I was talking to Adrian Drew – the founder of a viral Medium publication (and now, a printed magazine) called Mind Cafe yesterday. At the end of the interview, I asked Adrian whether he has trouble fighting through self-doubt, jealousy, and competition in his writing career.
He said something that stuck with me.
“Whenever I feel that I compare myself to other writers or other publications, I tell myself to stop. I remember that I can always escape competition through being myself.”
Escape competition through authenticity.
It’s also a quote attributed to Naval Ravikant. Naval writes, “Sometimes you get trapped in the wrong game because you’re competing.”
Competition has some social benefits (like motivation or progress). But when it comes to creative work, we should be creating from love, not fear that we might “lose”.
Social media sometimes makes comparisons impossible to resist. What we need to remember is that nobody can win us at being us.
You can’t out-Amazon Amazon. You can’t out-Joe Rogan Joe Rogan.
We should compete only with ourselves. If the trend is positive – i.e., you’re better today than you were yesterday, then everything is fine.
When you tap into your most authentic self, you find that it’s a safe place from everything. It’s the eye of the storm.
Nobody can compete with you on being you. The great founders tend to be authentic iconoclasts.