Happiness and job satisfaction, like most things, are a journey. Like pretty much anyone, I have my good days and my bad days.
Just like any job (keep in mind – I am an “old,” I worked a traditional day job for twelve years before doing this full time), being an influencer has its challenges. It’s mostly great. Really, I appreciate a flexible calendar and not having a boss SO MUCH. Those two things alone make any annoying things 1,000% worth it. And there are so many great parts of doing this. There are days where I feel so connected with my readers/followers/etc, where a sweet comment here or in my email or the Facebook group makes me emotional. Generally, I am obsessed with you (the collective you) and feel so incredibly lucky that I get to earn a living from writing, sharing, talking about the things I love.
Just like every job, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows: there are also days where I roll my eyes at the phone or close my laptop in a huff. We are all human, right? Blogging and influencing are newer careers so I think they look easy or fun and totally carefree but just like any job, it can totally suck, too. Below are three things I have stopped doing this year that have had a major impact on my happiness. This post is a little bit specific to my job (blogging/influencing) but I still wanted to share. And it is a little snarky maybe, but oh well. Hopefully it is interesting and/or helpful.
3 Influencer-y Things I’ve Stopped Doing:
Needing to have the last word.
A couple weeks ago I saw something in a meme or a quote from a therapist about the power in letting people be wrong about you. My mind was blown. In the past I have felt like I have to defend myself anytime someone says something mean or wrong about me. Let them be wrong. Let it GO. Wow. It is such a simple thing but wow it blew my mind.
People will always have an opinion about you or your decisions. Those opinions are based on their collective experience and have nothing to do with you or the person you are. Perception is not reality. As long as my closest friends and family think I’m doing okay, and I can go to sleep at night thinking I did the best I could do, I’m doing okay.
It’s totally normal to want to be liked, to seek approval. But when people pleasing starts to rule your life that is just toxic. There truly is so much power in letting people be wrong about you. People come into my DMs and say crazy shit to me. I used to argue with them or try to defend myself. Now I block and move on. I don’t have the time or the energy for that, and even if I did have more time, that is not where I want to spend it.
Proving yourself as a serious person.
This is a funny one. If you are an influencer, people are just going to think you don’t work hard. They will see your life as cushy and fancy, they will think you are lazy and probably independently wealthy.
Here is a little newsflash: if someone thinks you are lazy and entitled, you probably aren’t going to change their mind. Let them think that. Who cares? In the past I’ve dedicated whole blog posts to sharing just how hard I work. I’d take photos of myself working at midnight so that I could go on that trip the next day. I am done with that and feel so relieved to be done. People are going to think what they want. Talking about how busy I am or how much I work is boring.
Feeling I’m owed something.
I had the realization this year that I’m actually pretty disposable. That sounds harsh but at the end of the day, anyone who follows blogs or influencers probably follows a lot of blogs or influencers. All it takes is one misstep and they will be over you. Maybe they will come back, maybe not. That just is what it is, but here is the thing: if you are going to keep doing this for a long time, you have to be okay with that. You can let that weigh you down or you can just accept it for what it is. It’s kind of freeing when you realize it?
But also, two things I AM doing…
Remembering I have the power.
I saw a whole conversation on a snark site this week or lasts about salutations and influencers asking their audience to say hello before demanding “link?!?!” or “size?”. I get it, I hate that too (it can feel a little bit dehumanizing / makes you feel like a bot!) but if I don’t like how someone addresses me, I just ignore them. I have the power to do that. The same goes for negative comments or Internet “meanies. You don’t have to lecture your audience or complain to the world about the injustice of it all. Just ignore the person. Or if they are being nasty, block them! You have the power.
My loose rules: if someone is rude, I restrict their account. If they do it again, they get blocked, This hard rule has made my life so much nicer. I do the same on my blog, there is a discussion setting where you can send negative comments straight to trash based on their IP address. Of course there is thoughtful criticism – I try to give a thoughtful reply to that. But if someone is straight trolling, their comments are going straight to trash.
Last night on my family group chat we were talking about preschool. My cousin is a preschool teacher and my sisters both have kids that age. The stories… wow! All I will say is that no one is pooping on my floor in my workplace, so I feel pretty great about my life.
photography by Clay Austin.