Ever see a cute outfit on someone else and think to yourself, I like her style; maybe that will look good on me? We all fall into the trap of being a copycat at one time or another. Every day, all around us, we have millions of examples of who or how we could be. We can easily see what looks good and is successful for others. The logical conclusion is that the same choices could work for us, especially if we like the person we’re emulating.
I’m not saying that in some cases trying out what others do might not be a good method of determining what you prefer, but as a standard for selection, it can be a recipe for social disaster. No one values a wannabe or a look alike. Someone who copies others in inauthentic. We like originals because they are real. There is no disconnect between how they represent themselves and our experience of them. Things just jive and we can count on them to be real and honest.
I have two friends who spend a lot of time together. What one friend does the other does too, believing that acting and looking like her bestie will make her as well-liked and popular, but her thinking couldn’t be farther from the truth.
When you copy others, you undermine your belief in yourself and your ability to make decisions and have desires – two essential aspects of leading a life of purpose. As you keep trying on others’ lives, the real YOU becomes smaller. You trust yourself less and less until nothing much remains. You forget who you are. You forget where you were going. As your soul becomes suppressed, it retreats, hiding behind a façade you’ve adopted. This is when life gets confusing and hard because you never actually feel good about who you are being. You aren’t really even YOU anymore.