Nowadays, we can find and learn pretty much anything we need on the internet. We can see what other people have created and how they did it, which can be a great thing. But it also has its negative side: it can often make us feel inadequate and question our own work. In this video, Chrystopher Rhodes of YC Imaging discusses why it’s important to “detoxify” from other creators’ content from time to time and stop caring about what they do.
As Chrystopher points out, many creators nowadays share their work on social media. They also share how they did it and show us some BTS shots, which is great. But, many of them also document their progress on Instagram and other networks. It’s great for them, but it can be toxic for you. Let me explain.
When you constantly check out other people’s progress, you may compare yourself to them. It can make you second-guess your choices, your gear, your complete work. You may not do it consciously and you may not even know what made you feel inadequate and as if you weren’t good enough. But if you feel that way, perhaps you should start checking other people’s work less. Or as many of us would probably put it: you should stop giving a f*ck (pardon my French). Chrystopher suggests three ways to help you get back on the track:
1. Know yourself
Many of us think that we know ourselves, but we actually don’t know as much as we think (I’m guilty as charged). To be a content creator, you need to “know yourself in and out,” as Chrystopher puts it. In other words, you need to know what is for you and what is not. This way you won’t compare yourself with others that much and you won’t question your style, gear choice, or the pace of your progress.
2. Curate your content consumption
“What you consume consumes you,” Chrystopher says, and I think that’s really well said. Remember that you are the tailor of the content you consume daily. So, you can limit what you watch and whom you follow. Carefully curate it so you follow only what you care about, what inspires you, and what makes you want to learn and grow – not what makes you feel that you’re not good enough.
From time to time, it’s also good to take a break from social media and recharge. Take at least a few days every month where you won’t check social media. Consuming too much content can make you feel negative even if you’re not aware of it. I’ve felt it on my own skin, so this comes from personal experience.
3. Look backwards
We are programmed to look forward, to make plans, set goals and work towards them. But don’t forget to look back on your work from time to time. Looking back at your work does two crucial things for you. First, it shows you where you started and why you started. And second, it reminds you that you’re constantly getting better even if you don’t feel it. I strongly believe that the only person we should compare ourselves to is the person we were in the past. And if your current work is better than the work created by “you from the past” – that’s perfect!
In conclusion, I don’t think that you should ditch other people, their art, and all the inspiration and knowledge you get from them. But I think that you should be aware of yourself, your own style, progress and value, and use other people’s work as inspiration, not limitation.