Updated: Dec 5, 2022
“The opinions of others may temporarily influence your decisions. But you must follow your inner voice.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita
Being human, and living amongst other humans, means that we are swayed by the opinion of others. There are many reasons for this, not least of which is a mutual desire to create a cohesive society, one where we all work together to help make things better.
The problem comes in areas where the collective agreement doesn't necessarily result in a better outcome but simply a consensus of what the hive mind finds most endearing. There is an old saying that a horse is a camel designed by a committee. Everyone in that decision-making group had to compromise on what they knew a horse should look like so that the collective could come to an agreement.
“People are so sure they know best that they never consider their opinion is only one of the many billions of different ones on the same topic.”
When it comes to creative output, however, it's individualism that matters most, what the creator thinks that matters most. No two people can EVER agree on what is best; there will always be a difference.
A unique creative style can only be created by ignoring others
The end result of most collective creative efforts is usually bland, bland looking, bland feeling, and bland tasting. To create our own unique style, we must put less emphasis on following the opinions of others, certainly when it comes to feedback as to what is good and what is not.
This is not to say that feedback is not essential, it is, but you must seek it judiciously, and you must weigh it carefully against what it was you were trying to create in the first place. The path others seek to steer you on is probably one they wish they themselves could be trodding; this is why "better" always means "favorite"; it's an attempt to alter the course you have already set out on.
A unique creative style can only be forged by listening carefully to our own inner voice
There are now 8 billion humans on the planet, yet each one is unique. Why? There are myriad reasons, of course, but one of them is that we all experience life a little differently, even from siblings raised in the same home. Our relationship experiences are different, our school experiences are different, and our jobs are different. This means that we grow into adulthood with a particular take on the world, one that has been honed to help us survive, to help us thrive.
It is this take that people want to know about, for it helps them see the world through your eyes. When we start listening to the opinions of others, we kill a little bit of our own unique view of the world. To be more creative, to be more unique, we need to ignore what others think is "best" and go with our deeply honed, true-to-the-bone gut instincts.
Why not give it a try?