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.
Love your blog. Two questions, where did you get the little table holding your coffee? And in a recent column you said you did not wash your fast in the shower to avoid the hot water on your skin, yet you use a steamer. What is the difference? Thanks
1- they’re from Lulu & Georgia. There’s a link in my instagram highlights under CHS apartment
2 – I think this is a matter of personal preference. Hot water dries out my skin so I try to avoid it on my face. (I have very dry skin). The steamer doesn’t do that.
Welcome to your *almost* 40s when you start to realize SO many liberating things that will completely change your life.. so worth the grey hairs, extra lines and slower metabolism 🙂
I love all of this. I’m almost 39 and just realizing the freedom that comes when I stop explaining my life to other people.
I also stopped reading snark sites. I realized I was only logging into Reddit when I was in a bad mood/having a bad day and that’s not a great sign lol. If an influencer bugs me to the point where I want to gripe about them I just hit unfollow and move along. Not worth all that bad energy.
Love this so much! I always laugh when people disparage the work ethic of “influencers”. To actually make a living that way takes so much dedication and effort! A very freeing thing for me has been to realize that I don’t want that life and therefore can stop comparing myself to what that life looks like. I am very happy to plug in in the morning to the hospital I work for and unplug at night, to not have to worry abt getting my own healthcare, to not have to maintain a public image. Here’s to finding/making the path that’s right for you!
Grace I love all of this SO much! It’s been very cool to sort of “grow up” with your blog: I started reading when I was 23 and just turned 31 and I feel like you were always showing me the next best chapters in life I have to look forward to. And I think anyone that has found you along the way really values your genuine perspective, trustworthy recs and how you will never change something about yourself just to fit in. I’ve turned so many friends on to your blog, podcast and FB group and I feel like you have built up such a great community because of what you DON’T do just as well as all the great stuff you do do.
I’ve picked up on your first habit myself after spending ~10 months in therapy this year and it’s been really freeing. I’ve realized that it’s a waste of time to try and process other people’s perceptions of me or reactions they have to my actions: that’s their choice about me. Seriously eye opening!
Feels like I could have written this comment, down to the ages! 🙂 8 years of reading the stripe and it just keeps getting better and better.
Someone once told me that what people think about me is “none of my business” and like… that could not be more correct. Amazing how much anxiety and worrying acknowledging the truth in that statement has saved me.
Haha I also just turned 31. There must be a lot of us. Grace’s advice and especially skincare recommendations have always been like a little bit of an older cousin for me. Someone who’s juuuust past that particular stage, and is basically convincing me to use retionol, sunscreen, and find little joys where I can.
I love this. I know that you were writing from the perspective of an influencer, but I also think that being “disposable” is a hard truth I had to realize. I was working “busy season” hours and I was incredibly over worked. I think I justified my exhaustion by believing that I was essential. I was making myself indispensable to the team. I made a rather dark joke to my boss that if I get hit by a bus, how would our team manage? And he responded, the deadline would get met. That’s the truth, the work will get done, the deadline will be met. I was disposable at work, but I am not disposable to my family, friends, myself, my health and that has been the most freeing thing. When I realized that I have limited control over my career (I can control how hard I work and my work product, but I can’t always control how I’m perceived or how leadership is feeling on a given day) and life, its very freeing to take back what you can control.
This is very long winded, but I love this post and I can’t wait to see you soon!
Are you a CPA? Your references to busy season and deadlines were the hints for me (though I’m sure other industries sometime use this language too!) I’m a CPA too and the whole thing about everyone feeling indispensable but really being disposable in public accounting ring so true for me. Honestly, once I figured that out, you’re right, it was freeing – I realized I could say no to projects, transition off clients, make life choices that didn’t revolve around my work schedule, etc. if that’s what I needed to have a healthier and happier career and life outside work. Anyone who tells you that you can’t will change their tune if the alternative is to lose you completely (unless you’re terrible at the job). I still work hard and put in extra hours when I need to, but I don’t compete or compare, and I don’t let bosses or clients who aren’t respectful ruin my day.
Grace, so happy for you that you’re putting yourself first and setting good boundaries! I think we can all agree that a happy Grace is so much more fun to watch and interact with (not that you always have to be or should fake it – just that seeing you happy makes me happy). Thanks for sharing – your tips apply so broadly to those of us outside the influencer world, even if they feel specific to your situation.
Yes I am! I agree 100% on everything you were saying.
I LOVE this. Such a good idea not to defend myself or have the last word. I struggle with that. Thanks for posting!
