The Fear of Not "Making It" on Social Media
Social media anxiety is real. When we create work and we put it out there it’s like our little creative idea babies. So when it doesn’t come to term, when it gets no recognition or love on social media it feels like a loss. Like a creative idea miscarriage, if you will. As artists we suffer terrible losses when the book doesn’t sell, when the post doesn’t hit, when your best work doesn’t get accepted. And I’m honestly afraid of that because I hate to feel rejected.
Signs that you are experiencing anxiety when it comes to your dreams, your goals, and social media:
Constantly second-guessing yourself
Sweating a lot
Increased heart rate
Your mind and body refusing to cooperate cohesively
I feel like being honest with you and telling you the truth. I’m afraid. I’m afraid that what I’m passionate about won’t get any love because people just won’t care enough. I’m afraid of not being popular on instagram and twitter. I’m afraid that my posts won’t convert into followers, subscribers or clients. I’m afraid that I’ll be the only one that enjoys my content. I’m afraid that my ego is playing one big ass trick on me gassin me into thinking that what I’m doing, what I’m saying is important and powerful when actuality nobody gives a shit. I’m terrified of it all.
When I expressed these feelings to my homegirl, Latoya, she said, “Social media has a way of making all of us strive for a perfection that is not only a facade but it doesn’t exist. Things will trend, things will fall off, then something else will trend, and something else will fall off.” I felt this in my spirit. It’s all a cycle. But this cycles affects me because I tend to get discouraged when it comes to posting for this very reason. I feel this weird, insane pressure to keep up with something I never even signed up to be a part of. Or did I? Or am I just upset the game isn’t working in my favor?
I started thinking... instead of showing that I’m living my best life, why don’t I actually do it? And post about it later. Because my intent is to impact lives. It is to encourage the world to live fulfilling lives through holistic wellness, self-care, and travel. And I need to put that information out there. Focusing on my purpose and how I can actually help people inspires me to stay motivated to post.
So a few pointers:
Remember that people pretend. That fake it til you make it shit is very real.
And if they’re not pretending they are showing the BEST parts of their lives. The highlights. And you comparing it with yours when you know nothing about how they got there or what they had to do for it proves that you’re just worried about the wrong things.
I had to investigate this flaw in myself. What is it about me that I need to work on where I want to be on social media scrolling, obsessing and comparing? Am I nervous to actually do something? Am I nervous to be great? Am I nervous to put my shit out there? Yeah, I am. But why? This very issue is what has inspired this blog. I want to help anybody who has these anxious feelings about social media to the point where they feel discouraged to even post.
Remember that: You aren’t going* to be amazing because you already are.
I really used to think ohhh, when I travel to this many countries I’m going to be happy. Ohhh, when I move out of my moms crib ima be happy, ima be in a better space to focus in on myself. Ohhh, When I get this certain amount of money I’m going to be happy. ‘I’m going to be amazing.’
But when I travelled South America (Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Brazil) for 3 months by myself and I wasn’t fully happy. And I wasn’t happy with myself because I kept on focusing on the future. I kept thinking what’s the next country, next adventure, next high. Completely neglecting the present moment. Stop postponing happiness. Happiness isn’t in the future because it lives in the present moment. And being present allows you to deal with your life with more grace, more understanding, and more acceptance.
How to be more present, you ask? Keep a journal.
I write down things I’m grateful for every single day.
I started a daily meditation practice. I started meditating at waterfalls, rivers, on long bus rides in the most beautiful places of the world. This kept me centered and grounded.
Being more mindful goes a long way too. I started being on my phone a lot less. When I was journaling, I focused in on just journaling and didn’t keep checking my phone or social media. When I was watching TV I watched TV and that’s it. When I was eating my attention was devoted to my food. When I started putting 100% of my focus into the things that I was actually doing each activity began to feel more rich, more vibrant.
As far as social media, put your work out there! Fck the frail shit.
