This post’s title has been weighing on my heart a lot recently. “Someone else is already doing it.” That’s a phrase that’s been holding me back in a number of different areas of my life.
What do I mean? As an example, I’ve been searching for whatever it is that really motivates me – and also sets me apart from everyone else. I’ve been trying to really figure out what I love. My passion. Is it photography? Marketing? Web development? Coding? Blogging? I’m super interested in all of those things, but what holds me back from really digging in to one of them is that someone else is already doing it really well.
I know that just because someone else beat me to it doesn’t meant I shouldn’t do it. I know I could work harder than that person, and do it better. But I tend to stop there. I might get pumped up temporarily, but soon that excitement fades, and more time goes by without action.
What happens when we tell ourselves that someone else is already doing it is that it gives us an excuse to quit. It’s a cop out. It’s usually tied to laziness, and perhaps a little bit of a lack of confidence, too. When we see someone else doing what we want to do, and see them doing it really well, we often think “good for them, it must be nice.”
My favorite photographer, Peter McKinnon, talked about the danger of thinking “it must be nice” in a recent vlog post on his YouTube channel. He boils that way of thinking down as something toxic – an excuse that leads to nothing but a negative attitude. And he’s so right. If we want something, we need to go after it full force, and keep chipping away until we have it. We also need to do it in our own way, and stop trying to copy other people.
I look around at all the personal finance blogs out there, and it’s so easy to think that everything has already been written about. That all of the tried and true ways to handle your finances are already known. That there’s nothing new to teach. But that’s such a negative way of thinking.
Look around at everyone you envy, everyone that already has what you think you want. Most of them got there after a lot of hard work – years of pouring themselves into their craft. And most of them got to where they are today by being themselves. Not by trying to copy other people.
I’m still trying hard to figure out what I want to dig my heels into. Is it my corporate career? Turning my side projects into something bigger and quitting my day job? Continuing to grow my photography skills? I’m not quite sure, and that’s okay. Getting to where we want to be is a process, and oftentimes we don’t know where we want to be until we actually get there.