There is often a lot of pressure to know what we want and then to go for it.
We’re made to feel as though we should be go, go, go, otherwise we’re seen to just be lazy or wasting time.
And often this societal pressure leads to us chasing after things we’re not even sure we really want. It’s only when you slow down and step back that you realise you’ve been moving towards a life that might be wonderful for somebody else but it’s not what you really want.
I recently unsubscribed from an email list. Afterwards, I got thinking about why I did it for that particular brand and why I’d do it in general.
We all already get way too many emails and so an additional 5 a week from a company you bought hair products from once and don’t plan to buy from again is just too much.
Just because we place one order with a company, doesn’t mean we’re interested in their email marketing. We might want updates on sales or new products they come out with but everything else is just annoying.
And lastly, we want to feel respected. Just because someone now has our email when we’re being bombarded with emails every few days or even weekly it feels like excessive. I think we’d all much rather read emails that feel important to us (not just to the person sending them) even if their intention is to get us to buy more stuff.
But the more emails we get the less helpful it feels and so we decide that we’d rather have no emails at all and we click unsubscribe.
One thing I have observed over the years is that there is a very clear difference between being a creator and being a consumer in the online space.
It is first worth noting that all creators consume and all consumers create. However, the title you choose or align with most is based around what you do the most but also how you do it.
Secondly, you don’t have to have a big number of followers, make money or work with brands to be considered a creator, it’s more about the intention behind what you put out.
It could be someone with 237 followers sharing photos of what they eat at home each day, where they spend time and care on the presentation of each meal, in order for it to look visually appealing. It could also be someone with 52,375 subscribers making fashion videos that give their audience outfit inspiration.
For creators, I think it is important that you are creating more than you consume otherwise you end up getting swept up and spending your time in a way that does not benefit you.
As the year begins comes to a close now is the perfect time to tie up any lose ends so you can start fresh in the new year.
For me that includes going over my goals and reflecting on what I was able to achieve, what I need more time to work on and what I’m no longer interested in doing.
Once that’s done, I’ll move on to thinking about what I’d like to do for the year ahead.
It also important to remember that even if you didn’t manage to do everything on your list, there are plenty of things you did this year that weren’t apart of your goals. To combat this it can also be useful to note down achievements or highlights at the end of each month. That’ll provide a fuller picture of all that you managed to do because it’s easy to forget.
It’s been a long time coming.
When you’ve needed something for a long time, it can end up being overwhelming when you finally get it.
It’s new, unfamiliar and strange.
You might struggle to accept it and even turn it down.
It’s unknown and feels like a risk yet a part of you knows that this is exactly what you’ve been working towards.
In the company of one as in you, yourself and um you, there are many valuable lessons to learn.
It could be something as simple as seeing yourself as you are instead of through how you are in interactions with other people. You could learn that despite being agreeable and generally follow the lead of others when in groupn settings, you’re totally different in your own company.
Maybe you like to plan, organise and feel confident to take charge when it comes to solo adventures but struggle for that aspect of yourself to be at the forefront with others.
It could be because you’re used to not being listened to, your self-esteem is low or you have an issue with always putting other peoples wants before your own. But you’ll never see these things unless you make time for solitude.
If you’re always with others you might end up believing that you’re this laid back person who is happy with other people always making the decisions, meanwhile the truth is you’re actually afraid to speak up and say what you want.
But the great thing is once you realise these things you can change them. It might start with taking charge with group plans instead of waiting for someone else to or making a suggestion when you’d usually stay quiet.
When your life isn’t exactly what one would describe as good, you may find that you’ve developed a fear of things going from bad to worse.
It is this fear that keeps you stuck, stagnant and stops you growing to potentially start living a life that is better than your current circumstances.
From the outside it might seem frustrating that you don’t take action but for you, the person that is experiencing the situation, doing nothing makes prefect sense.
But the problem with doing nothing is that things have no change of getting better.
When we think about getting someone to buy something the first is probably that it’s a bad thing. Perhaps what comes to mind is a greasy car salesmen or some sort of trickster who will tell lies to convince you to spend money.
But what about the other times we buy things based on being influenced and we’re happy with the choice. I don’t consider that to be a bad thing.
It could be a £1,100 pair of Valentino Garavani boots that you feel great in, you get you compliments every time you wear them and they were purchased in a store where you received excellent service. It could also be £10 water bottle that doesn’t leak.
The issue arises when we buy something and it doesn’t work as it should, it doesn’t feel worth it, it feels like a waste of money, we regret the purchase or it stops working and you can’t get a refund.
Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped, we want to feel like we’re making good choices and spending our money well.
A lot of people build personal brands around ‘the struggle’, being relatable and essentially saying that they are ‘just like you’ (but a little more visible).
People are often drawn to things that they can relate to. It’s comforting to see someone also going after the thing that they are working towards. But if their interest in you is because they feel like they’re like you (often including financially), of course how they feel towards you will change when they can no longer relate.
If you spend time growing a personal brand and a big part of that is you saying you’re just like the people watching, listening to and supporting you, if you’re now regularly shopping from luxury brands, mingling with celebrities, attending events and you’ve bumped yourself up a few tax brackets then you’re clearly not ‘just like everyone else’, your life is now different.
There’s nothing wrong with that at all, I think the issue comes when people try to deny that their life has changed much in order to still be relatable. We’re all aware that a persons financial situation doesn’t mean they don’t go through some of the same things as the average person but it’s okay to acknowledge the other parts of your life too.
With influencers the need to be relatable comes from the fact that it’s easier to sell to people when they feel like you’re just like them rather than when you show up as a millionaire that you are. It’s really just a marketing tactic which I don’t think it necessarily a bad thing. However, it shifts influencers away from being the relatable stranger online who recommends things they’ve used or clothes they’ve worn to instead being just another sales person trying to get you to buy something.
Outside of all the things you’re obligated or committed to do, how much time do you spend on your interests?
It’s easy to be dedicated to your career because doing so often comes with rewards like praise, promotions and a pay rise. It’s easy to spend time on your ‘side hustle’ because doing so will hopefully bring it closer to being your main hustle.
But when it comes to your interests like neoplasticism, poetry and hand embroidery sometimes it can feel difficult to make the time when you don’t directly get anything back from it.
As much as your interests bring you great joy, they don’t don’t always come with specific tanigble rewards. And so if you find that you’re not making time for them, you may need to remind yourself why were interested in them the first place.