To be perfectly honest, I’ve been trying to write this Mindful Monday post for the past few weeks. I have a word document with ideas – paragraphs here and there – but for some reason, I kept having trouble figuring out what I was actually trying to say. But I’ve finally figured it out.
You don’t need other people to validate you.
To give you a little backstory, I started this blog because I wanted something creative that was MINE. For those of you who are new here, I was a Musical Theatre major at Syracuse University, and I spent a few years in New York pursuing an acting career. And one of the things I realized when I moved from New York to Chicago is that I was sick of seeking the validation of someone else ALL. THE. TIME. When you are auditioning every day, it’s not about getting someone’s approval just to feel good about yourself. You need that approval so that you can get a job and get paid! So that you don’t have to work retail and babysit for the rest of your life!
It became clear that I was craving a way to be creative that I had full control over. And for the most part, that’s exactly what I’ve built over these past 5+ years. But recently, I’ve noticed moments when my mood is significantly affected by how well an Instagram post does. Why aren’t people liking this? Why aren’t people SEEING it? Is this not what they want to see? I should have put more work into making sure that this image or caption was perfect – but what does that even mean? It would have gotten more likes if I was more ____, or more _____. I would be growing more if my life was more exciting! Yada yada yada.
Cut it out, Lauren.
But I keep catching myself in that act. I keep noticing those thoughts and thinking “Lauren. You are smarter than this.” Because as much as I need to pay attention to analytics to help me cater my content to what you guys like to see – I am not defined by how many likes ONE post gets on Instagram. Life doesn’t end at one flopped photo. My business doesn’t end at one flopped photo!
I am still able to secure partnerships with companies I LOVE. Thousands of people come to this site every day to find fitness/wellness inspiration, to read a Chicago guide, get a recipe, or shop with me. I have hundreds of people all over the country using my 2019 Workout & Wellness Planner. And I have SO MANY ideas for exciting content in the future, both my own ideas and a ton directly from you.
I don’t say that stuff to brag, I say it because it’s important for all of us to check in with what we are proud of. Because scrolling through Instagram and comparing ourselves to the images we see can weigh on us sometimes. It’s so easy to think that those people are perfect, or you’d get more likes if you were a tall model, or “why isn’t my life as exciting as hers?!” But there is more to life than Instagram. And if I can say that even though it’s a big part of my business – you can too.
Life doesn’t always have to be picture perfect to be wonderful. Sometimes, it’s full of brainstorming and planning. Other times, it’s full of trail and error. And then there’s also the picture perfect stuff – which is wonderful when it happens! But no matter what type of day I’m having, I’m trying to practice gratitude for all of it. For both the days I get to do something fun AND the days in sweatpants on my computer.
So this week, I challenge you to think about what you are proud of. Write it down. Remember it. No matter what other curveballs or negative thoughts come your way, you can let that motivate you enough to push those distractions aside. You got this ❤️
PS. You might also like “Mindful Monday: When You Say Yes To One Thing…”.