I posted a new article about absorbing inspiration on Medium. This is part of me sharing my experience of becoming a full time UX designer.
In design, you need inspiration. You look at your brief and gather ideas together to make a moodboard. You look at competitors and do an analysis. Sometimes you even end up “stealing” ideas like an artist. These tasks are usually done at the beginning of design phase.
However once you are deep into the designing interactions and detailed flows, you will get bombarded with new ideas and new inspiration from the outside world. I made the mistake before of having a knee jerk reaction to these new ideas by immediately dismissing my current ideas. These new designs made my current designs and ideas seem irrelevant.
Before casting away your current ideas, consider why the new design is resonating with you. Perhaps it is only one interaction rather than the entire design that is appealing to you. Consider the market angle the competitor is coming at, they will have a different goal than yours (even if you are both in the same market). Consider the artistic/technical feasibility of the solution, does it work just for certain specific cases or does it work well for all scenarios?
In the fast moving world of web design, there is new stuff coming up all the time. It can be both crippling and overwhelming to keep up to date with it all. Trust in your process and thinking. Designs can change and improve over time. Just think before changing.