If you’ve been stuck with the thief of joy, learn how to avoid the comparison trap from being blessed and thankful for what you have and accomplished as an artist. From being an encourager and cheerleader of others to celebrate with their successes too.
When we think about the word celebrate, first things come to mind is the word party. It’s like being intentional about lifting other people up and celebrating their successes as well. Each one of us has a different role to play and in this is not a world of competition. We have to embrace each other’s achievements and victories.
On the other hand, being grateful for even the smallest things we have in life can make a change. Gratitude takes away the thoughts of even trying to compare ourselves with others. But rather feeling blessed and contented with what we have.
Recap of Comparison Trap
As mentioned in my previous post about comparison, jealousy and envy trap, we are sometimes stuck in this so-called thief of joy as an artist. We sometimes fell off the comparison trap due to:
- Earthly Focus
It’s a road and some of you may be on that road right now. There is no shame. We are all in this together. This is a human thing. But what’s important is we are aware and we would like to escape from this comparison trap.
7 signs to look out if you suspect you are stuck in the comparison trap.
- Do you have a lack of joy?
- Artists block
- Unable to celebrate the success of others
If you missed that blog post, you can read it here.
The Power of Gratitude
Gratitude has been such a significant role in my own life. I know you just can’t go wrong with having more gratitude. Because being grateful can help you avoid the comparison trap.
If you know my story, when I quit my physical therapy job in 2011 to launch out full time in our business and ministry. Things didn’t quite work out like we thought they would.
We thought we’d be traveling around the country in an RV. A little teeny tiny toy to RV speaking around the country. And our speaking engagements dried up so we end up selling the RV. Then moving out in Colorado Springs.
Here we are, you know, no family, no friends, no church. It was just a really hard time in my life. I felt like the Lord specifically led me to do a 21-day gratitude challenge.
So what I did was for 21 days, I wrote a handwritten thank you note. It wasn’t a text. Not even a call. Just a handwritten thank you note to someone who had meant something to me or who had contributed something to my life. Then, I mailed it out every day.
There’s something powerful about writing it out with your hand and paper or pen and paper. Every day I wrote out on again on a pen and paper the three things I was grateful for.
Well, would you believe it? At the end of those 21 days, I was a different person. The circumstances didn’t change. But God began to change me.
I never planned on publishing any of my books. But God led me to publish. It’s called the gratitude journal.
I have a whole series of books on gratitude. You can know more about it here: http://www.shelleyhitz.com/series/a-life-of-gratitude. And I really encourage you to try it because it’s life-changing.
What Gratitude Means
If you just break that word down, the word attitude is in that word. Then the beginning “gra” you could actually use for grace. It says, if you have an attitude of grace and graciousness, you know what you’ve been given.
You can show gratitude. Give thanks to others and to your Creator. You’re mindful. And when you are mindful, you do the practical things.
Sometimes we’re just sort of grumbling and wishing we had a little different situation. It really does bring us down. Yet when we practice gratitude and being in that thankful attitude, it changes the atmosphere.
It won’t necessarily change your circumstances. But it changes the atmosphere in terms of what you’re feeling. And it’s such a simple thing to avoid the comparison trap.
In our Illuminate Prayer Journal, we have you writing out three things you’re grateful for. Why did we include that? Because we know the power of gratitude. And to be honest, we created that journal more for ourselves than for anyone else.
Avoid Comparison Trap with the Power of Gratitude
In art and creativity, there’s going to be moments. let’s be honest, when you start to sense yourself going into that whole realm because we’re all going to face this. Will struggle with this until we get to heaven.
But if you start to become more aware of that comparison trap, stop and say thank you, God.
“Thank you for the paint that I have. God, thank you for this little spot that I have in my dining room that I can create art. Thank you, God, for the joy that these colors bring to me. That I have a Skillshare membership and I can take new classes. Thank you, God.”
You know what?
If you do that. You start to be more aware of your thoughts. Then, once you started that, you start to think of God.
Then, you start to feel blessed. And feel contented. You avoid the comparison trap.
What often comes in mind when we hear the word celebrate?
Celebrate often means party – birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, graduations and the list goes on. Right?
But think of a party, think about when you celebrate you. It’s an intentional thing. You’re not just going through your day. Day in day out. It’s not just a regular day.
There was something that you were doing. Like, if you think about when you’re celebrating someone’s birthday, a lot of times there’s a cake, cards, presents. You set a date and a time, and there’s intentionality. There’s excitement, joy, and fun.
So those are all things that I think about when I think about celebrating. You’re recognizing those other people, that they exist. They are special and unique.
They are individuals gifted by God. Created in God’s image. I think one of the keywords here are we’re being intentional about lifting them up. Celebrating their own successes as well.
