If there is one thing I have learned so far from my social media endeavors it is this: Instagram can be very intimidating.
To be honest, it is still quite intimidating a lot of the time, but particularly so when I started my blog and first began posting to Instagram. I would scroll through my insta-feed and all I would see would be stunning photos of bloggers with gigantic followings. They had everything I wanted and of course, what did I do? I began to compare myself. (You can read more about my struggle with comparison here but for now I’m taking this post a different route.)
But perhaps you weren’t like me. Perhaps you started your social media journey secure in who you were with everything figured out — your purpose, your niche, your stylistic approach to photos or blog posts all were already decided and you were not easily influenced by all the monstrous Instagram accounts in your feed.
I wish I could say that was me. I was quite the opposite. In fact, I began to compare myself so much that I started to lose who I was to become more like the accounts I was following.
I’ve read before that you need to find a few people who are successful in what you want to do and basically copy them and you’ll achieve those same successes and I guess there is some truth to that. But only if that is where you see value and purpose and you are truly able to be yourself doing those things.
There are a dozen ways I tried to emulate other bloggers that stick out in my mind, but for this blog post I’ll only focus on one. I started trying to pose like Brittany Xavier from Thrifts and Threads, you know how she barely smiles in her photos? It works for her (very well!) but I figured out a long way down the road it wasn’t working for me. I am an extrovert and honestly, quite goofy and eccentric, so why was I trying to subdue that? Because she was successful and I needed to copy her? I figured no one would want to follow along with a goofy blogger. (look at how unhappy and uncomfortable I am in these pictures, ugh!)
See where I missed the boat? I wasn’t staying true to myself and honestly, I’ve realized now that’s not the type of blogger I want to be. I want my pictures and blog posts to represent who I am at my core and not who I think I should be to get a successful following
It’s so easy to lose your authentic self to comparison, especially out of fear of rejection. But I am here to tell you that failing as yourself is so much better than succeeding in imitation, and much more joyful and fulfilling too!
I still post a picture from time to time on Instagram with a subdued smile, but if you follow along, you’ll see most of the time now I have a big goofy grin on my face. That’s who I am and that’s who I want my readers to know. Being ourselves shows that we’re human, that we are vulnerable and imperfect and I think that is when our stories resonate with others the most.
See the difference 🙂