Friday , 10 July 2020
Today I want to talk about being what I call "over inspired". It sounds like a contradiction because being inspired is a good thing, so how can you have too much of it? Here's what I think:

Too Much Inspiration?

Guest post by:  Holly from Holly Would
Today I want to talk about being what I call “over inspired”. It sounds like a contradiction because being inspired is a good thing, so how can you have too much of it? Here’s what I think:

The Internet is an amazing source of inspiration. If you are planning a wedding, building a home, or just trying to figure out what you want to wear today, it doesn’t take much time online to find beautiful pictures and ideas to help you decide what to do. Not to mention the addition of Pinterest (which I love, don’t get me wrong), which brought Internet inspiration hunting to a whole new level. So, what’s the problem? To me, all of this “inspiration” can harm us when we start to feel a few different ways:

1.Every good idea has been done before.
2. My ___(wedding, home, family, closet, etc.) will never be that beautiful.
3. Everything creative I have attempted is terrible compared to this so why even try?

The effects of feeling any of those three ways are obviously negative. A little bit of inspiration to get the creative juices flowing and trigger new ideas is a good thing, but so much that you feel defeated before you even begin is very sad.

This is something that bothered me for quite a while, especially being a small business owner. I would get what I thought was a good idea, and then search online for it, usually just to make sure it hadn’t been done before. There’s nothing wrong with a little competitive analysis, but usually I would find something similar that was done in a different way that already had about a million pins on Pinterest and I would think, “Why bother with this idea – this person has already done it so much better than I could.”

To me, the saddest example of this is with weddings or family. A wedding, for example, is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. I’m sure brides have always had pressure to create a beautiful wedding, but now I wonder how many brides set impossibly high expectations based on pictures they’ve pinned to their “Dream Wedding” board. A day that could have been fun and uniquely them becomes a disappointment because it’s not blog or Pinterest-worthy.

So, how do we keep this from happening? I think the best thing to do is to use inspiration sites like Pinterest sparingly and just for fun. If you have a good idea, just do it! Find out if other people did it later. This way you will carry out the idea your way rather than being influenced by the ideas of others. Also, don’t compare yourself to people on these sites! Listen to Teddy (above) – he was a smart guy. A picture of a perfect room probably took hours of staging and styling and lighting to make it look perfect. Who’s to say that the gorgeous wedding you have been drooling over ended up being a perfect marriage? Focus on you and do your own thing!Can you relate to this feeling of being over-inspired?

PS. 13 signs you spend too much time on Pinterest :) 

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14 comments

  1. Totally! it is so easy to become sucked into all of the fantastic and creative websites and digital sources of eye candy.

    I frequently wonder why I am bothering to make anything at all – everyone else seems so much bettter than me. Then I have to remind myself, why I’m making things; is it to be the best? I don’t think so – maybe it’s just for the satisfaction of creating something and being proud of it.

    The internet is a two headed beast – it can be fantastically inspiring, but on the otherhand a real drain on one’s own motivation and creativity – we just have to find that balance.

    Logging off now and going to make something – however bad it is, it’s still mine!

  2. Scenario, the Wright Brothers have just flown the first time and go to the pub to celebrate. Wilber says,’We did it, we flew, so now what is left to do? It has all been done.’

  3. Some fine points! I can think of one example in my own life where I was creatively inspired–an image came to mind in response to someone’s verbal description–but I just went ahead and did it. About half way through its execution, I decided to do a Google image search and found a painting that had obviously inspired the verbal description. My version was completely different and had a whole different feeling to it than this other painting, so even though the same words inspired two artists, we came up with two distinct and unique ideas for it! I felt even better about my idea, since I hadn’t gotten the other artist’s vision stuck in my head first!
    Good, inspiring words! Thanks!

  4. It’s a good thing to keep in mind. I often feel like everything’s been done and stress myself out trying to think of a ‘better’ way to do it, when it really doesn’t matter. Even if pinterest didn’t exist, the other idea still would, I just wouldn’t know about it.

  5. I like your idea. My mind is brimming with ideas but I can feel quickly defeated if I find something similar or better. I love pinterest as well, but I use it to manage my inspirations and ideas – truly as a bulletin board. I rarely go on it and scroll through others’ pins. That helps!

  6. Bravo! Well said and so important it is heard. I can’t tell you the number of times I have talked myself out of doing something for the exact reasons you mentioned. Now I limit my Internet time, and spend more time creating. It is way more fun and I don’t spend my time comparing myself to others! Thanks for a timely and important post!

  7. I feel pretty fortunate that this doesn’t bother me *too* much. I never wanted the best wedding ever, never wanted the most perfect home, etc. I look at decorating or craft magazines and Pinterest as a jumping point. “Well… what she did there is cool, but I think I’d do ___.” I agree with Jane, and will offer a suggestion as well. In addition to Pinterest, I’ve started a (really rough) sketchbook to keep track of specific ideas I’ve had that aren’t pictured somewhere else. On those pages, I also write down where my inspiration was, especially when it was my own. I have had those moments of “why bother” when I run across someone who’s talent is truly amazing, and try to squash those thoughts immediately. I’ll never be Julia Child, so I should stop cooking?

  8. I am someone who’s mind races with all kinds of ideas, it seems, at one time on what I want to create. To pin myself down to actually complete the project before jumping to another takes dicipline (which I am trying to learn…) For me to get over-inspired is exhausting and overwhelming. So I totally agree with this post and can see it’s meaning on the other side of the coin, perhaps from a “Creative ADHD” perspective!

  9. Great post! I’m always thinking I’m coming up with an original idea, only to find some other version of it already out there. I try to remember that they say success is better achieved by finding something that’s already working, and doing a better version of it. I also try to develop my ideas a bit before I even check to see what’s out there, so that I won’t get discouraged.

  10. Wow I can so relate to this! I am going to post that quote as my wallpaper on all my evil electronic gadgets. Thanks for practical tips on how to conquer these issues. So appreciated!!

  11. This post totally hit home with me today!
    I also have the same problem as Gina Parent expressed “so many things I want to do” that narrowing it down is tough and overwhelming.
    Thanks Holly (and Teddy)

  12. This has definitely happened to me…I just take a deep breath…let it roll off my back and focus on my idea.

  13. Oh thank you!! Words of wisdom!

  14. What a great point. This has been bothering be a lot lately. I was on a roll and really happy with what I was producing, but a lack of sales has made me lose focus. I have been distracted by trying to follow what I see on the etsy finds e-mails rather than do my own thing. From today I am going to reign it back in and do what I love again.

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