How to Break Out of Your Bubble

Yesterday I talked about how we’re each part of our little industry “bubble.” It was inspired by a talk that travel photographer Trey Ratcliff gave at Google. (I’ll do my post about Sue Bryce tomorrow or Monday). I realized that I didn’t offer any suggestions or tips for breaking out of your proverbial bubble.

Photo by maskedcard on Flickr.

So, here are some things I do that help me break out of my bubble every now and then:

  • Make a concerted effort to follow a significant number of people on Twitter who are NOT part of your industry.
  • Follow and read blogs of people in other industries, but choose blogs that in some way will educate or inspire other important areas of your life. Some of the blogs on my Feedly reader are: (intentional leadership), CopyBlogger (the art of writing and social media), (blogging for fun and profit), The99Percent (insights on making ideas happen) and Matchstic’s blog (brand design).
  • Watch TED videos. There is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration in TED presentations that will challenge your thinking and elevate your spirit and mind.
  • Have friends outside the industry, real friends, not Facebook friends. But, have Facebook friends too from other industries. It’s always fun when I post a status update on Facebook that has absolutely nothing to do with photography and filmmaking and I get a barrage of comments from family members, high school or college classmates, old dance buddies, old work colleagues, church friends and the like.
  • Have a blog or Tumblr not related to your industry.
  • When looking for feedback on your work, instead of posting on a forum or Facebook, select a small handful of trusted professionals to give you honest feedback. (I have found this a more effective way to improving my work).
  • When looking for feedback on your work, instead of sending it to anyone in the industry, send it to just your non-industry friends (this is almost a sure-fire way to boost your confidence).
  • Take may “Comparison Kills Creativity” challenge and for one month don’t look at the work of anyone in your field.

What suggestions do you have for breaking out of the bubble. Please share in the comments.

2 thoughts on “How to Break Out of Your Bubble

  1. I once really hated a certain “look & feel” of certain videos. I set forth to copy it, mock it. But in so doing, I ended up striving to improve on it, and in the end, I made something I was proud of, which I would not have attempted if I continued to dismiss that whole direction out of hand. THat breaks the idea bubble.

    As to the industry bubble, I think there’s just so many ways to do that. Do a completely different craft. Get some kids watercolors and paint a picture. Post that. Get feedback. Sure. Your first picture will suck. But it’s not about being perfect, it’s about doing something completely different. Go to the craft store and buy the parts to build a birdhouse. Put it outside. Let the birds enjoy it. Etc.

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