A few years ago I could look through the portfolio of a great photographer and feel a chasmic jealousy. It felt impossible to get even close to produce that kind of pictures with an earthly camera. Why even try? That way of thinking could kill a lot of dreams and plans. One day I had an epiphany. I realized I was looking at it in the completely wrong way. Every photographer have someone that is better than her (Steve's not included of course, he's on top of the food chain), that's a fact. What is variable is how you decide to use the images of others for yourself. To push yourself down or to pick you up?
There are two ways to look at the work of your role-models. You could observe with envy, thinking "wow, this is amazing! I could never make something like this". That is as creative as walking onto a huge rock on your daily walk and deciding "fuck this, I'm going home".
The opposed philosophy is to approach it with "Wow, this is amazing! What do I need to learn to be able to do this?". That would be to step off the beaten path, to walk around that big boulder.
Sometimes I hear something like "I´m so jealous of you for being able to work with what you love and travel to places" or "for being able to take such amazing pictures". Maybe I should be happy to hear it, but I´m not. The best thing in the world is to hear someone telling you that something you´ve done inspired. The worst thing to hear is that something you did held them back. Unfortunately the same thing can do both.
The next time you encounter a piece of photography that really blows your mind, ask yourself "what do I need to learn to be able to achieve this myself?".
Then study exactly that.