Just see it this way: Putting your work out there is a service to others. Be of service to others. Think: How can I be of service? How can I help someone else? How can I help the world? And stay grounded in this purpose. I had to realize that I am doing the world a service by being who I am and sharing what I have to say. Use your platform as a vessel of self that’s bigger than yourself.
That’s what I’m doing right now. For a while I was like who wants to hear about my social media anxiety then I’m like naaa, I’m sure people go through this shit and it’s tough. It’s a mentality and energy that is toxic and worth breaking out of.
Post when the hell you want and how you want. Play by your own rules. I had to stop worrying about being liked and start liking myself. I encourage the world to practice more self-love this way we don’t go out searching for it through outside sources like social media, relationships, food or even career adoration.
Write down things that you like about yourself. Or things that you want to work on to like yourself more. For me it was consistency. Being consistent with things makes me feel really good. So I started waking up early to get things done that make me happy. I wake up an hour and a half early to journal, meditate, cook, and stretch. This is very important to me. Staying consistent in the gym is important to me. Staying consistent with meal prepping is important to me. Staying consistent with content is important to me. So what is important to you? How can you build more consistency around that? Try creating a schedule. And I know it’s easy to make a to do list and not commit to it but be practical with your schedule and your time. Before I write down my to-do list I write in big bold letters at the top, HOW ARE YOU HELPING PEOPLE? HOW ARE YOU HELPING YOURSELF? BE OF SERVICE. MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE BECAUSE YOU WERE HERE. Having this sense of purpose smackdown in front of my to-do list reminds me WHY I need to stay focused and committed to the list.
When I’m not consistent self-doubt starts to creep in, comparison starts to hang out in your mind and then I start feeling a little unworthy of my blessings. The Universe can feel this toxic energy and will give out blessings until you’re ready and open to receive them. At least that’s what I believe. So commit to yourself and your life will transform from struggle to grace.
Be. So. Damn. Good. They. Can’t. Ignore. Yo. Ass. Master your craft. Put your energy into being better at what you do. Compete with yourself and focus on being better than yesterday. One thing that remains constant with a lot of Beyonce’s interviews (I’m not comparing myself to Bey but I’m just saying this particular trait is admirable) she consistently says that she only competes with herself. She compares Beyonce to Beyonce. And tries to be better, and better, and better. Focus that comparing others energy into yourself and see where you can grow.
Just post your work. Stop feeling like you need to reach the final form before you can put your work out there. I used to feel like I can only post about nutrition when I’m done with nutrition school. But nooo. That’s not the case. We just need to stay in tuned with the process of creating. When you focus on the journey instead of the destination your movement becomes an adventure.
And I get it. We live in a consumer-oriented society with currency being attention. So we become fixated on this need to have something to show for our labor. But this type of thinking blocks out creative nature. It blocks us from being our most authentic self. It blocks us from learning throughout the journey. This type of thinking sets defeat in motion. Just. Post. Your. Work.
Choose 5 affirmations and commit to them. Repeat each one 3x a day.
I have a right to be creative.
My creativity is a blessing that I accept.
My creative blesses others.
I now share my creativity more openly.
I now allow myself to heal.
I am a talented person.
Being successful is natural to me.
I don’t have to get to the finish line by tomorrow.
I am whole. My work is whole.
Actually I can.
Remember all of these social networks are designed to get our attention. It encourages us to play the compare and despair game. This distracts us from being present or appreciative for what we have going on. While I’m looking at somebody else’s plate the food on my plate is getting cold. And that’s wack. Who wants cold food? I say all this to say put the spotlight on your purpose. Be intentional. Staying rooted in your purpose and being of service is the key to overcoming social media anxiety and dancing to the beat of your own drum.
Feel free to comment below and tell me your thoughts. How do you deal with social media anxiety? How do you deal with any anxiety? How do you feel about affirmations? What works for you? Please share!
With love + light,