Celebrating Others reminds us that we are all part of God’s Team
We are full of love. We’re ready to celebrate. We’re excited when other people are succeeding in their own endeavors and their artwork.
They’re not only succeeding in their business aspect, but they’re succeeding in the Lord too. It allows their work to spread widely. The message of hope, forgiveness, and whatever it may be, is getting out to a world that needs that message.
Every piece was doing its part. Every part of the body of Christ has a different role. We all have a different role to play. But it all fit perfectly together.
It’s not a competition. I think we’re just trained in our culture. But when we switch our mindset and realize that we’re on a team together. We’re able to celebrate the victories of others.
Think about the color theory. If every color was red, or every color was blue, you would not have all the gorgeous colors. Nor beautiful paintings and things that we can create every day.
If you think about the physical body. What happens if a team member doesn’t do their part? What happens if a body part doesn’t do their part? Or what happens if one team member tries to take over? Or if one body part just tries to starts to take over?
You know that it just doesn’t work. Because we’re meant to work together.
Spirit of Generosity
It’s lifting other people up.
Lift up your fellow artists. They may be in the same niche that you are. Maybe in the same genre. What it looks like is I’m going to do everything I can to help that person succeed as well. Without me being threatened.
We’re talking about the spirit of generosity. It is sowing seeds into others.
If you see something in someone else, call it out. Let them know you see their talent. Just all of the things that you see in them. Because encouragement goes a long way.
If you listen to the Artist Spotlight with Ariane Hope, she said something that it just caught me off guard. She said that in the beginning, when she was on Instagram. There were a few comments that I made and direct messages, where I was like encouraging her. In a way that was different than other people.
It really sparked something in her that thought, “Oh, I could do this.”
Now, she has almost a full-time art business. She said it was sparked with that initial encouragement from me.
Did that take anything away from me to do that? For her? Absolutely not!
And I love it! I’m so proud of her. It’s so exciting. I’ve seen quotes that say, “lighting someone else’s candle does not dim your own light.”
I just think that we really do reap what we sow. When we sow into other people’s lives, in ways we may never know, we’re reaping in our own lives as well. We’re planting seeds that one day, we might even be able to have a chance to eat some of the harvests. Enjoy that celebration with that other person, right?
How to Avoid the Comparison Trap as an Artist
- Jealousy, Envy, and Comparison are some of the artists’ blocks that we might be feeling and be stuck right now. But knowing the roots, being aware of the signs, and having the mindset of positivity can escape us from this thief of joy. Being thankful and mindful of others can help us avoid the comparison trap.
- The best way to start avoiding or escaping the comparison trap is when we see the success of somebody else, we can begin praying for God would continue to bless them. Pray that God would continue to expand their territory. Their horizon in terms of their influence where their artwork is going. Where their books are going or where their music is going. Getting it out to most of the people that God wants to reach. So we’re praying for them.
- Other ways you can do is to encourage. Cheer and uplift other artists. Celebrate in their victories, achievements, and successes.
- We all have our own seasons. Remember that the moon and sun don’t shine at the same time. It might be their time now. But in God’s perfect time, our light will shine up high.
- Be grateful and thankful even to the smallest thing you have. In the morning, thank God for another day in your life.
- Learn to be mindful and do good deeds. Practice good thoughts and change your mindset. The power of gratitude can change your life.
I hope the Lord has bubbled up some thoughts in you to think about this whole idea of celebrating one another and the power of gratitude. We want to close out with a Godly affirmation. And today’s affirmation from God is:
- I can celebrate others because God celebrates me.
- He loves us, He celebrates us.
- He’s working through us. He has great plans for us.
- I can celebrate others because God celebrates me.
Again, the golden rule and it says: “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”
That means, think of the things you would love done to you now. What can you actually do for someone else in that same spirit? Be thankful for all the blessings that you received each day and be contented for what you have.
So we want to just close in prayer and let you be on your way…
Lord, thank you so much for each and every listener here. Thank you for the gifts and the talents that you’ve given them.
Lord, we celebrate, even as we close this episode. We celebrate what you’re doing through each one of them. Many of these folks, we don’t even know the full scope of what you’re doing.
Yet, Lord, we celebrate the good work that you’re doing through them. Because we know that as a result, many people are being encouraged. Many people are being blessed. Your name is being glorified the name of Jesus.
And we ask, Lord, that each of us would have such a generous spirit, and being able to bless others. Celebrate their victories and to be able to even walk with them and their failures. And say, hey, I’ve been there. I’ve done that, and help them get back up.
Lord, help us to all be a people of celebration. And we just, we thank you for each and every opportunity that we had before us. And we ask this in Jesus name.
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Kathy R. says
This is awesome, Shelley– Thank you!
You’re very welcome!