Recently, I’ve found myself at a bit of a crossroads with my blog and Instagram.
I have rarely posted on my blog and have been taking regular breaks from Instagram too, only appearing to post brand ADs that I have been under obligation to post.
To be honest, I have felt a bit stuck.
I have been in a bit of a fog of anxiety lately and want to break the cycle.
Both of these platforms have always been a place for me to share about parenting, fashion and interiors. In the past, I would rarely share about anything else, as those were my boundaries (boundaries are important) and wanted to keep to my format consistent, as that’s what my followers (and brands that I work with) had come to expect.
But, recently, I have had the urge to share more. Things that I’m passionate about, causes that are important to me. I have so many things that I want to talk about and instead, I am frozen. Unable to talk. Unable to share.
Instead of just writing about what I want to write about, I have just stopped writing. I felt like being silent was better than just waffling on, in a half hearted way, about topics on autopilot.
Of course I LOVE to talk about fashion and interiors, I really do. But now I want to talk about more and I think my uncertainty about whether to do this or not just paralyzed me.
I often think back to why I first got enthusiastic about Instagram in the first place. It was to connect with other like minded people and to share experiences and to not feel so alone, whilst helping others not feel so alone. As my account grew, I put strong boundaries in place and tried to keep my content simple, as a way to protect myself. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that at all, but now I feel like I need to reassess those boundaries and get back to the roots of why I am here.
I want to use my platform to raise awareness of issues and movements that are important to me.
I want to create a safe space where others can share their stories.
Whenever I used to read tips on how to grow and connect with my social media audience, one of the most common bits of advice was “keep it consistent and don't focus on too many different things”. I readily followed that advice, but now, I ask why? Why can't you be many things on social media? In real life, we all have different sides and layers to us. Why do our social media accounts need to be such a one dimensional place, if you don't want them to be? I've been so inspired by seeing women starting to speak up with their truths, such as Rida (@beforeandagin_), Rabya (@sheflourished_) and Bonnie (@bon_ldn), as well as many other awesome humans, that it's giving me the confidence to find my voice too.
I think on Instagram, there is this fear of showing your true self. I know this is the case for me, anyway. At the back of my mind, there was always the worry that if I shared my truth and people could see the real me, maybe they wouldn't like me as much anymore. As someone who is actually an introvert in real life, doing what I do on social media does, at times, feel conflicting.
Another part of it, is that I’ve always been acutely aware that putting yourself out there online can be seen as narcissistic. I've now decided to call bullshit on all of that. It's so hard to be vulnerable, but it's always worth remembering that the way people react to you is nothing to do with you at all and in fact, everything to do with them.
So, I think what I'm going to do is this;
The changes to my content won't be radical, but there will be a shift.
I will carry on sharing my love of interiors and fashion. I will share small moments of parenting, but don't expect to see my children's faces as much. (I love talking about parenting and sharing stories, but lately I have found myself less inclined to share my little ones on social media. My eldest is about to start school and I’m really feeling a need to protect them and shield them from overexposure. I have been gradually sharing photos of them less and less and I think that from now on, they won't be as visible on my feed.)
Alongside all of this, I will also be braver about sharing more of my thoughts and ideas and causes that are important to me. I will be a little braver about sharing more of me.
If I'm silencing myself when I don't want to be silent anymore, especially if I'm privileged enough to have the space and platform to speak up and be heard... what is the point of any of this?