The last few months, I’ve been deeply reflecting on my “why” when it comes to sharing on social media. It’s something that I’ve wrestled and struggled with almost daily, if I’m being completely honest. Sometime towards the end of 2022, I started to have these thoughts of stepping away from being a “content creator” on social media entirely. It was feeling like a hamster wheel that I couldn’t keep up with and the things that used to bring me joy in the space, weren’t anymore.
“I can’t step away from social media, my businesses are built online. Social media is my livelihood”, I thought to myself.
I was putting so much pressure on myself to show up each and every day, to constantly bring value, to inspire and educate and provide resources to my community, to respond to every dm, to create engaging video content, secure meaningful brand partnerships, to grow my account. It started to become a place that drained me and left me feeling uninspired. Which is a really tough spot to be in when you’re a creator and trying to create.
I felt myself moving towards burnout in the social media realm, and as someone who works day in and day out with those who are navigating stress and anxiety and burnout and imposter syndrome, I felt even more pressure to not be feeling the way I was feeling.
I began creating content on social media almost 5 years ago as a hobby and an outlet from work in the mental health sphere that was intense and heavy. I needed something light, and joy-filled, and creative to fill my cup. And then in 2022, that outlet become more of a job. I struggled to find my footing in that new dynamic. Where my hobby was now work. During that time, Instagram in particular moved to a more video-centric platform and what used to take a few hours a week of creating content turned into 20+ hours a week at minimum if I wanted to post each day on the feed and in stories.
More and more, I found myself getting caught up in the number’s games – follower counts, story views, partnership inquiries, my overall analytics. Brands request this information and a big part of securing partnership work is to know these numbers inside and out and be able to “sell yourself” as the best fit.
The more I “sold myself”, the more I disliked what I was selling, the more I compared myself to other creators, the more I noticed what I didn’t have rather than what I did.
Then, over this past weekend I had a sudden realization.
I still love sharing on the weekends.
I feel less uptight about my content, it’s spontaneous, I share the light-hearted and “relaxed” things I’m doing, I notice the beauty around me more, I love chatting in my dm’s. And when I noticed this and asked myself why, it was because it feels like a hobby for me again on the weekends, outside of the 9-5. And I can tell that what I share resonates more with my audience, because of course it does! I’m just finding joy in the things around me and sharing that.
When I began to dig into what blocks me from sharing this way all of the time, I realized it was this strange relationship I have with “work” and “productivity” and these feelings of guilt and privilege that arise at the thought of just leaning into being creative and filling my cup when I’m supposed to be “working”. I worried that my audience would judge me for being indulgent.
Woah. Who knew there was a block like that under the surface? Without even realizing it, I wasn’t allowing myself to have fun in my work because I felt like work should be hard.
But the thing is, this business I’m building is mine. And I get to decide what it looks and feels like. And if I want to find joy in my days and work and share that, I’m allowed to. In fact, it will actually make my content better (not that it’s about that, but what a bonus!).
So I’m leaning into that for the time being. I’m hoping to reclaim some of the joy and creativity in this space again. And I’m saying “screw it” to the “rules” of social media. Less video, more documenting however I feel like. Less filter, more honest thoughts. Less content schedule, more living life and sharing that authentically.
I don’t crave growth or virality anymore, I just want to love the things I’m creating and I trust that the right people will gravitate towards that. I’ll continue to work with the small handful of brands that I love and trust and I’ll continue to share value and sources and all of that, but from a place of flow and connection and joy rather than duty and obligation and shoulds.