Are you one of the people who are afraid of showing their work to others? Is everything constantly not good enough? Nobody would ever think about hiring you, because everyone else is a lot better than you are? Wait, somebody hired you? They sure must have made a mistake, you think?
Yeah. You’re a lovable idiot. No offense, I have the same thoughts all the time but I learned to use them for my advantage. Just like the incredible Hulk, who’s always angry, you’ll always feel not good enough. That’s your strength.
Think about it. Your greatest weakness is simultaneously your greatest strength – and you’re not even some kind of super hero. Just somebody who likes to do stuff.
Yes, there are many people who are better than you. The simple fact that you managed to acknowledge this means a whole lot:
- You’re obviously not a brick-faced prick who thinks he/she is the greatest.
- You know what’s good. You look at your own work and you know that it’s not the best someone could do.
- You know that there are others who are better than you and you know their work.
Yeah, all that sounds very obvious, but I’ve met a lot of people who aren’t aware of the power that’s hidden in these observations.
Let’s think of successful people. You sure know somebody that’s so much better than you, that you don’t even dare to imagine to be as good as they are someday. Do you think they’re always pleased with their work? That they finish something and mumble to themselves “Well, that’s a fucking masterpiece. I’m a genius!”. Trust me, they don’t – and if they do, there is a huge chance that their work is nothing but a buttload of crap.
What not being pleased shows is that you have potential and that you know of it. You know what something should be like and the main reason for you to not achieve it is that you don’t know why. You just know that “that’s not it”.
That is why it’s so important to see that others are better. There always will be somebody who’s more skilled at what you’re doing. Imagine a situation where that’s not the case and how depressing it would be. You just need to keep one simple assignment in mind: Try to understand why something else is good or better. Just look at the work of others, not a quick glance, look at it and think about what makes it good. I’m sure you’ll discover something noteworthy.
Here we are. You just learned something just from looking at other peoples work. Now add it to your own skill set, apply it to your next work, think about how you can use this new knowledge to get even better.
Will you be absolutely satisfied with what you’re working on now? No, you sure won’t and as I said, you’ll never be. Nothing is ever perfect, you just need to learn to think about it as “good enough”. I know, that doesn’t fit into all that talk about “perfectionism” and people “getting lost in details” but let’s face it: At the end of the day even the most perfectionistic person will make mistakes. That’s life, get over it.
tl;dr: As soon as you’re “good enough”, you should look for something more challenging. Being good enough means you don’t have something left to learn and that’s a bad situation to be in.