Let’s be honest, setting yourself apart from everyone else seems to be increasingly harder and harder to do in this day and age. The more and more social media and our digital world grows the more difficult it is to just merely become yourself. With so many people sharing their ideas and so many people attempting to listen, it sometimes feels impossible to be someone that has a solid platform of ideas.
I’ve struggled with this in my own unconventional life. When I began learning as much as I could about digital marketing, blogging, and remote working back in 2008, I realized the space was already filled with other more established people teaching it and spreading their ideas. I got inundated with the amount of content that was surrounding me. The pressures to consume it all were so intense. For fear I would miss out (FOMO) on what could potentially be that last article, that last podcast, or that last video I would ever need to succeed in my own digital pursuits, I kept consuming.
It was debilitating.
It was scary. I felt like I could never be anything more than a consumer of other’s dreams.
I feared something, but I couldn’t figure out what.
Personally, it got so bad that I would find that I could spend entire days just being a consumer. Sure, it’s learning to an extent. But you would be surprised how quickly learning turns into reiteration and a diminishing return on your time. Reading, watching, listening, repeat. It was an addiction. An addiction to the machine of fear.
You see fear isn’t merely a mindset, it’s an addiction that needs to be addressed just like any other addiction whether it be drugs, alcohol, or the likes. Fear is an easy vice to succumb to. In fact, I’m writing this article because last night I caved into that addiction that reared it’s head at me like it does every once in a blue moon.
I started delving back into the guilty pleasures of reading, watching, and listening to content that was marginally helpful and instead just left me right back to what I already knew, in return for a few less hours to execute on those teachings. (perhaps this is the impetus on my 1 month No Social Media Challenge –more to come–)
Fear should be addressed in a whole series of articles on here, and I’m sure I’ll get to it. But for now, I’m getting to my purpose of the article so stick with me…
The reason we envy, revere, and even spread the word of other’s teachings is because in-fact they did it their own way and we found value in it. These creators set themselves apart because they decided to pursue their own path towards achieving something in a way that we are delighted in consuming. It may sound basic, or it may sound complicated but know this:
The way you set yourself apart from everyone else is by knowing when to put blinders on to the other creators.
I firmly believe that at some point, when you have the necessary basics to ride the horse, when you have the basics on how to create a blog website and publish posts, or you have the basics to take a leap into whatever your passion or conviction is, then and firmly then should you put blinders on to the other creators so you can focus on YOU.
You have the basics now, you have the tools that give you a minimum viable opportunity at crafting something unique. This is what changes the world.
Take Casey Neistat for example, he knows his shit. I remember watching him way back in 2011 when he posted this…
Now he makes a movie every day and has over 2.2 Million (with an M) subscribers who love his work (me admittedly being one of them). He also knows how to be himself and give zero f#@$’s and does his own style. He does him. You do you. I’m sure he consumed at some point, but I can venture to guess that he consumed just enough to be dangerous. The proof is in the pudding, look at his videos now compared to then… they all hold his own aesthetic and storytelling style.
Wait did someone say pudding!?
So I ask you, have you consumed lately because you are in fear of taking the executional next steps in your journey to what you actually want to dominate? or, are you perhaps still learning those basic toolbox type skills to be dangerous? Whatever your reasoning for reading this article or any article here on after is, always question to yourself: Am I spending this time out of fear for doing the thing I know this article is about to tell me to do, or am I doing it to get the bare bones toolbox of knowledge I need to be just dangerous enough in pursuit towards an unconventionally unique lifestyle.
Whatever your answer may be, know that setting yourself apart from everyone else is knowing that you must become a creator in whatever sense of the word that means for your pursuits. Create, but create your own things by letting go of that FOMO syndrome, putting the blinders on, and just executing on your pursuits. There is no secret to success, it’s through the work and the mindfulness of your individual unique brain that will get you places. But you must be able to harness it first.
Without that truth… we would have no Casey, we would have no Conan, and certainly would have no Trump for president (jk).