The deadly compare-and-contrast bug

It’s 5 O’clock in the morning. I’ve been awake since 3am. Seems little point in going back to sleep now so here I am confessing what’s on my mind.

The deadly compare-and-contrast bug – that’s what.

The reason I woke at 3am was because my mind suddenly went into a panic about the Artist’s Way course I’m running in September. Am I charging too much? Someone yesterday hinted they thought it was expensive. Maybe I’ve got it wrong. But I think it’s worth it. But maybe I’m wrong.

You know how it goes in your mind at this time in the morning?

So then I had the bright idea of scouring the internet for other Artist Way courses. Funny – in 2005 when I last did this search there was no evidence of Artist’s Way courses that I could find – now Google tells me there are loads. And my course is definitely one of the most expensive. Hmmm.

So is it good in this case to go with the gut that says I should value this work for what I believe it’s worth or do I follow what everyone else is doing?


Now a ball has started rolling. A ball with a bug in it. The compare and contrast bug.



And then it happened. In my searching I came across another UK site called . And what’s more she talks about the Artist’s Way in there too. What?!

The lady running the site started in May this year – after me. Now, I’m sure this is just a coincidence  – a meeting of like minds – but we all like to think we’re unique don’t we? And the thing that really p’s me off? Her site is GOOD.

Oh, god, the bug has just grown to elephant proportions! I feel like I’ve become a character in a Kafka novel.

I’m not original. I’m not any fun. My blog’s not juicy enough. Everyone out there is doing it better….. blah, boo, aggh, ugh.

OK clearly I need to pull myself together here. This is my happiness experiment after all. So what do I do?

This quote I found is a good start:

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.”  ~Unknown


I’ve lost sight of what makes me, me. The fact that I have become the bug is really an invitation: it’s time to get re-aquainted with myself.

Hello, what’s your name?

Hi, my name is T.

Tell me about you, T.

Well – hmm, let’s see, well, I guess the best way to explain is by showing  you …

And it really helps to know that all this is just an infinitessimally small slice.

So my lesson for today?

If I get the compare and contrast bug take it as a sign that I’ve lost sight of myself. I’m not going to find myself  ‘Out There’. Even if I got all my friends now to say lovely things about me, it’s not where it’s at. The real antidote comes from me tuning again to me and all my complex, quirky, mad, sad, bad, hum-drum, curious, joyous, questing, creative, busy, apologetic, angry, blah, experimental, hopeful, grateful, (I could go on), sides of myself.

Cliche, I know, but – like a snowflake. Unique. Beautiful. One of many who are unique and beautiful. Like you.

  1. Well you didn’t say how much you are charging but believe that you will bring something so unique to people’s lives that the course will be priceless and go with it. The one thing I can not remember about the Artist’s Way course I did was the price! It is irrelevant now – although at the time I did it I could not afford it so I asked the tutor if i could pay monthly and she agreed. The course changed my life as I have explained in a blog of mine about journaling. My tutor started off with just 5 course members for the first course but by word of mouth this has grown for her latest course. Charge what you need/want to charge and give it your all and you will be enriching people’s lives. If it is near Cheltenham I might even join it!

    • Hi Heavenhappens – thanks so much for your wise and encouraging words. I’m not going to change my price because all my instincts say that it’s (and I’m) worth it! I had a wobble because of my friend’s comment and because I started that deadly act of comparing myself to others. I’m over it now, thank goodness, helped on by wonderful people like you! I would love to have you along on my course – it’s going to be in Cirencester on Wednesday mornings from September 19th. You can find out more at All the best. x

  2. You are worth every penny and more! I’ve taken your AW courses and you go that extra mile for your clientele. I agree with the above post-er, no one recalls what they paid after experiencing the course. You are a successful, well-seasoned, professional AW facilitator. Run with it. You’re helping others value themselves.
    So can I take it with you again….by skype? 🙂

  3. You are worth it as that ghastly ad says and if I couldn’t afford it I would clean lavatories to do so..physician heal thyself

    • Thanks Annie – that means a lot. I haven’t changed my price as everything about me says it’s the right thing to do. It was a temporary wobble thank goodness!

  4. Another great post! I like your ideas, and the quote reminded me of one I read recently: “Why r u trying so hard to fit in when u were born to stand out?” I’ll be back for more later.

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