For the last few years, I’ve been so focused on making an impact on other people’s lives, that I forgot about making an impact on my own. For the last few years, I’ve wondered... why do I feel as though my work offline isn’t as important as a social media post that performs well? For the last few years, I’ve wanted to see how I could live my life and my business without Instagram.
I have always admired the people who use this platform simply as a portfolio for their work. The people who don’t give away all their hard earned knowledge. The people who turn off comments or don’t follow anyone. The people who do what *they* need to do, to show up in this space, rather than what’s expected of them.
It may seem like I do the latter, but in my mind there’s another story going on that I constantly have to rewrite.
Sure, I go on breaks often, but I always end up checking back in. And I always “ruin” the glory of being away by coming back. The boundaries can be hard to keep. So in order to develop a new habit and appreciation for myself and the work that I do, the timing of my break needs to be longer.
I want to see what I’m capable of without social media after all of the personal work, growth and transformation I’ve done for myself. I want to spend my time living the beautiful, peaceful life I’ve created for myself after many years trauma, drama, people pleasing, and proving my worth.
Because underneath all of the noise, comparisons and follower requests, I’ve always had a pretty solid vision of who I want to be and how I want to run my business. Ever since ClosettCandyy transformed from a style blog to a personal styling and consulting business at the end of 2017, I have known what I want to create for myself and my people.
Sure, life has gotten in the way a few times to slow me down, take me on a path of healing, introduce me to new people, learn some important lesson—you know, all necessary moments of my life. I have unhealed trauma, unhealthy coping mechanisms, a complicated relationship with my parents, and I experience depression, anxiety, self-sabotage and addiction. But none of these are actually the reason I lose sight of my vision. They may cause bumps in the road, but they don’t derail my vision completely like something else does.
Can you guess what that something else is?
Fucking Instagram. And everything that comes along with it.
When I first launched ClosettCandyy back in 2010, Instagram didn’t exist and blogs had just started to become a thing. I didn’t have as much trouble working towards my vision back then. I don’t always like labels. But right now, I kinda feel like I need to use them. I’m not on this platform to be a content creator or an influencer. My job is not to give free style advice and create content every week. My job is not to spend all my time on Instagram. My job is not to respond to DMs all day. But a part of me still plays the part as if it is.
And that’s because at one point, it kinda was. Or at least I was playing along with it. I got caught up in the Instagram hustle and I was sucked into the GIRLBOSS influencer space. I don’t regret those years because it’s what I wanted to do, I learned a lot, met some incredible people—but I’m a completely different person now. And I haven’t wanted to do that for a long time.
What I’ve really wanted is to get to where I am now. I have wanted to turn the pain, insecurities and shame I've felt over the years into enough love and respect for myself that I could completely change the way I use social media.
It started with deleting my personal Facebook last year. I always admired those who didn’t have Facebook. Now I’m one of those people.
For the purpose of this message, when I say "create content," what I mean is, spending time creating a post because I feel pressure to show up or prove my worth for the benefit of my community + get the attention of others.
What I don’t mean is, when I have the urge to share a message that comes from my heart. There’s a big difference. I don’t say this to diss anyone who is a content creator, influencer or wants to spend their time this way. There are people MEANT to show up the way they do on social media. I say this because I know I'm not meant to be one of those people, and the pressure I feel from this app is what’s preventing me from evolving this business and myself to where I know we can be.
When I spend my time with clients and host workshops my heart *always* whispers… YES please, more of this. When I spend my time on Instagram and see influencers creating content that gets a ton of engagement my ego *always* whispers… actually, let’s do this. But hurry up!!
I know that creating outfit videos is an easy way to get engagement and follows. But it’s not what I’m here to do. I’m here to work with you offline. I’m here for the real life metrics, not the fake ones. When I listen to my heart, I feel fulfilled. When I listen to my ego, I feel I'm chasing validation. Which leads to a little voice in the back of my head begging me to spend more time on this app, sharing my knowledge or a message to prove I’m worthy and you should follow me.
I’ve learned that this isn’t the same as being in my own world and feeling inspired to create because of an instinctual urge.