I felt my heart stop when I was on social media. I was skimming through my Facebook News Feed when I came across an article I had written, only it wasn't my name on the article!
I stopped dead in my tracks. I had to read, and re-read the article in order for it to register that someone took my words and attached THEIR name to it. This wasn't just a random person either. This girl follows my page and follows me personally. I too followed her page in return. She would often post inspirational quotes and personal quests geared to motivate others, and I admired that!
But why was I still grateful for her social media friendship but I felt hurt and somewhat violated.
What first caught my attention was the title, "Tuesday, you look terrific!" Good title right? It attracted my attention because it was a title I wrote. In fact I wrote it THAT SAME DAY, on my Vivolog Page!
But, I quickly discovered, that same Vivolog title post had been copied and married together with another article I wrote the previous week. It's like being slapped twice.
The article she copied from me was one I wrote Friday, July 28th regarding anxiety, although she omitted a small portion of the post, the rest was nearly word for word! Even right down to my punch line of "knocking that bitch (anxiety) to the curb!"
Here's the article I wrote:
Let me be clear about how much anxiety I was experiencing over this!
I immediately called her out on it, very publicly too!
Was I wrong to do that?
Should I have handled it differently?
Don't get me wrong! I understand when I put my work out on public social forums, I risk being copied. From time to time, I too have shared famous quotes and even re-posted some cute inspirational pictures without properly referencing the origin.
Damn, I even encourage people to use hashtags that represent positivity in their own life; #ImitationIsTheHighestFormOfFlattery
So how did this experience empower me exactly?
I immediately removed all negative elements to this punch in the throat #TurnTheOtherCheek and expressed my gratitude to this woman directly.
Sounds weird right?
We communicated with one another off line in hopes of reconnecting online. I expressed that I was indeed flattered that she resonated with my work and that on some level, she felt life within my words. But, that doesn't make me any less protective of my work, my brand and my creative content.
She removed her post, as any decent human would. Sadly, she also removed me as a friend and removed me as a group member on her page. Admitting you were wrong can sometimes be embarrassing, I get it! It opens a vulnerability deep within, and sometimes the comfortableness of this emotion can be difficult to deal with.
She apologized for her mistake and also confided in me that she was having a tough week. I totally get it! Really I do!
I encouraged her to share my posts both personally and on her page/group. After all, I want to continue to be a positive element in her life. I think she really needs it right now. I want my words and experiences to continue to empower her, inspire her and motivate her. It's the positive movement I wrote about in my book Lush & Luxe; Powered by Positivity
Although she hasn't official put me back into her group, nor has she added me back into her personal friend list, I am certain she eventually will...with time!
My take away from all of this is simple. Empowerment has no borders! We should ALL empower and inspire one another, and I strongly encourage this! It's the FEMME FABULOUS way! Now let me finish my post with this. Being angry and upset that someone stole my work was indeed my initial feelings, but I quickly realized that giving energy and life to these negative emotions wasn't the right way to handle the situation. When I reached out to her, I delivered nothing short of compassion and understanding toward her and I also reminded myself that she loved my work enough to want to make it her own. Now that's something to feel proud about!
If anyone finds life within my words, vlogs, stories, speeches, blogs and books, PLEASE SHARE THEM! If you resonate with them, I'm positive your friends and family will too. This is exactly why I do what I do. But please remember that sharing is vastly different then imitating. Now get out there, slay your day and own your own!
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention my newest book, Femme Fabulous is now available! Order a copy HERE. Digital downloads are also available at a fraction of the cost. Download your copy here.
With compassion and a working share button,