A tree on a hill, somewhere lovely.
Three or four times a week, I usually get a little email into my inbox, telling me how I should be creating an online persona, getting more followers on all the social media platforms, creating a huge email subscriber list, launch a podcast, go live on Facebook, so on and so forth and they have the answer to it. Maybe they have a point in certain circumstances but it prompted a reflection for me today.
I remember way back when I started to learn about positive psychology, coaching, and mindfulness somebody said to me "don't be too quick to share your journey". I thought this quite odd at the time and it took me quite a few years to realise what this meant.
There is a slippery slope that we can get on when we start any journey of transformation and change. The truth is, as much as social media likes us to create our own personal brands, none of us are actually brands, we are real people, real lives. I might practice mindfulness but there are many times when I am not mindful. There are times when anger rises, but I don't beat myself up because that anger doesn't follow my brand guidelines. Those that know me and follow my work, know that I'm completely open and honest about that and in turn this allows others to accept all the parts of themselves as well, without battling to keep it all "on brand"
Inadvertently we can put ourselves under pressure to be a certain way when we really are just human. The slippery slope appears when we become fixed and rigid, spending hours curating the perfect image of ourselves to the outside world because it fits our personal branding.
There really is a freedom to be found in letting this go, when we let go of the need to share our whole life and start to see it for exactly what it is when we let go of our personal branding and become ourselves again.
There are days when I go quiet, days when I'm simply being present with my clients, walking through that coaching journey, days when I post a picture of a tree without the need to add some witty words, "here is a tree, it may not lead to any interesting thoughts or life-changing transformations". Sometimes I will fail, sometimes I will succeed.
I know this stance won't create a huge following, maybe I will have fewer clients as a result, maybe it means I will earn less money but I will be happier, more content, more able to be me, there is no compromising with that.
I share this so that we can all keep an eye out for that slippery slope and come back to space of grounding, knowing that whatever that looks like, it is ok, there is some solid ground in stepping back, going a little quiet for a while, seeing it all for what it is, accepting your unique little ways and letting go of the need to be a certain way.
May you find a peace that no person or situation can alter,
May you find a kindness to accept yourself just as you are,
amazing and unique.
Every moment a new beginning. every step, every breath.