30 October 2014

the perfect online persona and feelings of inferiority and How to tackle it!

I have been thinking about writing a blog posted based on the idea of online persona and inferiority for quite a while. It wasn't till yesterday when i was having a rather low moment that I stuck some TED talks on, whilst i worked away. That it made me realize that a time before I joined the internet (social media) I never really judged myself, my work and my life so harshly as I do now. 
It made me wonder, what has bought this about. I'm going to be totally honest and share some thoughts.

Facebook to me is the bane of my life, I've been single for like four years and not a day goes by were some old acquaintances is getting engaged, or someone has found the love of their life or an old school friend has given birth to the cutest baby. Don't get me wrong I'm over the moon for them, positive love stories are great but Yes it makes me question why the heck am I still single, is there something mildly wrong with me? or that embarrassing moment an old school mate adds me and asked me why I don't own my own house yet or wheres my boyfriend. Yes it does make me feel inferior at times. But on the flip side of this I don't let it bother me too much as I know relationships aren't the be all and end all, they take work, and boys are annoying a lot of the time haha! Nothing like a general sweep assumption! But is this healthy? How did people function before? I guess they took snap shots in photo albums around to friends houses and slides of their awesome holiday that no one truly cares about.

Now I am one to tell people that my life isn't always paint brushes and idyllic jaunts through London, far from it and what you don't see is the lonely nights working, sacrificed fun times with friends and family, injuries sustained from endless hours drawing. So then why when I look at someone elses blog or Instagram, I'm like "God damn it! shes got perfect hair!" " why isn't my room that beautiful." "She's amazing at drawing." Yes that's my dialogue in my head sad but true, don't get me wrong its also filled with "so proud of them" and "wow i feel inspired" but  I think we are all occasionally prone to bouts of jealously or the feeling that we are lesser bloggers, less pretty or less popular and that's OK, I think its healthy occasionally as it gives me a kick up the bum to create better work, go out more and realize that I too have beloved, loyal and friendly readers who care about what I create and make me realize that I have a some what small influence on lives and (I hope positive) thoughts.

I have a funny little story to tell you, I recently went on a date with a guy who had 20k followers on Instagram, now that's great and I was super pleased for him but too my face he bragged to the point i wanted to walk right out of that restaurant and tell him to shut up we get it, people like your photos stop making my few thousand followers seem insignificant and inferior to your millions! It made me angry and upset, I'm never one to brag, this was like a real life haha look at you being all unpopular you looser, he was boring and made me feel like all my hard work was pointless. Until I realized one thing his achievement was no reflection on mine we are all different some people are show offs and some aren't (remember just because you don't shout about your achievement doesn't make them any less amazing) and that's OK, just don't force it down someones throat while they are eating pizza thanks!

I'm someone who has in the last 6/7 years struggled with my weight, even though I have shed a few stone. I still look in the mirror occasionally and be like, damn look at those hips, I should cut down on cake, but god damn it I love a good cake! I'll exercise more, negative thought turned into a positive action. Don't get me wrong I shouldn't in the first place look in the mirror and curse my womanly curves but that's my thing, everyone does it, its just learning to do it less.  

If you are feeling a little down, comparing yourself to those amazing bloggers, youtubers and instagramer ( not to mention those friends on Facebook who've just got engaged and live the perfect life) I suggest stepping away from the sometimes false truths that are shared on the internet, this tiny virtual bubble, where no one has spots, bad hair days or fashion faux-pas, umm hello filters you're God send but a bastard. 

Go live for a little while without getting daily updates interactive with people and see the world in a more positive light rather then what others have, take a moment to be grateful for what you have.

Important to remember that that person you admire has worked their butt off to get where they are, probably having to sacrifice a lot. So don't be jealous be proud to be able to share a little bit of their world and hopefully that has a positive influence on you making you realize a world like that is achievable for you to also reach your dreams. Social media is a great place for being discovered and meeting amazing like minded people rather then being jealous of them, embrace their awesomeness with compliments and kindness it will get you far!

Here are just some ideas I thought could breed a more positive outlook about you :

Keep a compliments/achievement jar - are you particularly proud of an achievement? write it down be it small or somewhat insignificant or if someone gave you a nice compliment put all these hand written thoughts in your jar and when you are having a down day or moment bust them out! I promise you they will cheer you up!

Wear a favorite item of clothing -  For me its a recent purchase of striped high waisted trousers that make me feel a million dollars or make me look like a pirate but pirates are cool so its fine! if its nice underwear put something on that makes you happy not others. 

Keep a portfolio of work - I put together ( similar to the compliments jar) a book of all my favorite achievements specifically since graduating to make me realize how far I've come in the last four years near my desk as constant reference to push myself. If you want to create one about your blog, or your job you can create a scrapbook style portfolio.


Five steps to get away from it all:

- Switch your phone off, if not off aeroplane mode is the best (its my baby)

- Do something you love, for you not to instgram for your followers, they can cope without a photo of your lunch for one day I'm sure.

