You’re not what they want.
This haunted me for several weeks, brought upon by several rejections and being passed over for projects. As much as I know this to be untrue, I eventually got consumed by this nagging nightmare of a thought,
You’re not good enough. You’re too different.”
Not just that. I didn’t have what most brands wanted.
I am an intense “over-sharer”. I overflow from the brim of thought chalices. In a time of listicles and short-form content that take 30 seconds to consume, I was far too much and too long.
I don’t have mass reach. Instead I have a niche following, that unfortunately looks unimpressive next to the big girls and boys of the industry.
I am too big in build, not slender, making me like none of the sweet young things with their cropped tops and short shorts.
There were too many “haves” that just didn’t matter as much as my “have nots”. I was covered by shadow of discouragement, even as I understood that these were all just feedback. I became fixated on how difficult it was to increase my numbers while staying true to what I believe in – the core of the “social” in social media – authenticity and openness while connecting with others.
In those moments of wanting to be better, be what everyone else wanted or at least thought they wanted, I completely forgot that it didn’t matter that I was and will always not be the same.
I wasn’t creating just to be another cookie cutter “influencer” that played by the same rules and produced the same old rehashed content.
I continue to share because I still have a goal. I want to make an impact on others. I still want to write and create something you can connect with. Whatever I do, I shouldn’t forget that this one goal supersedes the rest.
The fact is, if I measure myself against a yardstick of how many brands I work with, how many followers I have, how many likes I can get, how many this or that, I lose focus on where my true power lies – my willingness to share my sincere anecdotes and reviews with the people who still love to read what I write and consume what I create.
I don’t gain power from external validation. I am powerful for just being me, even if I’m “different”.
I was introduced to Misaki Pearls a few months ago, before my recent bout of self-doubt. Back then, I marvelled over this unique and contemporary cultured pearl necklace. Of all the gorgeous pieces, it was the one that spoke to me the most.
This modern square pearl necklace moves ever so slightly in a geometric dance on my collarbone. It’s still beautiful as all pearl pieces are, but there’s no need for it to stick to the “status quo” of how a real pearl necklace should look like. Instead it is distinguished, precious, but unabashedly unexpected.
In my journey to find my own style of content creation, I’ve gravitated to what was different. So why should I discard my own quirks, just to be “the same” or “palatable to more”.
I’m not for everyone, I am for some, but that is enough. I am enough.
If you feel small today because you’re not getting where you thought you should be by now, I hope my raw and open sharing leads you to embrace the immense power you too hold within. It is much more rewarding and inspiring to just be the amazing person you already are.
We all have something to offer, we all have stories to tell, we just need to be honest with ourselves on what that is. Then let’s focus and refocus on offering that little something or telling those stories, in as many ways as we possibly can.
Stay true to your dreams and don’t lose sight of what’s most important. You do you.