Is it just me or is there a general feeling of overwhelm on social media? Anyone who runs a business seems to be under constant pressure to do this course, that workshop, read this book, hire that expert etc.
I recently read in a Facebook group a comment that procrastination was another term for laziness! There doesn’t seem to be any room for rest, relaxation or contemplation allowed – it’s got to be go, go, go!
Social Media Madness
I understand that I’m generalising here and that there are people who appreciate the more ‘go slow’ and ‘grow organically’ approach, but they aren’t as easy to find as the highly-motivated and driven individuals who never seem to stop for breath.
My Facebook feed is now full of sponsored adverts rather than posts I would like to see related to the people who I am connected to. An increasing number of YouTube videos (and now Facebook videos) are interspersed with adverts – to such an extent that I would constantly see the same people asking me if I wanted to be successful, rich, travel the world, love myself more etc. – so often in fact that I find myself getting annoyed at the intrusion – he/she had once again got in the way of me watching what I had chosen – a bit like an uninvited and unwanted party guest.
Now the trend is videos and Facebook Live (and probably others I haven’t caught on to yet – they move so fast). This is great when people have something important or interesting to say, but my feeling is that some people feel pressured into doing them in the fear of getting left behind and becoming invisible in the face of the ‘Look at Me’ culture that is being created. I have watched more than one FB live session where the person is just rambling on with nothing of consequence to say, or spends their time talking to their friends who happen to be watching. I’m not talking about the personal messages here which are meant to be just for fun, but actual business owners who are trying to promote their businesses and are probably doing more harm than good because they haven’t structured their sessions.
The underlying feeling I pick up from all of this is panic and lack of control. The social media world is wonderful – there is so much information that is at our fingertips, but it can also be brutal if we don’t self-monitor.
It takes an inordinate sense of self and inner peace and calm to not get caught up in the whirlwind of life online. Any doubts or lack of self-esteem are pounced on – there are so many people wanting to ‘fix’ us, make us better people (in whose image I wonder?) and generally make us the next big business success. More often than not we can become mere puppets in the game of online life, with our limbs flailing in all directions so as not to miss the ‘next big thing’ which will bring ultimate success.
So, what is success? If success to you is millions in the bank then there is a lot of pressure to achieve that goal – especially if we are focusing on it happening more or less instantly. What price are we willing to pay for it? Are we sure that we will achieve happiness and success with an overflowing bank account?
If success is happiness however, then I believe we need to be able to jump off the treadmill from time to time – take time out doing things that we enjoy or nothing at all if that mood takes us. We have to understand that we need to bring balance into our lives – nothing in nature is constantly driven. Taking time in quiet contemplation, or procrastination, is equally as important as the times of high productivity and focused intent. This doesn’t exclude millions in the bank – it just means that we aren’t burnt out and nearing nervous breakdowns when we get there!
Non-attachment to outcome is a concept that not everyone buys into, but it can be the key to releasing stress in all areas of our lives. Realistically none of us know where a new relationship, business, job, house etc. is going to take us – if it will bring us what we want or imagine, or something different. There is an element of risk to it all. There is always a greater plan for our lives which is out of our control.
Who says that new relationship isn’t just a means of introducing you to the person you are really meant to be with, or that new job isn’t going to push you over the edge into making a decision to follow your real dream. We just don’t know, and that is how it should be.
I remember when I was living in the Algarve, teaching English and doing tarot and graphology sessions. I was approaching local hotels with the view of becoming an in house reader so that they could offer something different to their guests, but was having absolutely no luck at all. I started looking further afield and shortly after was offered work as the resident reader at a Golf and Leisure Club in Vale do Lobo. This entailed a bus trip of 1.5 hours each way a few times a week. At that time I didn’t understand why I could only get consistent work in Vale do Lobo, but a few months later it became clear. Circumstances changed and I needed to leave the apartment I was living in and, it being July, it was very difficult to find alternative accommodation. What presented itself was a beautiful villa with a sea view, just a 20 minute walk from where I was working in Vale do Lobo. Nobody will ever convince me that there isn’t a greater plan at work, beyond our individual understanding.
Each one of us is different and my message is really that each of us should run our businesses (and our lives) our way. If we are open and use our intuition, nuggets of wisdom and a definite direction will become apparent and we will be internally driven to do what is necessary. That could be down time – a day watching Netflix or taking a trip to the seaside, or a day spent interacting on social media, doing accounts or writing an article. For example – I had no plan to write this article when I got up this morning – the inspiration suddenly hit me and Hey Presto!
Some of you might have seen a recent video about Adele’s early life. What struck me most was that when she was a teenager a friend of hers made a demo of a few of her songs and sent it off. Two years later it was discovered and so was Adele – and the rest is history. I am a great believer in things happen when they are meant to, and as long as we do our best, be our authentic selves, our time will come!
My ultimate advice is – enjoy your business/life, run it in a way that makes you happy – do your best, take time to relax, take the advice that resonates and discard the rest, collaborate rather than compete and watch and see where it takes you. Amazing things can happen when we are willing to let go of constant control and follow our natural ebb and flow.