Episode 10 A+A podcast: When aligned inspiration crosses over into copying

When aligned inspiration crosses over into copying.

I've got a really juicy episode for you today... Aligned inspiration and the concept of copying - it can sometimes be a bit of a grey area. When you feel a strong resonance with certain names or terms or content and so on - and there's lots of different people in the industry who might be talking about similar kinds of topics - it can be tricky to feel where the boundaries actually are.  

So, we're going to explore this and develop more of a refinement and understanding of where our boundaries are, and how we can also avoid crossing over the boundaries of others. Because even though it is true that, sure, there's not a lot of new and unique content out there, it is actually possible to create something that is new and unique and to tap into your own creativity.

Does it take more work? Of course it does, but is it worth it? Yes, especially if you're creating something that you want to grow and run with. The stronger and deeper resonance that it has with you and the less links it has to other people's work and other people that you follow and other people that you work with, the cleaner it's going to be as you rise and elevate in your business. 

Let's talk about specific words and terms...

When you're working with different people or different mentors, or you're following people on Instagram, particular influencers or big names in your industry... They're going to have their business name (if it's not their own name), and they're going to have all these different course names or offerings of different kinds. You could work with that person because you feel a high degree of resonance with what they teach and how they package that up and what they call it. It can be that you feel such a high level of resonance that when you are later creating something of your own, names or phrases might find their way into your offering - or into your business name even.

You may not immediately recognise - it actually came from somebody else.

Maybe it's somebody that you've worked with - so think about the boundary and whether or not that's appropriate. It's always important to actively ask yourself that when you're creating something new or developing a name. It's like: Does this have any similarity to anybody's work who I've ever worked with, or anyone that I follow online? If it does, I think it's great to change it because otherwise it's just creating misalignment. It's creating a bit of a boundary issue, and it's not clean and clear. When it comes to alignment, we want clarity, and we want no friction because we want you to be able to grow with that. And where there is muddy energy, we don't have the same degree of alignment that we would like, even though you might feel this beautiful alignment with the actual words or concepts.

It can happen quite accidentally...

We're all out there sharing different ideas and exploring different topics, and you feel this really strong resonance. This has happened for me in my own business where people have told me: "I actually really wanted to use the name, Awaken Kinesiology. That's how I found you." Or: "I really wanted to use the name Align + Attract. That's how I came across you."

In both of those instances, those people found me, and then they said: "I really liked that name. I felt a very strong connection with it, but then I realised you had it, and I chose something different." It's so obvious, isn't it? It's just remembering to do a little research. Do a little Googling because if you've got a book that you're creating or a course that you're putting out there, you don't want to later on find out that there is something else out there that has a very similar name even if that person is teaching something quite different or working in quite a different way to you.

Trust you will be able to find the right resonant name from your own unique energy and experience.

This happened to me in 2020. I had this idea that I'd like to create a new course... I liked the idea of calling it Mindset Reset. Well, guess what? When I Googled that, there were heaps of people who had the same idea. I didn't end up creating the course, but if I had, I certainly was not going to call it Mindset Reset because there were already too many examples of it out there in the marketplace. Even if there was one and that was talking about beliefs - that's enough. It's like there is so much creativity for everyone. There is so much inspiration for everyone... I think it's around trust. Trusting that you will be able to find the right resonant name for you, which comes from your unique experience and your unique energy.

Next, let's talk about content. When you're doing different people's courses and programs, or even working with them one-on-one, they might teach some content material - processes that you really like. Then, down the track, you want to weave that through your own programs. I think there's two different things here. If somebody is teaching you a process that is their unique process, then that's not something (I would hope this is obvious) that you can then go ahead and re-teach - unless that person has given you explicit permission. Unless you're doing a certification program, and they're teaching you their processes in order that you can teach them. Otherwise, you can't take that.

You can't just tweak their process and then run with it.

It still belongs to that original person.

However, there are so many examples where it might be processes or content or material that are a bit more generic in nature. And you may not even know the origins of that content. An example might be EFT. Many people incorporate EFT into their programs or into their process. There's even some EFT within my alignment process that I teach. That specific process is not unique. Maybe it's a unique process, but it's not like if someone else has used it in their program, there's no way that you could use it in your program because it is a little bit more out there. You can go to YouTube and find so many videos on how to do EFT, and so that's a different thing. That can be the case with lots of different tools and techniques that are a bit more generic in nature.

The way I would think about that is this: I've taken five different processes or tools that I've learned in one person's program or maybe multiple programs by the same person, and am I then putting them into mine? Or: Have I taken some different tools from a range of different programs, but then I have really woven them together into my own unique structure?

Also, I think what can really add value here is referencing where these came from. So, sometimes, the person you learned it from may not have referenced it. They may not have actually talked about the origins, or the original creator of it. But if you are able to find out that information, I think that is valuable to share.

Create layers of transparency, and keep things clear.

