Do you ever get the feeling it’s all been said before?
You’ve got this great idea for a blog or a Facebook Live video… and then someone else pops up in your news feed, sharing the same idea. It feels like they’ve just taken ownership of the entire topic.
What could you possibly contribute to the conversation that hasn’t been said already by someone bigger (more well-known/more successful/smarter/funnier/insert-limiting-belief-here) than you ? You’re just adding to the internet noise…
If you feel this way from time to time, you are not alone.We all get that sinking feeling when we see others sharing ideas, blogs or products similar to those we were planning to create.
Here’s why you should go ahead and create it anyway:
- The world needs multiple voices. If everyone allowed such thoughts to stop them creating new content, nothing new would ever be created. Just as one size does not fit all, one blog does not suit all either.
- Your audience is not in your head. They’re not following all the Facebook pages and blogs you follow, they’re not as obsessed with the nuances of your topic as you are. Just because you’ve heard it before, doesn’t mean they have.
- It’s all about timing. It actually doesn’t matter if your audience has heard it before. Sometimes information does not make an impact, until we’ve heard it five, six, or seven times. It has to hit us at the right moment, when we’re ready to receive and act upon the idea. Have you ever tried a new lifestyle, like paleo or sugar-free living? Chances are you didn’t make the change the first time you heard about it. Most likely you did a little research and read from multiple sources, until there was one voice or one message that prompted you to take action. Which brings me to my next point…
- Your audience hasn’t heard it from you. We can hear something multiple times and multiple ways, but it doesn’t make an impact until it comes from the right voice. It has to come from someone we trust, in words that touch us in some way. Your unique take on the subject might be just what someone in your audience needs to hear. If you don’t share it, that person might never truly ‘get’ this information.
- Upcycling ideas is a fine artistic tradition. Even Shakespeare borrowed plots from other authors. Shakespeare, okay? All artists draw inspiration from others, then put their own spin on it. How much poorer the world would be artists thought it had all been done before.
As Elizabeth Gilbert said:
The point is not for you to do something that’s never been done before. The point is to do something that you’ve never done before.
Right? Because that’s what will make you and your business grow.
If you are struggling with the feeling it’s all been said before, here’s a few tips to find your unique spin.
- Stop reading. Shut down all those other blogs on the topic – they’ll only throw you into comparisonitis. You need to connect with the message you want to share and you can’t do that when your head is full of others’ voices.
- Tune in. Pick up your journal and ask yourself “What does my audience need to hear about X?” Then set a timer and free write for 10 minutes, with no filter, no editing. Put it aside and come back to it later in the day. You’ll be amazed at the wisdom that lies within you, if you take the time to listen.
- Pay attention. Once I’ve done my initial journalling on a topic I put it aside, but try to keep the idea in the back of my mind for the rest of the day. It’s surprising how often something will happen that creates a great practical example or analogy for the blog or post. It might be something that comes up in conversation with a client, a sudden realisation of where I am holding myself back, or an interaction with my kids.
- Put it in context. Think of examples of clients who have struggled with this problem. How did they get past it? Can you include an example in your blog or post? Can you write a case study?
- Experiment with different approaches. How can you share this information in a fresh and new way? Think blogs, videos, memes, audio tracks, infographics, stick figure drawings and practical experiments. Don’t be afraid to break your topic down into small actionable steps. You are the expert, so tips that seem elementary to you could be groundbreaking to your clients.
Most importantly, just get over yourself and share it. You’ve got to keep up the momentum in your business. Beliefs like this can hold you back from creating original content and before you know it, you haven’t posted on social media for days or written a blog for weeks. You get caught in a spiral of feeling stuck and uninspired – and that’s paralysing for you and your business.
Once you commit to feeling the fear and posting anyway, ideas will start to flow much more easily. Besides, what’s the worst that could happen? I’ll wager, not a whole lot.. but among the best things that could happen, would be you creating a profound positive impact on someone’s life or work. Isn’t that worth the effort?
Do you struggle with thinking it’s all been done before? How do you move past it? Share your thoughts in the comments below
Need help finding your unique point of view? Join me for the next 10 x 10 Write to the Heart of Your Message sessions. 10 days of 10 minute journalling prompts to help you set yourself apart, share your message with power and impact. and connect from the heart. Learn more here.