Don’t compare your beginnings to someone else’s middle.
It’s so hard especially in the creative world to not compare yourself to other people’s middles, as she so well puts. Whether you are starting out or have had a creative business for years, I think we can all honestly say that we have all looked at what other people are doing and compare ourselves to them. We doubt our work, our life, our accomplishments and at times it can make you feel like a failure! This is sometimes known as – Impostor syndrome.
Instagram is possibly a main culprit for this, as much it is a fantastic tool and platform for creative makers, I feel the way in which you use it needs to be taken in a lighter approach. Ways in which you can try to keep these feelings at bay are quite simple. I think this gets forgotten about but you do have the power to un-follow anyone who makes you feel like this. You can hide their feed and stop yourself looking at pictures that make you feel like you are not good enough. Also, stop looking at the numbers! Having a creative life or business can lead you to over analysis your work and keep you watching those numbers and likes. I recently listened to a brilliant podcast by the awesome Sara Tasker. Sara simplifies this for us in the best possible way –
The numbers are not a measurement for your success, they are just are numbers of how good your Instagram game is. They should never be used to measure your worth.
Amidst all of this we take ourselves away from the bigger picture, which is to focus on your path, what you want to create and what content you want to post. Of course we would all love to have a million and one followers but what is it worth? Your health, your creativity? Because without you realizing it, it will impact on what you create. You will start creating work for someone else which isn’t true to you.
The wonderfully inspiring Allison Sadler; founder of the Instagram challenge called #freeupmyinsta, wants people to get back to basics and to be yourself and to post whatever you want. She points out how she feels people don’t post real or random moments anymore as it all feels very set up and the joy that was originally there, has gone. Allison goes on to say that sometimes we may feel that we post something and it flops, so we delete it, just because it wont get ‘the likes’! How silly does that sound. So, you created that picture, you chose to post it, so why on earth are you deleting it – because some people haven’t liked it which means they don’t like you?! Madness and not true!
Allison Sadler herself – image taken from her website.
I love Allison’s passion behind this movement, I feel we all shouldn’t over analyse or chase the likes. Post work for you because you like it and you want to. Not to people please or make people ‘like’ you. This should never measure your worth. I’m not saying that creating pretty lovely pictures shouldn’t be done, as a creative I love doing this, I just agree that at times we need to not take it so seriously and keep focused on the bigger picture.
Allison’s prime example. Peonies. They seem an easy post to get the ‘likes’ but if that isn’t what your about don’t follow the crowd. I personally love peonies and any flowers for that matter, but I can understand her analogy behind this example.
The main moral is to keep true to who you are and don’t over think or compare. Just be yourself. Because at the end of the day that is what people want to buy in to, a personality, a human behind the amazing work your creating, someone they can connect with and trust. As with that trust that can lead to visits to your website or buying into what you are selling. That surely is more thrilling and exciting that a ‘like’ or a follow.
You do you.