- Read a good book use those hands for turning pages not for scrolling through internet feeds.

- Write, solitude is good for ideas and creativity this TED talk is fab for introvert thinking

- Walk, I find its the best for clearing out cobwebs and allowing yourself a break from the constant social media updates, twitter meh! and perfect facebook lives.

Steps to realizing you're just as awesome :

Negative thought - fml why does no one want me why am I so single. Positive thought - its just not happened yet, don't rush to settle for someone just because you don't like being alone. Independent woman and all that!
Negative thought - I look crap in that top she looks so much slimmer then me. Positive thought/action - Pick something you like about what you see in the mirror rather then being constantly negative about what you see. Everyone has their own insecurities.   

Negative thought - they've got more followers then me, i'll never be as popular. Positive thought/action  - Rather then sitting there counting followers go out and enjoy something and have a life so you can share something with those followers you do have. 

Negative thought  - I can't draw, Positive action -put the pen down, go read a book think of something else come back to it, keep going. Everyone has moments like that.

Things that you can do to create a more positive outlook online :

- Compliment someones photo, leave positive feedback
 
-  Leave a comment on a blog post you never know it could create an amazing friendship

- Don't sit wishing you were someone else that's boring and you're just as awesome 

- Share more. 


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14 comments

  1. Ella, YOU ARE AWESOME!

    Thanks for this post. As someone who is a bit of an anxiety sufferer, it's comforting to know there are others who sometimes feel a bit shitty too!

    Sx
    http://www.brassbuttonsandconfidence.com/

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  2. So. Very. Much. This. I found myself nodding along with everything you said, since comparison is such a waste of time and thinking. I'm not the other person, I'm me, so comparing myself is not worth doing (despite sometimes doing it anyway, oops). Thank you for your honesty and just being you own awesome self!

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  3. Ella! this post is everything <3
    xxx

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  4. Hey Ella, I did this thing a couple of months ago where I deleted facebook from my phone - just kept the 'pages' app to post to my followers - but it's been brilliant! I don't get (as) distracted by other peoples lives and am able to enjoy the updates when I only look on it every few days or so (as opposed to at least once a day that I was doing before)! It's all about finding your happy balance :)

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  5. Lovely Ella! I really needed to read this today. You are a little diamond xxx

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  6. Oh man it's so easy to hatefollow people and feel inferior about EVERYTHING in your life in these times of social media. I think it's something everybody struggles with even if we don't talk about it so much. One of the reasons why I stayed away from blogging for ages was the amount of comparing oneself to other people and the superficiality of it all. I realised that most of the time blogging was just about the cute stuff, and that's really not my thing. I wish there was a magic formula for this.

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  7. I always think that some people must put on a facade, and why wouldn't you? It's so nice to read posts like this that really put things into perspective!

    daisychurchward.co.uk

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  8. This is such a great post, just what I needed to read! We must go for a coffee soon! x

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  9. AMEN to this post!! Thank you, Ella for just saying it like it is. Can I also just say though, 20k followers on instagram? Yeah big whoop. You can't compare being superficially twitter/insta famous with running a blog as successful and well thought of as yours, I wouldn't even give him a second thought! What a douche! The blogosphere functions on a much smaller scale than your typical social media site (because you've mostly got bloggers following other bloggers) and plus, running a blog is flipping hard work!! [rant over]
    Facebook really gets me down sometimes too, (e.g. it's difficult to keep certain exes at a safe distance when their faces are just constantly popping up on your newsfeed left, right and centre via mutual friends), so I feel like I need to take regular breaks from social media for the sake of my mental wellbeing sometimes. Surely it's not natural to be constantly sharing your life with all your colleagues and casual acquaintances? It makes me sad.
    Thanks for this post, it was a great read xx

    Beth | Alphabeth

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  10. You are awesome Ella! I've been reading your blog for a few years now and have always admired how gard you've worked, working a full time job and following your dream as well, and look at you now! You've also inspired me to get my drawing pad and paints out as well and start the creative juices flowing again, so you really do have a positive impact on people's lives x

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  11. Thank you for your honest post. It's like you've voiced all the insecurities I have, we all have, I guess. That takes balls! You are fabulous, girl - thank you! x

    http://highheelsbrownhair.blogspot.co.uk/

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  12. Nice post Ella! I feel the same as you. I've been single for 6 years, and really bad to see that everyone has their own lives, or engaged, or has a baby . What's wrong? I don't know...
    You are very inspiring. You do, what you want. I'm 26 too, and don't know what I want. So, Facebook is a really frustrated social media for me. (sorry for my bad english)

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  13. I love this Ella! Thanks so much for sharing =] x

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  14. Thank you so much for this post, it is such a huge help. I love the idea of keeping compliments in a jar. It is so easy to hold onto the negative stuff and push aside all of the positive stuff people have to say about you. Thanks again! x

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Ella
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