I mentioned the other day that I had done a little Instagram purge in hopes that it would help alleviate some of the anxiety I was having when it came to my body and how I viewed myself. And for a few weeks it worked well and I found myself feeling like I was able to breathe a little easier and feel less anxious. But as it normally is with me, it was short lived as I soon found myself feeling anxious about something new entirely.
If you are an avid follower of my blog you will remember that about six months ago I took part in Bloggers Brunch in Montreal. The purpose of the retreat was to meet like minded women who also blogged and spend time getting to know each other, brainstorm blogging ideas and to learn some of the tricks of the trade. I learned a lot during that weekend that I was able to apply to my social media platform. The surprise of the weekend was my newfound interest in photography. Many years ago I did some photography for fun but between school, hockey and working I just got too busy and just stopped doing it.
So find myself having traded in following all those fitness accounts on Instagram and now the majority of the people I follow are either photographers and/or travellers, two things I really enjoy. And I love their pictures. Their creativity. Their passion. And their talent. I would be lying though if I didn’t say that I also find myself envious of all of their amazing posts. It’s difficult for me, because I do photography as a hobby. It’s something I just love to do. But I have no background in it, so I honestly have no idea what I am doing. So these amazing photographs that I see cause me anxiety because I want my photos to be just as good, or better.
It’s so bad but I honestly stress over my Instagram posts which I don’t think is uncommon for many people my age. I want them to receive as many likes as possible, and for people to like my “work” but I shouldn’t put so much stress on it. Yet I do which triggers my anxiety. It seems to be a vicious cycle. Stress over the pictures I post, feel a quick sense of happiness if the post garners lots of likes but then get anxious that the next post I do won’t be as good and start stressing about the next post.
There are people out there who actually make their living from Instagram, and they are currently going through major issues, as the Instagram algorithm continues to change (for the worst). People are noticing that their Instagram engagement is way down. In the past, simple things like hash tagging helped get your posts noticed, but now with shadow banning even that doesn’t really help.
I feel bad for the people who have made a career out of this and are now struggling. For me I just like having my posts seen. First world problems right?
One of my goals for my year abroad is to take a photography class, and then maybe take a class in editing as well. My hope is that by getting some guidance and a little training I will become a little more confident in my work. I am learning more and more that taking “the perfect shot” is only part of the equation.
I live a great life. I love my life. I am currently travelling New Zealand for a year, because I can. I have family and friends who go to my Instagram and Facebook to see what I am doing. They don’t care if spent a good portion of time planning, taking and editing the perfect picture. And I need to learn to appreciate that and just enjoy the feeling I get when I get behind the camera. And understand and recognize that the more I do, the more I practice, the more I learn, the better I will get.
The people I follow and look up to all started out just like I did and look at them. If this is something that I want to take to the next level and try and make a living out of then I need to learn that it doesn’t happen overnight. Imagine if I could take my PR degree, my love of photography and all things social media and somehow make it into a career? The possibilities are endless!
So, at the end of the day, I need to learn that some of my anxiety comes from the amount of pressure I put on myself. When I just let go a little I am a better version of me and I have to say, it is a me I really like.