Sometimes I think it’s lovely to have someone tell you what you should do
When I’ve felt unsure, insecure, when the imposter syndrome was hitting full force, having someone tell me what to do to be “successful” feelt reassuring.
I’d do the things, follow their steps and for a while and it feelt like I was doing something! Keepin’ busy following the path I was told to. But how often did it make the big change I was looking for..?
If it works for you, I’m stoked for you! Keep at it!
But if, like me, it don’t work, you’re among the majority.
It’s human to look for the easy route to get what we want. Capitalism teaches us we need stuff to have status, to have value. And if we don’t have stuff it’s a moral failing.
So we want to find the quickest ways to get the stuff.
We’re not doing this consciously, it’s what’s taught to us by Saturday morning cartoons and celebrity endorsed ad campaigns.
So when the well coiffed influencer type tells us just to do these 5 (very obvious) things to get your dreams, our brains fire!
😁 We’re excited at the prospect – it looks so easy!
😞 We’re a bit disappointed – why didn’t I think of that?
⁉ We’re distracted from what we were doing in the first place – this wasn’t in my plan, but they look successful so they must know more that me!
The thing is.. most of them are talking 💩
Yeah, the things they’re saying might be useful, they may well work for you, but they don’t tell you about two key elements.. time and luck
What’s working for a 20 year old with a on-trend algorithm-pleasing style won’t necessarily work for you
What’s working for the 30 year old with the solid network won’t necessarily work for you
What’s working for a 40 year old with 20 years in the industry won’t necessarily work for you either
No amount of five easy steps, one key tips or whatever else they deliver to you on a Friday afternoon will get you where you want to be
The only path for you is the one you make yourself
I unfollowed all those 10k boss, 5 easy steps to millions of cash eejits
They don’t have the answers I was seeking. The only path for me is the one I make myself
That’s because not one of these people has the life I have so copy/pasting their methods, their expectations and their ways of working won’t just automatically work for me
Because the 20 year old lives with their parents, has no expenses and spends all day creating for brief generators to perfect their style
The 30 year old worked in a big agency and has oodles of contacts they can call on to deliver work
The 40 year old has spent years building their confidence and skills in negotiation and pricing so they can be where they are
The changes these people were trying to get me to make are all superficial. Without a foundational change, in myself, I never kept up the habits.
My experience of following these people is, after the initial buzz of feeling like I was on my way to success, I felt worse. I didn’t see the changes they said I would.
😢 What was wrong with me?
😭 Why could they do it but I couldn’t?
🤦♂️ And worse, I stopped doing the things I was trying to do so I could follow their advice
So double poopness – I failed at following their instructions and I failed at being myself 💩💩
So I unfollowed them. All of them. All the accounts that made me feel like I wasn’t enough or that I should be doing something other than what I had planned. Gone. Out of sight.
Self doubt, vastly reduced
Social media isn’t there to help us, it’s there to distract us. To monetise our self-doubt.
Anything these people are sharing, everything I’m sharing, you can read in a book or learn by doing. I know, cos that’s how I did it.
When I removed these distractions from my view, turned off notifications for the majority of apps on my phone, I felt lighter. I begun to trust myself more.
And I became a better mentor. Because I was no longer trying to do what other people do. Instead I focused on my skills and why I got into this in the first place, to make creative professional’s lives easier.
You know what you need to do. It’s just you’ve been programmed to lack the confidence to act on your own will.
I know this because every creative I work with, from juniors to art directors, has that very same challenge.
So unfollow the accounts making you feel less than worthy.
Take some time to listen to yourself.
Make a plan for the first steps towards what you want.
And get to work.
You got this!