How to tell if you suffer from Being Original Syndrome

From Fallon Drewett, The Just Saying Project

There are some days I can’t shake daydreams of being an amateur and fraudster or worse, boring. I really do have some punishing thoughts when it comes to my creative ideas, flow and process.

There have been a few nightmares, where people have come up to me in the street and yell “you are not unique”, “your project has been done before” and, my favourite, “your ideas suck eggs”. I have had dreams where other people have stolen my business from me and informed me that I am not good enough to be running it, and that they have better ideas and solutions then I do.

If I was a dreams analyst, I am pretty sure these dreams would fall into the category of having both low self-esteem and being afraid that what I am doing has been done before. I have always loved the saying “Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt”. My mum used to say it and now I have caught myself saying it too. And some days it feels like many of us have been there and done certain things when it comes to business and entrepreneurship. I know I do, especially in the realms of female driven business and the art of inspiration and wellbeing.

I often compare myself to other women and their businesses and worry that I will be seen as a copycat or that my ideas are too far out, that they won’t work. Comparison is the biggest killer of creative ideas in business and in life. If we spend our time worrying and comparing what we are trying to achieve to those in similar industries, we are never going to grow and see our ideas flourish.

It is time to flick comparison out of your business plan and remember; yes it may have been done before, but not by you. What you as an individual can bring to the table is enormous. No one person is the same and therefore the way you think, create and achieve are totally different to the person next to you.

We live in a society of mass production and consumption, which begs me to argue, are there any unique and original ideas out there? We can up-cycle, recycle, and re–brand, add to and remove so many elements from a creative idea, that they become a hybrid of many other ideas past and present.

What we put out there may not resonate with certain groups or people. But there is no doubt that someone will be interested in what you have to say and really relate to what you are doing, regardless of how many times the idea has floated in space. We all have the ability to turn an idea into our own. It is nice to remember that no one is you and that is your power.

I believe there are moments during our creative processes that we wish we could have the original idea, the one that creates a string of knowledge that impresses different groups of people. Suffering from Being Original Syndrome really can stifle you from making gains in your business. While you are busy trying to come up with the original idea; the one that makes you stand out from the crowd or you are waiting for your idea to be perfectly developed, you might miss your chance to make it your own and, worse still, never create it.

The best way to beat Being Original Syndrome is to get over ourselves a bit. Stop being so shy and precious about our ideas, let them breathe and see if they come to life. Put them out there, live a little. Trust me; putting your ideas and words out there is a great confidence boost.

I know before I created The Just Saying Project, it was not perfect. It still is not perfect; it is a work in progress, like me. I want to grow with my business and if that means taking an idea and running with it before it is ready, then I will. I want to be able to say at the end of the day – I have been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt that reads, “Yes it has all been done before, but not by me”.