Have you ever felt the pressure to define yourself in a certain way on social media, your online presence or in life? What if I told you that maybe trying to fit in isn’t what is going to make you stand out from the others. Wouldn’t you like to gain followers that will actually matter and stick with you for the long haul or attract people based on who you are as a person and not a trend or fad? The things that make you unique are what will attract this tribe and followers. You can create your own niche despite what others may tell you.
I’ve been told my whole brand ambassador career what I needed to do to get gigs. Things like be a certain size, look a certain way, cover up the Southern roots or wear heels to distract from being short, people have said. I’m polite and I’ve always been respectful of people speaking to me. I convince myself when people give advice they mean well.
Don’t believe the highlight reel
My rule though is if a person advising me isn’t where I’d like to be I’m certainly not going to look to them as a mentor or follow their path. Don’t believe everything you read and see on social media; it is only a highlight reel (for some people). Everyone is different and some don’t want to share their negatives even if flaws are what makes us unique and human.
My goal isn’t to have a highlight reel. To me life is about community over competition. I want to see other people succeed and I’ll clap for you. When someone looks at a photo of me @thevirginiahypegirl I don’t want them to be trying to figure out what preset I’m using or program, what fancy camera I have or how much I paid for the look. I want someone to see a woman just like them, that has worked hard to get where she is and proof that they can over come too. I share my life to inspire and encourage others.
I am beautifully broken not photoshopped perfect. I’m not afraid to talk about being a victor of domestic violence or overcoming assault or to show you my vulnerability. I’ve posted on depression, hitting rock bottom, dealing with loss and having major health set backs. All in hopes that maybe by sharing my highs along with my lows someone will take comfort that life isn’t perfect and neither am I.
If you don’t have this kind of confidence in yourself or know yet what you bring to the table it’s ok. Please don’t ever loose who you are in trying to find yourself, especially if you are comparing yourself to someone else and their journey. Don’t let other people trick you into chasing dreams that aren’t even yours. If something you are creating or doing feels forced then maybe you should rethink it.
Be cautious of who you trust
In your quest to build your tribe (followers) be caution too of women who proclaim to support other women. These women do exist, but often jealousy and the green eyed monster rears its ugly head, especially in groups of women. I’ve seen more women use this line and still tear other women apart at the same time. Be cautious of who you trust. A woman that picks at another women will likely do the same about you behind your back.
It is ok to be different. Remember that sometimes two people can have the same recipe, but have completely different tasting dishes. You don’t have to fight anyone for your piece of the pie…it is already yours. If I have to be fake or someone I am not I don’t want that kind of success and you shouldn’t either. If it isn’t exciting to you it can come across as forced and it won’t be interesting to your audience either.
I am proud of being me and I want to encourage others to stand out instead of fitting in. Maybe someone is out there silently reading this and I can only hope because of something they read by me they too decide to not give up. Fight for yourself and for what you believe in. Figure out what you want to share with others and don’t hold back. In doing this you will attract people that will share your passion and build a real community.