No matter where you turn, the Internet feels like a saturated place. Every piece of content you find seems like the same content you read last week, just this time wrapped in a different bow. And that’s because, well, that’s exactly what’s going on.
Magazine editors learn to have relationships and feelings towards words. One close friend of mine, who is a big-time editor, hates words like “unique,” “innovative,” or “original,” because they seem to pose the idea that this thing you’re talking about has never been done before, which is rarely true these days. Every idea is inspired by someone else’s idea. One of my favorite books on the topic is, “Steal like an Artist” by Austin Kleon.
We know this, but somehow when it comes to our own ideas we expect them to be the first of their kind. And when they are not, we’re disappointed, and we decide the idea is not worth following through with.
Take blogging for example. I speak about the topic often. I believe blogging is a great exercise in discovering your calling, and it’s an amazing way to get your message out there. I even teach a free course on it because I believe in the exercise so much.
As you can imagine, I get people asking me if the world really needs another blog or blogger, which of course makes me laugh, because I get it. And yes, I agree, there’s a lot of blogging going on out there, but I don’t think anyone should hit the breaks on their blogging dreams just because other people are doing it. On the contrary, I think that’s a reason to start blogging.
When we’re thinking of stepping out into the world with a personal and creative expression, shit gets scary really fast. And we’re going to look for any reason to convince ourselves that this new expression is not a good idea. Saturation of market, being one reason. But we have to know when fear and distraction are simply masking themselves as innocent caution. The truth is, we convince ourselves of these logical reasons on why we shouldn’t be following through on an idea simply because we’re scared. That’s it. And fear is never a good reason not to do something.
We need to start somewhere, and sometimes the activity we start with is something a lot of other people are doing, like blogging. You must trust that the entry will lead you down a path that is just for you. What you’re being asked to do is just start somewhere… anywhere.
Plus, if other people are doing what you want to do, it means there’s a need for what you want to provide. If you have competition, that means there’s a market, and that’s a good thing. Because sometimes we have a great idea for a need that doesn’t exist. Just watch an episode of “Shark Tank” and you’ll see what I mean.
You also have to remember when putting something out there, only the strong survive. Meaning, only the people with focus, purpose, and dedication will make something out of their desire. I remember when I was pregnant with my son, I attended a breastfeeding class. The instructor told us at the class that less than half of us were actually going to breastfeed. And she was right. Some of us were going to learn that it wasn’t for us, and that’s okay. Sometimes we think we want something, but when we get into it, we realize it’s just not that important.
Lastly, you are a unique snowflake. Sorry to use the word, but it’s true. No one in the entire planet has had your exact same life. Not even your sibling. Your experiences and choices have shaped you into who you are, and when that is truly expressed, the expression can’t help but be one-of-a-kind. The problem is when we start looking at others to tell us how we should be and how we should create. When the truth is, the answer to our desire to be unique is completely written inside of each of us. Go find your instructions.