I can’t recommend enough listening to the Bruce Lee podcast. Hosted by Shannon Lee, Bruce’s daughter and CEO of the Bruce Lee Family Company, and Sharon Lee, CMO and Chief Creative Officer of the Bruce Lee Company, they discuss Bruce Lee’s life and philosophy. Episode 5 is titled “Originate and Innovate” and they discuss this quote from Bruce:
We tend to have more faith in what we imitate than what we originate. We feel we cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything which has it’s root in us. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone, and we are not alone when we imitate.
The sense of belonging and validation is real in our society. A lot of us measure performance by Likes, Favorites or Shares. Hell, companies do it as well. There is a constant gage of how things measure and compare. Or what is their rank.
As an artist on Instagram, I will admit I get a rush of dopamine whenever I see feedback. It’s nice to see others take interest in your work.
The key is not allowing these responses to be the dominant source of your creative work. It’s safe to imitate someone else’s style, subconsciously knowing that you are more likely to be “accepted. But experimenting and creating something 100% true to yourself will be much more gratifying to yourself in the end.
This isn’t a new concept. Numerous others have expounded upon the subject. Even my favorite blogger just posted about how you are your very first (and best) customer.
When you are originating it is an expression of your inner light.
Just make sure that whatever it is you make, you do it for yourself. Others can inspire you, but it’s up to you to create your vision. If others dig it, great. If not, that’s fine. But in the end you’ll be able to say, “I made this. I brought it into existence.”