Have you ever noticed how the content creators who have the numbers are predominantly those individuals who preach that content creators with little-to-no audiences shouldn't focus intently on (or be down-right obsessed with) their numbers?
Seriously, have you or am I just imagining hearing and reading the same sentiments touted over and over again? Rhetorical question. I mean I could be a bit cynical here and need a reality check, but I don't think so. Experience in the creative world (no matter the length) has a way of bringing out some unavoidable indoctrination. And I've consistently witnessed how the well-established recycle this very message of getting your head out of the numbers game.
And sure, it's easy for them to say. Why? Because THEY HAVE THE NUMBERS! They're in a growth safety zone, where they've been there done that and then managed to cross over to the other side called "the abundance of awareness by others". People out here know they exist. So, these higher-ups feel quite secure in giving their "don't be too hard on yourself" and "don't compare yourself to others" rhetoric.
Hmmmm. Must be nice to be able to look back at those of us who are at our humble beginnings -- those of us who've been stripped of any preconceived notions of creative pride we naively had before becoming a content creator -- and lend their advice. Well, I haven't reached that echelon of comfortability yet, so I wouldn't know from first-hand knowledge how this type of security feels.
Honestly, I have some insecurities that I battle with each and every day I create. They're those kinds of head games that lead to thoughts such as, "Why doesn't anyone like me or what I write about or create?" It's the kind of defeatist stance I take on very temporarily and then pull myself up by the bootstraps with a little reminder to myself. And the reminder goes something like this: "Don't take it personally, Jana. They just don't know about you yet; but once their paths cross with yours and they get to know you and your content, I'm sure some strong and lasting friendships will evolve." And I have to admit that I've gotten the chance to meet some truly gifted and encouraging individuals throughout this creative content journey. I guess the little pep talk to myself came true after all.
And please know that this post is not intended to generate sympathy points for me. I'm just revealing some major truths I've had to deal with as a creative. I'm a big girl though and I get myself together pretty quickly after my short emotional rollercoasters. Inadvertently, I've found that the stabilizing force that brings me back to my creative self is that purpose-driven passion from within. That passion is what keeps me coming back for more. As I've stated many-a-time, writers write. And once I decided to get on that bandwagon, I've never looked back (even though I have days where I feel somewhat defeated, as though my heartfelt sentiments (in word form) haven't even left the starting line).
But I digress. Now, let me get back to my baby rant.
If there's anyone out there with any type of platform who tells me that he or she doesn't care about audience growth or platform reach, then please tell me what planet you're from because you couldn't possibly be from these parts. I'm just sayin'. And here's the thing: anyone who puts him- or herself out there and shares meaningful, personal, and intimate thoughts with the hopes of "touching" someone deeply with such thoughts is going to have some feelings of insecurity or inferiority when his or her efforts aren't met with some semblance of acknowledgement, recognition, or appreciation.
Human beings have an innate desire to be accepted, to be desired, to belong, to find their tribe, and to interact with their tribe. I think that's one of the reasons this pandemic has been so hard on the human psyche. A lot of the direct interaction and opportunities to be among others and be connected is really fragmented right now. Sure, we can make connections online and do the best we can to keep the lines of communication intact.
But again, as a content creator, don't tell me it doesn't hurt, frustrate, or disappoint you when you put out some form of creative online communication and get no reciprocity in return. You know you get in your head when your heart's work isn't seemingly received by others. And guess what? We wouldn't be human if we didn't have those types of feelings or go through those sets of emotions.
So, the realization I've come to accept is that stalking my numbers and comparing them to others is a sure sign that I'm as human as they come. And I go through human battles every day with "comparisonitis" (on some level) rearing its ugly head. But as someone who wants to succeed at what she's attempting to do with her blog, books, and educational offerings, I truthfully admit that I want to progress, improve, and grow. No doubt about that! And I have a tendency to look at people who are brilliantly successful at what they do and wonder why I'm not there yet.
But then I rein myself in and recall what I stated in my previous blog posts, The Art of People Business – The Truth About Comparisonitis and The Art of People Business – The Remedy for Comparisonitis, for others to know and for me to remind myself of. In "The Art of People Business - The Truth About Comparisonitis" I relayed that "making comparisons is a natural part of a human being’s existence. To tell someone to never compare (even one’s self to another) is to basically tell someone not to function as a normal human being." And boy, am I normal. It's normal to want to aspire to a high level of success at doing great things for yourself and others and want to emulate that same level of success you see in others. Don't you think?
And while I understand they're coming from a good-hearted place, the people who tell you not to compare yourself to anyone else or to be concerned with numbers are those very people who have compared themselves to others and been concerned with numbers. And I'm almost certain that, when they were going through their own growing pains, they weren't telling themselves to get out of the numbers and comparison trap. Again, they've been there, done that, paid their dues, and then managed to come out intact on the other side. Only now can they talk a new talk because they're walking a new walk.
I have a little more to say on today's blogging truth -- the other half of this post remains on my voice recorder -- but I'm going to abruptly end here and come back next week with part two to finish off this discussion. So, make sure and join me for some more soul-bearing truths. I'll be back for more rounds in the ring.