For Volume 4 of Coffee Date, I'm taking it a little more personal and talking about the struggles of insecurity that come along with blogging. I like to think that I'm a fairly confident person, but realistically, that is not always the case. I've gone through periods of my life that I've doubted myself immensely. Weight, looks, career, success - they've all played parts in the struggle of believing that I'm good enough. Throw in a fashion blog and all of a sudden, there's a whole new battle thrown into the mix.
Many times, I've contemplated ending this blog venture for the sheer fact that I've found myself becoming obsessed with how others perceive this space. Do they like it? Should I change what I'm doing? Did someone think I looked bad in that photo? Why didn't this photo get a lot of likes on Instagram? It's a constant battle for something so superficial. And that's tough.
The fact of the matter is that I genuinely love blogging. I have a space that is all mine, a creative oasis. It's a place that I get to write about what I love. And in all honesty, I love style blogging because I get to share some of my most favorite pieces. But I've let the "keeping up with the Joneses" mantra take some of the fun away, which is not good at all. I'll look at someone else's Instagram and think, "Why can't I look at that?" or "What do they have that I don't?" And that's not a healthy thing to do in any avenue of life.
Sure, healthy competition and challenges are important in success. I'm a firm believer that you need to work for what you want to achieve and that success shouldn't be handed to you. We live in a "me, me, me" world where people expect so much but offer nothing in return, so I treat this blog just like my job - a place where I have to work to succeed. But it's supposed to be a place of happiness, not insecurity.
This week, I had the opportunity to listen to motivational speaker David Rutherford, a former Navy Seal who has developed a program to help people embrace fears, work towards a team lifestyle, and strive towards a purposeful life. His presentation came at the perfect time. So often, I ask myself, "What is my purpose in this life?" Did he answer that for me, no. But did it give me perspective? Absolutely. One of the goals I've set for myself is to apply this to every aspect of my life: personal relationships, my career, my faith, and this blog.
Goals for defeating the insecurities:
- Grab your tribe: Surrounding yourself with people who care about you, support you, and cheer you on is incredibly important no matter the aspect of life. I'm so lucky to have great friends and family who support not only Southern Style but me in every phase of my life. I've also found some great blog gals who are supportive -- I'm looking at you Shelby and TR!
- Likes don't equal self-worth: Sure, it's nice to have those photos that get more likes than you thought possible, but instead of worrying about the likes in the technological world, I'm working on focusing about the likes in the real world. By that, I mean strengthening real life relationships. Do I need everyone to like me? No, I don't, nor is that possible. But it's healthy to be a likeable person, no doubt.
- Restrict time on social media: I am an advocate of social media not just for my blog but for all business ventures as it is a medium that would be stupid to pass up. I also run 4 Instagram accounts, which means I could spend hours planning and strategizing for effective posting. But is it healthy to spend hours on Instagram or Facebook, not for research or work but just to see what others are doing? No, it's not. I've become Instagram obsessed, so I'm working on not spending as much time on the app and more time on what's going on in front of me.
- Take social media for face value: Social media portrays a life that isn't real. Do I show the terrible day I've had on Instagram? Nope, and neither do most people. So I'm working towards enjoying what I see on screen but realizing that every day is not filled with beaches and macaroons.
- Embrace Authenticity: I've always been a firm believer that you shouldn't air your dirty laundry and especially not on social media. In my personal opinion, that can only make things worse. However, I do think being authentic and true to one's self is incredibly important. So I'm going to work on keeping this blog authentic and true to who I am and what I believe in.
- Ignore the negativity: And by this, I mean the negativity that comes from within. So often, I look at a photo and refuse to post it because of how I perceive myself to look. I need to take a step back and not be as hard on my personal appearance.
When I take a step back, I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am. I have an incredible family, the most beautiful group of friends inside and out, a loving boyfriend, the cutest puppy in the world, a great job... the list goes on and on. It's all about perspective, really. "Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we are." -- Brene Brown. Cheers to letting go of insecurities and embracing - and loving - who we truly are!
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