March 2017 It Starts With You: Strength

When thinking of a theme for this month's It Starts With You, I started thinking about qualities that I admire in other people.  Inner strength instantly came to my mind.  My life is filled with strong and resilient people.  Most of us have had to exercise some inner strength at one point or another in our own lives, either for ourselves or for others.  I think reflecting on the times that we have had to be strong, or the times that we exercised inner strength unexpectedly, can give us a sense of pride and even gratefulness.  It's easy to forget about the times that we have stood up for ourselves, got through a difficult time or situation, or needed to make hard decisions.  We all deserve a big pat on the back for getting through. 

If you missed last month's launch of It Starts With You, here's the deal!  It Starts With You is a free monthly resource designed to encourage self reflection and thoughtful conversation.  When you sign up for the Positive Prints Newsletter, you will get a password to access exclusive It Starts With You content. 

Currently it includes:

  • A list of questions and writing prompts you can use for journaling, creative writing, thoughtful conversations with friends or family, or to simply ask yourself.  Use them however you'd like!
  • A complementary hand lettered print for you to download and print at home or at your local print shop. (Try printing on cardstock!)

If you're already signed up, then you don't have to do a thing!  Here's to a wonderful new month!

Positive Prints Studio It Starts With You Marcg 2017 Worksheet
Positive Prins Studio It Starts With You March 2017 Print

COMPARISON vs. INSPIRATION

One thing that I know all of us creative types deal with is moments of self-doubt and feeling like our work isn't good enough. (I should note that feelings of inadequacy aren't limited to just creative people...most people struggle with these feelings too.)  These feelings are something that I have always struggled with, and although I don't expect them to disappear anytime soon (or at all, honestly), I have been working on recognizing what sets me off into a downward spiral of self-loathing and hating my work.  The biggest offender?  Comparison.  Let me elaborate...

I spend a lot of time on visual image sites and apps like Pinterest and Instagram (probably too much time).  I love looking at and following the work of other artists and designers.  I love seeing what other people are creating.  However, I have realized that in looking for inspiration from others that I have actually been falling into the comparison trap.  Maybe this has been happening to you, too.  There is a fine line between inspiration and comparison, but each of them make me feel completely different.

Inspiration makes me feel joy.  Comparison makes me feel unhappy.

Inspiration makes me feel excited about creating.  Comparison makes me feel like I should give up.

Inspiration makes me feel happy for the other person's success.  Comparison makes me feel envious and causes me to wonder why I'm not as successful.

Inspiration allows me to bring new elements into my own work and to try new things.  Comparison makes me feel like I should be creating work that looks like the work of others.

Inspiration tells you anything is possible. Comparison tells you everything is impossible. -Jon Acuff

See the difference?  The next time you are scrolling through social media or the internet, ask yourself, "How is this making me feel?".  Are you feeling inspired and uplifted?  Or are you doubting your own creative work or life journey?  It's a struggle, believe me.  Learning to recognize when I'm starting to feel bad has helped me start to learn to turn away from the things that cause me to fall into the comparison trap and focus on my own art.  In reality, it doesn't matter what others are doing.  It matters what you are doing.  And what you're doing is perfect for you.