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Embracing who you are

Mike-Rohde-512Great advice from inspired designer Mike Rhode:

I was reminded how important it is to focus on becoming fully who we are in a world where it’s the default state to compare ourselves to others who are not us.

Seven years ago I wrote In The Valley of the Shadow of Creativity after seeing amazing design work and being bummed rather than inspired by it.

I described the temptation to measure myself unfairly against others and the work they do, judging my own work harshly when I fell short.

Since then I’ve shifted my mindset in two ways:

1. To celebrate the great work others do, letting it inspire and not deflate me
2. To focus on the unique work I’m able to do, striving to be the best me I can be

That shift in mindset has made all the difference.

Rather than feeling I’m competing with others, I can appreciate, enjoy, celebrate and encourage the work I see them doing. When I take this approach, it encourages me in the process, inspiring me to be my best while enjoying others’ success. It’s also a net positive, because those who are celebrated are encouraged to do the same for others.

Celebration of others reminds me how unique they are and I am. I then focus on ways to become more true to myself in the work I’m doing. How can I bring my unique experiences into my work? In what ways can I express my personality, thinking and sense of humor in the projects I do for myself and others?

My challenges to you:

1. Let go of your comparisons with others who are not you.
2. Ponder what unique qualities you have and how they can impact your work.
3. Focus on becoming fully who you are.
4. Become the best you possible.

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  1. Jeremie Averous April 9, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    Thanks for this great post.
    For me that’s just another example of the fact we are leaving a world of scarcity to enter a world of abundance. Instead of competing for a scarce audience, there will be space for all. And we can build upon each other’s work more than ever. To finally find ourselves.
    Thanks for the inspiration Mike

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