The Comparison Complex
Meredith Schofield

Meredith Schofield

Meredith aka Mez is an Australian / Estonian photographer, based on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia.


Click Click, Bang Bang - A Photography Podcast - EPISODE 4

Show Notes

It sounds like the next big hipster band name, but The Comparison Complex is something that actually lasts, and it can also make or break your creativity. That’s why it’s complex!! Mez and Toby discuss not only the dangers of comparing your work and yourself to others, but also the positive explosions that can go off when you nail this whole comparison thing. Do you panic about low like-counts, falling followers, not having cool ideas like the people you follow? Well, this one’s for you!! Listen in, and listen good. Our dynamic duo has got your back.

What do we mean by Comparison Complex?

Comparison is a normal part of life. Comparison can help us to evaluate and understand ourselves, how to improve our work or it can inspire us to learn something new. 

However, when we depend on comparison as a means of how to value our self-worth and the worth of our work, that’s when we’re in danger of creating a negative dialogue in our minds.

In other words, comparing ourselves to others from a place of self worth can lead to a negative mindset and a creative spiral downwards. 

Have you ever looked at what someone else was doing and thought ‘Why aren’t I that good? Why aren’t I like them? I’m not good enough’

We all have at one time in our live especially as creatives.  So lets go deeper into this subject and work through some ways to help us combat negative comparison.

We discuss

– When comparison leads to self loathing instead of motivation your creativity halts.

– We talk about our own personal experiences with this.

– How comparison complex has changed from before social media to now with social media. 

– How positive comparison and constructive critique can foster collaboration and lead to new ideas

– How do we get out of this negative comparison mindset which will lead to true self expression, developing your own style.

– How the comparison influence of social media is creating faux creatives who just keep copying each other

(@insta_repeat is a great example of pointing this out)

When we are focusing so much on what everyone else is doing we aren’t focusing on ourselves as much as we should. We can get bogged down in the game of am I ahead or behind, is this better or worse than what their doing. This is a consuming place to be mentally and when we are creating we need to be creating from a place of true self expression. 

“Creativity, which is the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared. And, without comparison, concepts like ‘ahead or behind’, ‘best or worst’, lose their meaning.” — Brene Brown

Motivation instead of comparison 

Comparison isn’t all bad. Comparison can be a useful tool in shaping your personal and creative identity. It can be a motivation to improve yourself, learn something new, and it can give you perspective. 

So next time you feel compelled to compare, ask yourself one or more of the following questions

  • How can I use this to to motivate myself?
  • What can I learn from what I discovered?

Let’s engage with the world from a place of worthiness (words to live by, thanks Brene Brown)


Click Click Bang Bang: A Photography Podcast is written and produced by Meredith Schofield and Toby Forage.

Edited by Toby Forage

Music by Simon Figliuzzi

Brand design by dingdingding.co

Thanks also to Sean Brokenshire and Bandit for their help in the studio.

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