This was not meant to happen.
It all started off as a way of conveying my thoughts, feelings, and experiences through the hardships life brought along for me. Just a place to turn to when I wanted to find hope in the darkness, to make better sense of things for myself.
Yet here I am, three years on and still at it.
But what makes it all different, is the direction in which I have taken my blog and social media known as ‘The Growing Butterfly‘.
In the beginning, I told myself this was going to be something positive for both myself and hopefully for others too.
The aim was to share my highs and lows through recovery and how I have learnt to love myself for exactly who I am, inside and out. In doing so, I merely wanted those who were going through similar experiences to relate to it, believe that they were not alone and so they too can find their own future happiness.
So how have I come to a point where I struggle to see the good in blogging anymore? What changed my mindset towards it all? Was I really doing this with the right intentions all along?
All these questions have been running through my mind for months on end, far more than I care to mention. It has felt as though I had lost the heart in being a blogger, which has caused me to have self-doubt over my abilities to make it work, to be ‘good enough’ and ultimately pull myself a part because I wasn’t being consistent enough with amazing content every single day/week/month of the year.
Since I have taken a step back to reflect on everything going on both on and offline, I have been able to understand it all more clearly. The answer is plain and simple; I have felt pressured by the industry to be somebody I am not.
The answer is plain and simple: I have felt pressured by the industry to be somebody I am not.
In order to get your voice heard through social media, it seems that you have to conform to a bunch of unwritten rules to gain a huge following.
A few examples of these ‘rules’ are advertising for brands and companies just because they have thousands of followers, taking endless selfies with your sexy assets as the main attraction, eating ‘on trend’ health foods, going to the gym six days a week and going on endless adventures all over the world.
Why have they become a fundamental part of growing your social media platform? How is it painting a realistic picture to viewers that this exactly who you are and what you really want to do?
The truth is, it isn’t.
Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with any of those things if that is honestly what someone wants to do for the right reasons for their health and happiness. My issue with the way the industry works is that we constantly compare every inch of ourselves against the world.
If you aren’t fitting into latest craze (going vegan is a great example), you don’t look a certain way, you haven’t got a jam-packed social life, you aren’t travelling every other weekend to far and distant places then it can cause you to believe you are not succeeding.
I have spent far too many hours creating things for my blog or for social media that have prevented me from gaining more of a life for myself.
Being a blogger is extremely time-consuming, especially in the very early stages when you are trying to make a name for yourself. It can a stop your life in more ways than you want, but you carry on doing it because of those ‘unwritten rules’ to get where you a want.
Over the past three years, I have learnt lessons about myself that have altered my outlook completely. Before, I was entrenched in thinking that acceptance with society was the way to find self-confidence and happiness.
That being liked before what others wanted to see in me was how I was going to make dreams happen. It wasn’t until I began to trust in what my own heart was calling me to do, that I discovered everything that I was searching for and more.
I would be lying if I said that I have not done something to gain popularity on social media, but it by doing so that I have changed my entire approach towards blogging and will not do anything like it again.
Authenticity is one of biggest commodities to have, though it is very hard to convey and for others to believe in online.
So much is clouded, hidden and not spoken about truthfully which is a shame. Having the confidence to just be your true self is a characteristic that I am constantly inspired by.
The knowledge that a person has enough confidence to stand up for exactly what they want, who they are and what they believe in is empowering. Which is why I chose to create content that I am deeply passionate about and only share what is 100% authentic to who I am as a person in real life.
Next time you view or create a blog post, an insta-worthy shot or YouTube video, just keep in mind your own core values in life.
Never lose sight of what makes you the wonderful person that you are. No filter can ever change that.