“Don’t set sail using someone else’s star” – African Proverb
Nobody likes a copycat. You do something…and then they do it. You do something else…and wait for it…they go and do that something else as well. It can be like a shadow almost. A dark shadow that intends to steal your shine, and possibly, your identity.
And all at the same time we hear things like ‘imitation is the highest form of flattery,’ ‘haters secretly admire you from afar,’ ‘if you don’t have haters (or beat biters – the slang phrase I grew up with for copycats), you’re doing something wrong. All of these things may very well be true, but yet and still, there is absolutely NOTHING okay about copycat-ism. At all.
Yet, as much as everyone (including myself) despises them, I still got love for ‘em…because they don’t have love for themselves.
To the copycats – the unoriginals, the tryna-bes – I have just a few words for you:
- You don’t like yourself or your ideas enough – and it’s a horrible thing. Yeah, I said it. To you, what you have to offer simply isn’t good enough, compared to what others have. You wait and you wait until something or someone comes up – something or someone that you would rather be than yourself, and try your hardest to emulate it. That’s a problem, but it can definitely be fixed. Love YOURSELF and who you are and what you contribute to this earth. Fix your face to like what you see in the mirror and to like who you are deep inside – your opinions, your talents, your brain and your heart. It was never intended for us all to be the same…so why are you working so hard against nature?
- We can all see through what isn’t yours. No matter how sleuth you think you are at stealing ideas and identities – 9 times out of 10, you are fooling yourself. Authenticity doesn’t take nearly as much effort as does the tomfoolery of being a copycat. It shines on its own. And more than likely, you’ve got quite a few folks laughing at you behind your back about how foolish you look hating yourself, while in the meantime dope is selling itself.
- No matter how hard you try, you will never be someone else. A friend of yours starts an organization and on the sly, you find out everything about it so you can do the exact same thing. That girl you went to high school with is always wearing midriff shirts and you decide to go buy a whole bunch of them because she wears them. But the organization you tried to start doesn’t compare to the one you tried to copy, because you just aren’t passionate about it quite like the friend with the original idea. And you looked a hot mess in those shirts because deep down, they weren’t your style to begin with. Stop trying to force yourself into someone else’s lane and use that energy to make your own lane. This way, you never have to worry about failing because your only competition is yourself.
I’ve had many experience with copycats, as I’m sure you may have. I’ve been fed the ‘if you don’t have haters, you’re doing something wrong’ lines time and time again. Such realizations are true, but at the end of the day, they don’t make me feel better.
To the copycats – the sooner you feel better about yourselves, the sooner we’ll all feel better.