1. See cool art? Awesome, use it as a form of inspiration. Even if they are "better than you", there's no need to make up some sort of silent rivalry or become discouraged by their skill. You are only hindering yourself by doing so. Study it! Learn from it!
2. Use references. It's ok to do so.
3. Nothing is new under the sun. Your ideas are only a wild mash-up of the things you expose yourself to. With that said, explore!
4. Art isn't a contest. Don't worry about becoming better than so-and-so, or going from stick figures to Leonardo overnight. Go at your own pace. The road of improvement is half the fun, so enjoy the ride.
5. Draw what you want, but don't keep yourself in your comfort zone. Progress isn't made standing still.
6. Your "style" [which is merely a collection of drawing habits] will change. Don't worry about it, just draw!
7. $1,000 programs, $500 tablets, $5,000 computers are only tools!! Just because you have PhotoShop CS version 10000 and a Wacom Pen-Touch-Mindread Super Cintq won't make you a 'pro' artist. They might make the job a little easier, but they won't do the job for you.