Have you ever had what you thought was a really good idea? Perhaps it was for a business you wanted to start? A t-shirt design you can picture clearly in your head? A change you think you can make at work? A gift to buy someone? Something you wanted to ask someone? Even a book or a blog post you wanted to write?
It might have come to you in bath. On a dog walk. Daydreaming at home or on the tube to work. It just came to you and every so often, and increasingly so, it’s popping up and impossible for you to ignore.
As you’ve thought about that idea, you may have pictured the smiles on the faces of your friends or even the public seeing it, reading it, visiting it, tasting it, tweeting about it out in the world – in HD and in real life.
To even ready these words just now and allowing yourself to believe it could happen may have made your heart beat a little faster and the corners of your mouth turn up as you visualize the potential of your idea taking shape and the buzz you’d get from seeing it through. Pretty fricking awesome, huh?
And then, out of what seems like nowhere, you might realize that someone is doing something similar or has done it before?
- How can this be?
- Have you copied them?
- Did they copy you?
That’s when doubt gets its fancy pants on and plants those angry thoughts like "Theirs is MUCH better than mine and have you SEEN how hot they are too?!
- “FFS. Why did I even bother to dare to dream about that?”
- “How could I have been so indulgent as to contemplate that **I** could do something like that?
- How come they didn’t tell me they were doing that”?
GAH! Evil thought cycle is in full effect and with it, in an instant your dream is frantically gasping for air.
The above is waaaay too familiar to me as, up until recently, I’ve been on the verge of putting my dreams in a headlock on a fairly regular basis.
That was until a month or so back and myself and my new husband decided to go out for a bite and we were both in the mood for Italian food. (C’mon when you want pizza you have to HAVE pizza, right?)
I’m still fairly new to Brighton having moved here from Leeds earlier this year but if there’s one thing I’m getting to know reeaaally well it’s where does good pizza. (Y’know the kind which is super crispy and comes with rocket on top OMG yeah those ones!)
The debate about which Italian restaurant to choose raged on was seeing both Al and I making cases for and against the options we had literally at the end of the world.
“No not that one – they never use enough cheese”
“Are you mad? The crust there is like biting into an old mattress”
“You’re forgetting they don't put all of that wine you drink on the bill!” (WIN!)
And that’s when it hit me like a breadstick between the eyes… the parallels with my perceptions of how I was doing, or not doing, compared to others in my industry. (I know the irony’s not lost on me – I fell in the comparison trap!)
This new thought became crystal clear…
If these Italian restaurants could differentiate themselves on something as beautifully basic as mozzarella, tomato and dough and make it feel like they had their own style and were producing it in their own right, then I sure as hell can keep trying to push boundaries and grow awareness in my industry.
And if I can give my self-belief a makeover then so can you!
At the end of the day, uniqueness is hard to find in this world – my previous day job as a brand strategist meant I learnt that quickly.
BUT originality and fresh interpretation, ultimately, YOUR SPIN on YOUR THING is totally special to, and ownable by, ONLY YOU beautiful YOU.
Just like those pizza chefs have done around the corner from my flat, you can find your own style to produce what you want to offer the world, delivering it in your own way with:
- Your flavour
- Your slant
- Your anecdotes
- Your analogies
- Your metaphors
- Your passion
- Your accent
- Your clothing style
- Your fast and loose use of grammar or over use of exclamation marks (Umm, me yep!!)
There is so much to go round whether that’s press coverage, clients, interest, social media likes, speaking gigs, TV appearances, Youtube views, retweets etc… that my chosen new viewpoint is I kinda HAVE TO be in it to win it. Whatever ‘it’ is.
Ultimately, if other people are starting to do, or have for a long time been doing, a similar thing to what you want to, that should tell you there’s an appetite for it NOT that it’s a duff idea or that you shouldn’t bother.
Your customers, followers, visitors are all out there waiting for your unique flavour of whatever you do so go on in, the water’s lovely!
If YOU don’t get involved then the scene stays the same and who wants that?!
Imagine if Mick Jagger had thought “hmm those Beatles boys seem to have British rock n roll covered so I don’t think I’ll bother…”
So come on lovely – meet me in the comments… what are you NOT doing because you think there’s no point? What areas do you compare your ideas to others the most? What’s the best piece of advice you’re received that has kept you believing? Have you an arch nemesis belief that you need to slay so you can be 'in it to win it'?
Love Lucy xxxxxx
(Sources: http://www.buzzfeed.com/xfactoruk/14-signs-youre-born-to-be-a-star// http://www.buzzfeed.com/chelseamarshall/pizza-cat // http://giphy.com/gifs/2obXknYVwp4CA//)