To anyone that has ever dealt with people copying them (and felt super annoyed about it) this post is for you.
I’ve been sitting on writing this post for ages because I didn’t want to seem petty. I’m afraid that after writing this you might think less of me (which of course is absolutely none of my business anyway) or just be like, DAMN GIRL GET OVER YOURSELF ALREADY, but all of this bullshit in my head is just the fear talking. It’s the resistance that wants me to not share what is really going.
If you’ve been here for a while you know I am all about breaking through fear and writing about the stuff that most folks are too scared to write about.
And maybe I didn’t even need that little preface to this piece (I hear you writing group, just READ already, no explaining!), but I want to open you up to my process a little more and keep this like, really real you know? Because if you want fluff and surfac-y-self-care tips you can find that online elsewhere.
I’m here to get down to the nitty gritty, no holding back, this is real life stuff.
All feelings all the time.
And if you landed on this page you get what I’m saying.
Diving in, heart first.
People have been copying me since I was in elementary school and it has always gotten on my nerves. Growing up it was all the superficial stuff like girls dressing like me or showing up in my ballet classes because they wanted to do the things that I did after school.
True story: I cut so many holes in my jeans in fourth grade because I hated the idea of looking like anyone else.
As I got older I recognized that we each have our unique look and that is FINE, but Montessori school girls that bought MY jeans be dammed! I was determined to out dress them as often as possible.
This totally drove my parents nuts because it led me to only wear pink and purple (ONLY) for several years. It was a thing. And I was super serious about it.
As the years passed the copying (which is very much part of growing up and learning who you are in the world, I get that) switched from clothes to liking the same boys I liked, writing papers on the same artists, getting the same AA sponsor, and following the same meditation teachers. I learned to let it roll off me and though it annoyed me, the feelings never lingered and I went on about my life.
The last couple of years the copying has gone way beyond anything I could ever imagine and interestingly it’s all centered around my business. I get that in the service industry nothing is really proprietary even if you copyright everything. Regardless, it feels really shitty to find out people are ripping off my website and social media content. Some women have even gone so far as to create custom offerings, websites, and programs that use mine as ‘inspiration’.
You know the difference between inspiration and straight up copying by the way it feels, there’s a gross energy attached to it.
This feels extra lame because my work is centered around supporting women and not being competitive, weird, paranoid, and living in a constant state of scarcity.
And lately it’s been tugging at some core issues that I am currently working through. The polarity of growth always amazes me. The clearer I get on what I need to break through to step into the next level of consciousness, the louder the lessons get. Like I mentioned in my last post about setting boundaries, these painful teachings I am moving through as I rise up into more light are super dark. The polarity makes the path crystal clear.
Look, I’ll be the first person to tell you most (if not all) of my brilliant ideas have been nuggets of gold I have received from my friends, teachers, relatives, and mentors. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being influenced by the people you admire and are close to, this is perfectly normal and amazing! I feel grateful everyday for the incredible people in my life and teachers I have had the pleasure of being around.
It’s also great to ask your friend where she got those amazing jeans and go get yourself a pair! I’ve long since outgrown needing to stand out in a crowd and love catching up about fashion trends with my girlfriends. We’re influencing each other all of the time. I love connecting and sharing ideas far and wide.
There is however something totally different about blatantly copying someone’s hard work and trying to pass it off as your own. That is just not cool. And it’s okay to be mad about it!
Last week when I called my friend about the latest copying incident she said, girl you must be doing something right if people are jacking it! I paused for a moment and said, wow, I never thought about it like that, thank you!
We had a good laugh and ended the conversation on a high note.
This year I have been paying close attention to the FEELINGS that surface when my ideas or content is copied. Noticing the feelings and working with them is how I get down to the root of what is going on. Once I can get to the core, it’s so much easier to make the necessary shifts that bring me back to happiness and gratitude.
When I become aware I am being copied through stumbling on an Instagram feed or get asked by a friend, have you seen so and so’s new website or class offering?! I feel frustrated because I know how much heart and soul I put into everything I do. It feels completely unfair that someone can just come in and take the good parts of my effort and pass them off as original.
Depending on what type of space I am in, the experience could end at being annoyed in the moment. If I’m tired or stressed however, the feelings go in a deeper. I get drained from people taking my energy. There is a term for this in energy medicine, we call it a psychic attack. These incidences leave me feeling wiped out. When I am in this place I need to just let it go and do the action steps to shift when I have more energy.
When I lean into the frustration that surfaces from being copied and the feelings that others are taking my energy, I recognize the two of core issues I am actively working through right now: setting boundaries and living in prosperity.
A few weeks ago I wrote about setting clear boundaries in my relationship with Jason. Since getting back into this practice our relationship is like night and day. So much has shifted in a very short amount of time for the better. As far as copying is concerned, one action I know I need to take is to stand up for myself and let the copycats know what they are doing isn’t cool. Setting this boundary is about taking up more space and using my voice in a bigger way. Just thinking about it I get a little feeling in my stomach that lets me know I’m on the right track.
I realize I cannot write back every person that copies me and that isn’t even the point. My work with boundaries is to stick up for myself when I need to and let the rest go, trusting the universe has my back and all will be well. When I meditate on it, the path is clear about which people I need to contact and which people I need to release. If you decide to work in a similar manner get quiet and listen to your intuition, do what feels right to you, even if it feels scary.
The second piece in dealing with the copycats is to shift my focus from lack to abundance. There are a couple of ways I work in this area. Once I have blown off steam about being annoyed, I turn my attention to sending those people love and prospering blessings. I sit quietly and imagine them receiving all of the blessings I want for myself and then some. I radiate light and love from my heart right to theirs. If that feels hard and I’m really having a go of it, I write out a letter to them and tell them how much joy they are receiving, how much I desire their prosperity and how grateful I am for the lessons they are teaching me.
Faking it until you make it fully applies here.
Don’t hold back, go for it.
I cannot even tell you how powerful these practices are. If you want to shift your energy around being copied (or anything else!) send the person you’re having issues with loving energy or write them a love letter. The beauty of this work is that you don’t have to feel a certain way to participate. All that is required is your willingness to be honest and take action. Staying in action changes you, which ultimately shifts the energy you attract.
I know exactly why these major lessons are up for me right now and what my work is. As we move towards the winter solstice it’s time to dig into our shadow side and seek out the ways we need to re-calibrate to reach our next level. Transformation is rarely comfortable, but it is always worth it.
As I move through these radical changes this season I am spending extra time in gratitude. Yes, I’ve established that copycats get on my nerves to no end, but from a wider perspective it shows me I am on the right track. Being copied is a sign that I am doing things well, that my life is touching people and inspiring them to change.
And at the end of the day to inspire and help people create meaning is the reason I get out of bed every single day. It’s always important to look at every situation from all sides. Each little rub we get throughout our day is an invitation to look within, see what is there, and open our hearts a little more. You can choose in each moment to love those people that annoy you and send them nothing but glorious high vibe energy.
It will change everything about you.
The reality is there is plenty for everyone and the more you shake off the frustration (but feel it first, that is totally healthy!) and reach for love the more of everything you seek will find its way to you.
Today I am choosing to love each copycat that comes into my as messengers from the universe asking me:
How much do you want to outgrow this stuff?
How willing are you to do this deep work and step into a bigger role in your life?
The answers are in my heart and they are clear as day.
I’m shedding these old layers.
I’m willing to expose my deepest insecurities to shine even brighter than before.
I am leading with my heart and I don’t care anymore what it looks like.
This is me.
All my love.
Have you experienced copycats? How do you love yourself (and them) through any frustration?