Read this the next time you think everyone's better than you and you feel like an unoriginal amateur

Allow me to make a few assumptions about you. 

a) You are a creative person, in some way, shape or form.
b) You sometimes compare yourself to other creative people.

Based on these assumptions, I think it’s safe to guess that you recognize some of these statements:

“I feel tiny.” 
“I feel unoriginal.”
“I feel like an amateur.”
“I’m embarassing myself.”
“I’m wasting my time.”

This is what it feels like to carve out a space for yourself in a universe where everything’s already been said and done. By people much younger, much better looking, much more talented, much more experienced.

This is what it means to be an artist. No matter what kind of art you’re doing: music, design, writing, dancing, card magic, whatever.

Chances are that whatever you want to do, build, say or write: there are 12 000 search results on Google for that very same thing. Someone else got there first. You might as well give up.


Because what can you add to the mix? What could you do differently or say better, and do you even have the energy to compete with all of those other people?

Everything that can be invented has been invented.
— Charles H. Duell, commissioner at US patent office, in 1899

Similarly, all stories have already been told. We just tell them in new and different ways. What makes them new and unique? Not their format or even content, but the way they are being told and who’s telling them. 

We are humans. We will never grow tired of hearing stories, experiencing art or trying out new stuff. 

Why do you think we watch the same storyline thousands of times at the movies, or read the same magazine articles or blog posts?

Not to get something brand new, but to experience it in a new way. To see how this person says it. 

So let’s get a few things straight:

1. There is no competition. 

No one can compete with you, at being you. So no one can ever claim your spot. No matter how crowded your industry or niche is, if you can provide a unique perspective and your unique voice or style to it, there will always be a space and an audience for you too. 

2. You always have something original to add, just by being you.

No one can create exactly like you, or write exacly like you. No one else has the exact same experiences and stories. So no matter what you do in life, even if someone else has already done it, you’ll do it slightly different because you’re you. 

3. Doing it is the only way.

You cannot let your fear of not being original enough prevent you from even trying. 
Very few of us feel original or interesting from the start. Sometimes it takes years to find your very own way of creating or communicating.

Everyone unique and great started out being boring and clueless. Originality and greatness reveals itself with every piece of art you create, every blog post you write, every business you build. 

Just doing it is the only way to do it. 

So just do it.