It only takes a matter of moments for someone to say something inspiring before everyone comes out of the woodwork to collectively ruin it’s originality. “LEAN IN” is one of the many coined phrases that’s been floating around the internet lately, and I’ve gotta say… I’ve heard enough.
Not because I appose leaning in, or that there aren’t hard moments when we all need to lean on others for support, but because the sentiment is now lost in it’s overuse and I’m just plain tired of hearing it.
In fact, I challenge anyone reading this to stop jumping on buzz-word band wagons only because of their trendy popularity, or worse… for likes and online attention. “Lean In” is just an example of how unoriginal we are, and how a mediocre concept can get WAY more love than it really deserves. Is “hang in there” or “ride it out, it’ll get better” really THAT inspiring of a concept?
In a recent poll I offered to my social media followers, they said the number one thing they’re sick of hearing is fauxspiration. It does feel like literally everone out there now is some kind of inspirational guru, and as someone who often tries to rally the troops, I understand. You’re looking for connection, but there are more impactful ways to connect with your audience than to duplicate a thought that was never yours to begin with, especially without SITING YOUR SOURCE! I know inspiration is popular, but that shouldn’t be WHY you’ve now decided to put yourself in that position. Besides, it’s only really worth saying when it a) comes from the heart b) when it’s an original thought.
A while back I hosted a webinar on a particular topic. The words I chose were very specifically my own, and I’d arranged them that way on purpose, because I wanted them to stand out. It took time and dedication to set myself apart from what other people were teaching on the same topic. I took special care to not cross my message and tangle it with anyone elses. Imagine my surprise when a few days after that webinar someone, a professional, within that same industry answered a question in an online forum COMPLETELY plagerizing a piece of my webinar.
At first, I was shocked. This person didn’t say “you know I was just really inspired by Amanda Fleischer’s webinar. She taught me….. “ NO, no, no. She just dropped it as if it were her own thought. I was THRILLED that it spoke to her, and that my words had resinated, but I was confused too. She made absolutely no effort to find her own phrasing, or to change the descriptive words. Of course I had to know for sure, if she’d seen the webinar, so I responded and asked her. To which she said “oh yeah lol” … And there it is. That is how easy words get stolen and everyone starts to sound like each other. HONESTY IS ALWAYS THE BEST POLICY when you’re taking inspiration, words, systems, or strategies that were not your original thought and siting your source. Even if the source is someone unknown to the general public, always give credit.
I didn’t need this woman to thank me, but frankly she was taking the recognition for work she didn’t do by never giving me the credit. Trying to get people to hire you on stolen copy is a recipe for disaster. Not only are you going to burn bridges by taking what isn’t yours and profiting from it, but it’s going to be hard to produce the results you promised on someone else’s knowledge and ability. You’re also telling on yourself. People DO ABSOLUTELY notice when you take their or someone else’s ideas and words, or when they’re hearing a catch phrase for the 20th time.
YOUR OWN THOUGHTS AND IDEAS are incredible! You don’t need someone elses! What you do need is the productivity and ambition to sit down and give it your all. I know it’s much easier and lazier to take something else that’s already trending. It’s not a coinicidence that we have an overwhelming number of clones roaming the internet, and the number one content writing problem people always claim to have is not knowing what to say. I’ll tell you how to fix that right now!
The #1 type of content my followers said they would love to consume more of, is personal stories! So the next time you’re inspired by something someone has ALREADY said, site the source and share how this advice has PERSONALLY impacted your life, how it’s inspired you or triggered you! Everything doesn’t always have to be positive all the time. Stop trying to preach it out and pawn the idea off as your own. Your unique opinion or take away is what will help people get to know you, and ironically it’s a FANTASTIC way to literally LEAN IN, get vulnerable and share things that are close to your heart.
But this isn’t really about leaning in at all, it’s about identifying trends and not letting yourself get caught up in a marketing scheme. When everyone is leaning in, jump the fuck out. This specifically means we were powerfully designed to do so much more than repeat one another! When you notice something is getting a little too common, and everyone is starting to look and sound too similar, you can be the difference maker. We can gently and politely nudge people to be more honest by speaking up when we’ve heard it before! We are strong, indipendent women who are problem solvers. CHALLENGE THE CONVENTIONAL! You are more than a clone of someone else’s thoughts and ideas- no matter how good or trendy they might look or sound.