The thing about social media is that it’s great when you’re on it. It’s entertaining, it’s addictive.
It’s so much of those things that I find myself thinking, I’ll feel like I’m missing out if I take a break.
When you’re logged into social media it can feel like you need to check it 20 times a day. Even though you know there is nothing there that you need to see, the apps are designed in a way to keep you coming back.
And so you check the app again and again even if you don’t really have a reason to.
Checking social media multiple times a day means you’re constantly taking in other peoples stuff. It could be a useful infographic, educational twitter thread or a new recipe to try on IGTV. However, it could also be celebrity gossip, peoples thoughts on relationships or people making fun of someone.
That’s why I think logging out is so important. It allows you to disconnect from distractions and might even remind you that you don’t it as much as you think you do.
That probably won’t mean quitting all social media for good but instead simply using it less.
Your job is to create and then put it out there.
It might not get the amount of views you want or it could be loved by millions, that is not something you have any control over.
It’s not your job to try and convince people that your work is good. In fact, you need to learn to be okay with the fact that some people won’t like it.
Focus on creating your work for the people that want it. That might only be a few to begin with but those people are important.
Often in life the thing causing the most anxiety and frustration is not particularly important in the long term. If you were to assess it in the grand scheme of life and death you’ll probably find that it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.
We tend to get swept up in how other people feel and what other people will think (in general but mainly towards us). We do this because we are eager to please, want to be liked and we convince ourselves that if we just try hard enough we can control what other people think and feel towards us.
But instead of getting swept up in other people, think about yourself. Have you even considered that what you feel and think is important too?
More to the point, maybe how you think and feel is actually the most important thing.
If you won’t care in a few months time then maybe you shouldn’t care at all.
It’s easy to get swept up what everyone else is doing or whatever the popular thing is at that point in time.
It might even be a great cause, helping people or bringing light to something that matters.
However, I think it’s important to ask yourself why you’re joining in. Is it something you care about or do you just want to be a part of something? Maybe you want to be perceived as someone who cares?
You don’t have to care about everything and you don’t have anything to prove.
You don’t have to jump on the bandwagon.
Sometimes when there’s something you want to say the easiest way to bring it up is to wait for a ‘cue’.
My dictionary defines a cue as ‘An action or event that is a signal for somebody to do something’.
In this case the thing to do is bring up a topic that is difficult to speak about or difficult to for people to listen.
However, the problem with waiting for a cue is that sometimes other people will not consider your approach genuine. But furthermore, it stirs up the question of why you’re unable to bring the topic up on your own.
Why do you have to wait for a cue?
Perhaps because you’re not ready to admit how much the topic matters or maybe you just don’t dont have the confidence yet.
It might not be easy the first time but get used to talking about what matters, you don’t need to wait for a cue.
It’s easy to be grateful when things are going your way.
But when times are uncertain and life has thrown a spanner in the works gratitude often becomes a little more challenging.
Suddenly the most prominent things are the bad stuff and you’re not thankful for your life being turned upside down.
In these times it’s even more important to practice gratitude.
The real benefits of the practice come when you’re able to make it a part of your lifestyle, independent of your circumstances.
And so maybe it used to be I’m grateful for getting to be apart of this exciting project or some other major thing that you feel like shouting from the rooftops. But now it’s more like I’m grateful for these cosy socks, the flowers in my garden and running water.
It’s easy to fall into thinking that you only have 2 options.
Do nothing or do what everyone else is doing.
Sometimes that works out okay but other times you need a third option.
That third option is to carve you’re own path and do what feels best for you.
And sure that might draw attention to you or people will have something to say about you straying from the norm but it’s better than the alternative.
I’ve learnt that it’s important to be able to stand in your truth without considering other peoples opinions and thoughts before you’re own.
It could be pursuing a career that others see as risky, taking a solo trip or even speaking up about issues that are important to you.
It doesn’t matter what it is but it does matter that you do what’s right for you.
A major contributing factor to moving forward in life is being able to let things go.
It could be physical possessions, people or memories and experiences.
An easy example is if you tried something and it didn’t work out. If you can’t let go of the thing that didn’t work you may find that it underlies future situations when you try something new.
Suddenly you’ve become someone that believes that nothing will work out for you, you become closed off to new things and remain stagnant.
That may seem extreme but that’s the reality of life. You won’t realise how much that one situation affected you until you’re randomly pondering life one Sunday afternoon.
I don’t think there’s one specific way to let go, what works for one may not work for another so it’s important to figure it out for yourself.
That thing you’ve been working on could be the reason you end up quitting your job or it could just be a labour of love.
That word just has a way of diminishing the words that follow. It makes it seem as though a labour of love is a bad thing but it’s not, at least not to me anyway.
Not every project or thing you work on is supposed to be how you earn a living or even make you money. And it’s not about promoting the idea of the struggling artist who puts their heart and passion into all that they do but can’t make ends meet.
It’s about the person that works as a receptionist but leads a conservation volunteer group on the weekends or the Math teacher that also paints.
The significance, importance or worthiness of what you do should not be based on how much money you make or even how popular you are.
I think creativity, vulnerability, connection, generosity and joy matter so much more.
Like ice cube said ‘check yourself before you wreck yourself’.
So we recently had our annual performance reviews at work and something I took from it was that it’s important to assess yourself throughout the year.
When you let a year go by without assessing how you’re doing there’s a higher chance you’ll be surprised by what your manager tells you at the end of the year.
I think assessing yourself quarterly (or even monthly) will help you better understand how you’re doing and what you need to work on. It doesn’t have to be with your manager, it could be with another colleague or you could do it alone.
That way you can pick up on the things you need to work on, make changes and then later reassess.
You should work on getting better, expanding your knowledge and trying new things for you. Not to appease your boss or because you know it’s ‘just part of the process’.
This is one of those ‘you get out what you put in’ kinda circumstances.