On the heels of Monday’s post about 6 Ways to Be Your Own #GirlBoss, I want to talk about authenticity and taking the slower road. It is so easy to get caught up in the successes of others – whether it’s fellow classmates in uni or a grad program who are getting better grades, the feeling that everyone and their mom just got a promotion except for you, or the speed and grace at which other people seem to be picking up your favorite hobby when you seem to be sitting there all thumbs – it can often feel like the world is speeding along at breakneck pace, while you’re just trudging along with your feet stuck in molasses. This is even more true for the world of social media, where everything is laid out in the open for all to see, like, and comment about.
And let me tell you – a lot of those people are where they are because they are talented mother fuckers hustling like the rest of us, shedding honest blood, sweat, and tears. I would never discredit anyone’s hard work. Let me get that out of the way. But that doesn’t mean that what you are doing is any less valuable. Although I can completely understand that when everyone seems to be getting ahead, it can make us wonder what shortcuts we could be taking in order to reach the top.
It also makes us wonder what shortcuts other people might be taking in order to get there too. (Bare in mind, this is not a rant or a post directed at anyone in particular. I am speaking in very broad and general terms here and this post is actually not directed at anyone else but you, me, and my belief in hard work.)
This can cause us to question our own worth both mentally, intellectually, and physically and think that if we just lost x amount of pounds or had a better this-or-that that success would be within our reach. But I am here today to tell you that nothing feels better than reaching small levels of success the honest way.
I have been working very hard at establishing a career for myself for some time now, and very seriously for almost a year now, which began with me quitting my job and opting for the freelance life in order to pursue my dreams of working as a blogger and photographer on the professional level.
Working in the social media world, where numbers are always stressed, it can often be demorsalizing when you feel as if you are working your ass off with minimal growth becuase you have certain principles that prevent you from working with certain companies, buying numbers, or doing anything else that doesn’t truly represent who you are. But I have always said that when I finally reach that level of “success” that I have pre-defined in my mind, I want it to be on my own merit, and without having had to throw away my principles (Disclaimer: Still, I have also learnt that it’s all about compromise and you cannot sit on such a high horse that you turn everything down and never grow – but that is another topic for another blogpost.)
Sure, part of social media success is knowing certain techniques – when it’s best to post, creating a cohesive instagram feed, posting blogposts regularly, being interactive, etc. But I choose not to post outfits of myself in super high end clothing because it’s just not me (but if it’s you, then you do you girl! It’s all about authenticity!). I take photos that I am proud of, not ones I necessarily think will have the best reception on social media.
I try to avoid writing click-baity article (although a catchy title never hurts!) becuase I want to create a blog of substance. (Seriously, I am all for blogposts giving honest advice, but so many titles are clearly false advertisement when the advice given is a hastily pasted together list of common knowledge.) And although I love a good minimalistic feed as much as the next person, my instagram is not full of minimalistic Scandinavian design and marble in black and white tones because my home is a bohemian mess.
Running a blog centered around conscious living also means that although I am happy to work with brands, I don’t snatch up every opportunity that could have maybe brought me more success sooner, because I don’t want to promote blind consumption; in fact, I sometimes joke I got into the wrong field because of this.
My own personal blog and social media growth has probably been slower than most because of this. And I hustle like hell. But I can say that I am excited for each new follower that comes to LFB or my instagram becuase I know (hope!) they are there for the right reasons. And since success has not just been handed to me on a silver platter and I am still working on getting it, each small win is meaningful. And when companies do reach out to me, they are often ones I genuinely want to work with, which makes me think that I must be doing something right if I can slowly build a brand in a way that I am excited about. (Being invited to Tea Collective‘s tea tasting event at FVF was an example of this.)
I have also met so many incredible people throughout the years that I have been running LFB and appreciate each and every one of you – especially the lot of you that come back each and every week because we have a meaningful connection to one another.
I am sharing my personal story with you because my personal story is all that I know. But in doing so, what I am trying to say is that hard work and honesty without compromising your integrity is always the way to go. And when you do this, you will always be satisfied with who you are. It also comes with bonus points: When you do finally go viral, you’ll be all smiles because you know you have gotten there on your own merit. So go on with your bad self.
Photography: Leni of Paperboats
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