Taking inspiration is a natural state for us humans: after all, it began when we were only babies, when we learned countless other things by copying others. As children, we are sponges, absorbing things from parents, teachers and anyone else we come into contact with on the way. As adults, it’s only natural that we continue that process and look to others. The danger comes when we rely too much on others, and fail to stay true to our authentic selves. “The result” is a lack lustre copy cat brand that does nothing to promote you as a unique individual.
So, how do you get inspired but still stay uniquely you?
Investigate what attracts you
If we are inspired by a particular person, think about what it is about them that provokes this? It could be Oprah and her charisma and business sense, Oscar Wilde and his eccentric flair and cutting wit or someone we know in our daily lives for their integrity, sense of style or parenting skills. Is it their values, their strengths, their actions or what they’ve done with all of these? Or perhaps it’s even their own personal sense of style? Knowing that you admire someone isn’t enough: really look at what it is about them that is pulling us towards them.
How can you make it your own?
What is there about them that you could emulate and bring into your own life, without having to be a replica of them?
The next step is taking action. How can you mobilise these qualities that inspire you in your own life? If you find yourself admiring someone for their action in supporting worthy causes, how can you do this in a way that suits your own life and the time you have available? If you’re looking to Olympic standard athletes, how can that inspire you to create a fitness routine or push your running to a different but realistic level?
Staying true to You
If you admire someone for their outer brand and sense of style, recognise your own limits. You may yearn for the Audrey Hepburn look but have to accept that your body shape just cannot carry it off, or admire Zandra Rhodes and her creative exuberance and yet concede that you are just not going to be able to get away with that in your workplace. What you can do is create a vision board that captures the feel of the look you are creating, or talk to a personal stylist and/or shopper and tell them your inspirations, and work on coming up with something that works for you. Have patience and experiment with what feels more authentic: if you don’t suit something turn your energies to working on what does work for you.
This is a process that best done with a strong eye on what makes you, you. What are your unique strengths, skills and important values? Value them as much if not even more as you value the inspirations others can bring to you. Commit to growing and promoting them and you may find that you’ll end up inspiring others yourself.