In my birthday Q&A last month, I touched on the fact that it took me the better part of a year to start this blog after transitioning out of my last corporate job. There were a number of factors contributing to that timeline. I took time off to transition into life in North Carolina and to support David as he started his business. I was networking within the influencer industry to better understand its ins and outs and ideating a vision for the blog that resonated true with my person. I also spent time evaluating the morality of promoting clothing, beauty products, and other items as well as whether I believed in my heart that doing so could serve others (benefit them beyond the superficial).
It was a tumultuous season for me because, while my creative side and the voices of mentors and friends were saying “go for it!,” I was honestly terrified. I wanted to express my creativity and use my gifts, but I couldn’t help but wonder what other people, ranging from former coworkers to family and friends, might think. While I may seem calm and low-key on the outside, I am highly self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. I’m quite romantic at heart and love to create meaning for myself and for others, but it’s very scary to do so. It’s a funny thing that artistic expression both scares me and makes me feel my best. When I’m creating something to share, I wonder if people will fully grasp what I’m trying to communicate. And yet, hitting the publish button is exhilarating. I feel most myself in those moments!
Ever magnifying this tension is my introverted nature. It’s presented a challenge in an industry where it seems that the most outgoing, the ones who “tell all,” or those who frequently put themselves out there are rewarded. The ratio of introverted to extroverted influencers is probably rather small. Social media at large lends itself to people with louder voices both in its basic nature and in how most platforms are designed to reward frequent publishing, talking, video sharing, etc. Trust me, I’m not complaining about the industry or hating on extroverts. I see so much potential in this space, and I love extroverts! I’m actually naturally drawn to them (ie. my husband :)).
My point is that my journey looks different from anyone else’s, and as I find my way, I thought I’d share what I’m learning as a quiet person in a loud space. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, an influencer, or even an extrovert, I hope this will encourage you to show up as the truest version of yourself because, truth be told, that’s exactly the version the world needs to see.
As I mentioned, I’m naturally drawn to magnetic, humorous, outspoken people, so my Instagram feed was filled with them. It’s curious how what we take in with our eyes and ears impacts our subconscious. I didn’t realize I’d developed an underlying belief that I had to be just like those individuals to be a successful influencer. Now that I’m in the space, I understand that being yourself is the best thing you can offer your audience. I’m definitely not a loud, humorous presence, and I’m glad I don’t have to pretend to be!
Stay In Your Lane
Similar to the above learning is my realization that my vision should be completely unique to me. I never saw myself constantly sharing discount outfits for people to purchase through affiliate links; I wanted my blog to provide deeper value.
My goal when I set out was to publish content that inspired people to transform all of their life experiences into something valuable and creative, be it style, hair, makeup, travel, gift-giving, or hosting. Once I wrote this down in a vision statement for myself and my blog, a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders!
With this vision, I can appreciate others’ content without feeling drawn in their direction with mine. Staying in your lane is applicable to all of life, be it how we raise our children, spend our free time, or go about our health. Comparison is a no-sum game; it stifles our creativity, ability to think for ourselves, and imagination.
Sharing myself with you through posts I write, photographs, and Instagram stories is, of course, a basic job requirement for me. However, I’m still navigating how to do so in a way that stays true to my own nature. I’m not a natural selfie taker, I shy from video, and I’m still getting used to photoshoots. I’ve decided to do these things in a slow and steady way while upholding my values. For me, this looks like focusing on quality, taking a step back when I feel overwhelm setting in, and single-tasking instead of multi-tasking.
Oftentimes I think we sacrifice our core values in order to stay in the race or work according to someone else’s terms. I’m really happy with where I am now, sharing content I believe will benefit you 2-3 times a week rather than running myself ragged to give you thinned out, low-quality posts more frequently. As I grow in comfort and confidence in front of the camera and in the technical side of this business, I hope to share with you much more often!
I tend to notice what’s missing rather than celebrating what I’ve accomplished. Working on the blog has helped me challenge this mindset. When I publish something, I’ll send it to David first and he always tells me how proud and excited he is for me. I’ve started to adopt the same view by celebrating my wins along this journey, and I feel more motivated, happy, and hopeful as a result.
Now, my question to you is this: What are some ways you show up in the world as yourself? How do you make sure you’re staying true to what you value? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram.
Photos by Elisa Bricker