s always emotional. I also watch others do the same thing. It’s part of human nature.
If you find yourself in this moment, consider the following.
Should you think “what this this person have that I don’t?”, here’s the answer: everything. Other people have different life experiences, different social networks, different short-term and long-term goals. That all leads to different drives, different voices, and different ways in which folks resonate with others.
You are not playing the same game, even if it seems like you are.
Should you think “what the fuck am I doing wrong?”, maybe there’s an answer. but maybe what you’re doing wrong is being impatient. Or focusing on trying to maintain some sense of credibility so hard that you’re not focusing on what got you credibility in the first place: doing the damn work.
Or maybe you’re not doing anything wrong at all. After all, you aren’t playing the same game as others are, even if it seems like you are.
And if you’re in a place where you feel like you’re “losing” to some imagined competition, imagine what it’s like for those who see you in that same light. They wonder what you have that they don’t, and fall into despair. They wonder what they’re doing wrong compared to you, just as you’re wondering what you’re doing wrong compared to someone else.
But the answer seems to be this: I made choices based on my needs and desires at the time. They impact me today, sure, but I had no way of knowing where I’d be today. And I’ll continue to make choices based on my needs and desires now, while trying to look toward an uncertain and nebulous future. I will grow at a different pace and in different ways than other people.
I will have successes in my own way, and even if they don’t seem as great as those I hold in high esteem, they aren’t valueless. So I should stop treating them as such just because someone else seems to be doing “better.”
Looking at all that, really my only competition is my on sense of self-loathing, of despair, or worry that I’m a fraud or fake or not good enough.
Fuck that guy. I deserve to beat him in the competition that is my life.