If it's a process that's not unique to that person, but for you, a very strong association with that technique and that person, it can be great to reference that and to say: "I learned this process when I worked with so-and-so." It just creates these different layers of transparency, and it helps other people if they're following the thread of where information, tools and techniques have come from. So that we can keep things nice and clean rather than just feeling like: "Oh well, all the content just belongs to everyone." I mean, no. I know that you don't think that anyway - but it's about keeping that clarity.

The next thing that we can see is alignment with other people's voice and their language. Now, this might be that person in the way they speak on their (social media) lives or in their podcast. It might be the way they write copy on their sales pages or on their website. If they write blogs and if they are sharing in different ways, the types of words they use, the way they speak, and that can become transferred. You may start to talk and communicate and share in a similar way to them.

You can develop a strong alignment with the way somebody shares information...

I saw this happen very strongly a number of years ago. Of course, it happens all the time now. But the first example I saw was back in around 2012. There were two quite prominent coaches in Australia. A lot of people were starting to work with them, and then people working with those coaches - they had a very unique way of communicating. It was quite ranty. I don't know if you've seen that type of communication... You could really tell who was working with those coaches because they would start to talk the same way. Then, the people who worked with them would start to talk the same way.

All those people felt this really strong alignment with that mode of communication, but it kind of could cross over a little bit into sounding very, very same-same. I've had clients who have very strong voices who will have people who will start to model the way they communicate. If you're a very strong leader and have a very strong sense of identity, that is likely not going to bother you. However, if you are the person who's modelling off that, it's preventing you from stepping into your own unique voice and really showing up as who you are so that you're connecting with your own genuine ideal clients. People who actually connected with who you are, not who you are modelling off.

It's important to separate from that, so you can start to step into your own unique voice.

If you find this is happening for you or maybe does happen to you in the future, what you need to do is actually start to disconnect from that voice. It's not about disconnecting from the person. They may be wonderful. They probably share really great information. It's probably, of course, why you've started to model off them and to sound a little bit more alike. If you can do a little bit of a detox, that can help you to start to step a bit more into your own voice and to start to share your own messages with your own energy. Rather than constantly getting this feed off of that person's energy. I think this is really important to do anytime you are creating a new body of work.

If you are creating a book or you're creating a substantial new course and it's on a core topic,  I think that's a great time to disconnect from other people who are writing and sharing about similar kinds of concepts and topics so that you can make sure that you're communicating and sharing with your own unique ideas, your own unique voice.

Try not to accidentally channel some of their ideas.

Or get their ideas, and then kind of add onto yours, so it's getting a little bit interwoven. It can happen quite subtly, and it's not that you're copying. It's just that you might be getting influenced, might be getting inspired, and it can be really beautiful to create that separation so that you can really be in your own energy, and creating and sharing from that place.

Now, what do you do if you have people who work with you or have worked with you or in your audience, and you realise that they might be doing this? That they might be inspired by you or feeling really aligned with you, and then they start to cross over into the grey area, which may or may not be copying? I think this really takes a lot of self-awareness, a lot of discernment.

It can be really tricky to know what to do because sometimes, it's not clear...

Like if that person is not directly copying the exact name (it's not like legally you have a case) but if it is feeling really mucky and it does arise that you can say something, or perhaps it is so blatant - something does need to be said. I think the earlier and cleaner and clearer you can communicate and maybe framing it if this feels right to you as a question or just as a comment like: "Hey, well, did you notice this? Or you probably didn't realise, but I was wondering why maybe you chose that name. It seems quite similar to mine."

You can obviously find your own way of communicating, and it may be something that you do actually need to workshop with a colleague. Just make sure it's your colleague who has strong boundaries, not your colleague who's just: "Oh, I don't know. Don't say anything because they might get cross or they might not like it or whatever." Or the colleague who's like: "Oh, there are no unique ideas out there." Don't run it past that colleague.

Run it past the colleague who has clean and clear boundaries - and get advice.

I would love to hear from you. Have you, as you're listening, realised: "Oh, actually, I have maybe crossed over into those spaces." Look, if you have: Self-compassion. It is probably part of an initiation where many people will model off people who have come before them, who they admire and who are successful and who really are very creative and have a strong voice. That's probably quite natural. But then, maybe you need to make changes in some way. Or maybe you're just making changes moving forward and just have that real clarity moving forward and that stronger boundary.

If you've found other people do this to you, it definitely is likely to mean that you are a leader.

I know it's like a bit of a backhanded compliment. You either need to start to voice it or maybe commit to starting to voice it. And just set that intention and that energetic boundary as well of just like: "I'm no longer happy to have people take from my body of work, to take from my energy, to take my ideas and my inspiration. I'm happy to have people share, be in my field and to enjoy my work, but they can't then take that." Starting to set some energetic boundaries like that can be really helpful.

If you would like to hit refresh on your energy, I would love to support you to do that. I have a beautiful group Reiki healing, which I would love to guide you through. You can find it at alignandattract.com/refresh and it's completely free. 


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