One of my favorite things I’ve learned – among the MANY – from Glennon Doyle is to stop asking directions of people who have not been where I’m trying to go. Oh, you have an opinion on how I should be better at working full time and parenting two young children in a pandemic? Ever done it successfully before? No? Thank you next.
A sardonic “correction” about your last line– didn’t Tyrion poop on the floor in your workplace? 🙂 hahah loved this post. I’m reading a great book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: It’s All Small Stuff” and this felt like a great natural extension. Good for you, Grace!
Oh my god, yes – he did. DYING.
Was gonna make this same comment….
A very crappy ex once told me, “You can’t change other people’s minds, but if you’re lucky, you can change your own.” For his many flaws, this was *SUCH* a good life lesson I needed to learn… ironic that I learned it from him, but wisdom comes from unexpected places. Thanks for always keeping it real. The community you build here on the daily is very grateful for you!
Oh my goodness, I am so here for all of these things!
Danielle | thereluctantblogger.co.uk
It’s so funny but what you shared about not needing to have the last word or not being pre-occupied with what others think of me have been in my thoughts recently. These are crucial for peace of mind, I think. Thanks for sharing.
Great post!!! Always a pleasure reading your blog!
Wow needed this reminder today. So true Grace. Funny how as I’ve gotten older it’s gotten easier to give ZERO F*cks what other people think about how I live my life. Very liberating. xx
*insert applause* Love hearing all of this. Even those who are not influencers have a hard time with what you spoke of above. It’s hard not to take any of it to heart, but it’s great to be reminded that you have the power to just let the bad sh*t go.
You are awesome, and are doing an amazing job at being a blogger and influencer!
I feel you’re resourceful, and interesting and are always informative whether it comes to skincare, books, tv shows/movies, travel, pots and pans lol…
You are also kind, considerate andddd it’s obvious very thoughtful. Not only your family and friends get to appreciate you, you choose to share yourself with the rest of us. Bravo! Just be you and do you, share your light, those of us who see clearly embrace it and the ones who dwell in the unconscious dark, will never see the light of Grace!
Thank you Grace for this post! It was exactly what I needed to hear today! The point you made about feeling disposable is something that I have been struggling with for a while. Clients/followers/students will come and go but at the end of the day, you just have to show up how you can and set your boundaries. BUT IT CAN BE SO HARD! 🙂
LOVE this post, especially as a blogger myself. I relate to everything! I’ve found that I care less and less about what other people think now that I’m in my 30s, and I also care less about defending myself to trolls on social media, and it’s been really liberating to just block and move on!
I re-read your “What goes into running a blog post” (such a good one!) and wonder if you still use Influencer SEO? I’m trying to up my SEO game but I feel like I’m not doing as much as I could be and have been thinking about hiring that out!
ALL OF THIS!!! You’re one of the real ones and I know we all love you for it! Thankful for how much you offer to the collective “us”
So interesting Grace! I am a little older than you and not involved in social media so I love that you still blog. Love you fashion, books, etc. I think the first of the 3 is just so true. In your line of work and in life in general. I read once that by arguing you really are just giving someone more power. When you ignore them you have completely taken their power and their steam. True bullies hate it because it just deflates their entire purpose. I love it! Keep up the great work! 🙂 ps- Also loving Addie LaRue!
I’ve had just a few experiences where someone tells me I was different than what they initially thought of me – one was a boss saying I was tougher than I seemed (a few months into a pretty grueling job). Until then I had no idea he’d had that initial impression of me haha, so I wasn’t worried about proving him wrong. It made me realize that, yeah, you can’t fully control what people will think of you.
Grace, The pooping on the floor, omg, you really made me laugh. As the mother of 3 grown kids, I experienced my share of poop. Just like in any job (and life) you have to put up with bs and people who are full of it. I’ve had trolls be really mean to me online and even gang up and I am not a blogger. I once had a group of guys saying the rudest things to me- They hoped I didn’t have children. I must spend all my time at the corner bar. They really hoped my wife helped the kids with homework because I must be dumb as rocks. THEY ASSUMED I WAS A MAN. I was upset but had to laugh as all my kids were in honors and top of their classes. My oldest has several degrees including a Ph.D. I did help them when they were younger with their homework, lol. This was all over a typo for an online quiz answer. I was going to tell them off but I decided they were not worth my time. I can imagine some of the things you’ve been told. Hugs, Pat S
Can you share that meme or post about letting people be wrong about you? I need that reminder. daily. Like I’d print out the post and take it to my bathroom mirror 😉
LOVED this post! Thank you for sharing