Life has got extremely ‘heavy’ for me recently. Being an artist and mother and all that that encompasses (for me) has had me feeling exhausted and completely overwhelmed, to the point where I spent the last two weeks with painful anxious stomach cramps. As much as we try to show up authentically on our social media feeds, what we share is only a few colours of what paints the picture of our lives as a whole.
My journey back to my art took me along a winding road, along which I have tried to become better friends with myself, unfortunately I feel like I have failed miserably! Now don’t get me wrong, I have done A LOT along the way, notably becoming a holistic health coach was one of those things. However, I ‘did’ it, I learnt it and then I ‘did’ something else with that knowledge, and then I ‘did’ something else and then I ‘did’ another thing. Always doing whilst knowing that really I needed to start being.
I have felt extreme exterior and interior pressure to justify in some way who I am, at the same time I was discovering that person, which is hugely confusing when you are uncovering so many things and growing, and then understanding that actually you will forever be growing and changing, accepting that you will always be a work in progress.
One of my goals for this year was to strive to be more comfortable sitting with myself, more accepting of myself and less shameful of the path I have taken to be the person I am today, although this has been a strong intention and I have had this at the forefront of my mind, my mind only has so much ‘space’ to process when I am in a constant state of doing.
The logical response is, stop doing. However what happens when you have the responsibilities of being a mother, home maker, wife and business owner and very little support? As much as you try to compartmentalise, there really are only a certain amount of hours in a day and I’ve been exhausting all of them, as well as myself.
For as long as I can remember I’ve worked hard, I’ve been productive, created, moved forward, raised my children, run my home, I’ve ‘done’, I’ve worked all the spare minutes and late nights and pushed through tiredness and basically been burn out for a large proportion of my adult life, knowing that this is detrimental to so many areas of my life and health.
In a few weeks I turn 40 and of course that means that internally I have been doing (again with the doing) A LOT of reflection and evaluation of my life, part of that work revolved around taking my art business to its next level, which for me meant finding out I had been very naive about many areas of running an online business.
I’m ashamed to say it on the internet, however I hadn’t even set up google analytics for my website!
The reason I installed google analytics and even why I created THIS blog is because I connected with someone called Meagan Williamson at the end of 2018, I downloaded her workbook on building your business through Instagram and started implicating many of the changes she suggested. After a few weeks seeing my uniquely monthly viewers numbers on Pinterest climb, I was very intrigued to learn more. I contacted Meagan about organising a coaching call and she told me about her new membership call Pin Potential.
I signed up and as I worked through the material I realised that I had been so very naive about the way I had been working, my website was not set up properly, I had been investing so much of my time into social media without even really knowing what results I was getting from it.
When I set up google analytics and started tracking my numbers I was literally dumbfounded by the results.
After initial set up of what I had learnt from the Pin Potential framework, already 72% of my social network referrals were coming from Pinterest, last week I checked in for the last 7 days it was 100%, 100%!
However the TIME and headspace that I poured into creating and scheduling my social media feeds, as opposed to my content for Pinterest was around 80% more!
At first these numbers really shocked me, I felt like I had been incredibly naive about how I had been approaching and creating my business, but most of all how I was choosing to spend my time and use that precious headspace.
And YES I am sharing an affiliate link Meagan’s framework, because I am 100% sure there are other mother/artists out there who are feeling overwhelmed like me and just need a break, but also want to know that they still have a window for their work.
After many many years of doing, I have no interest in giving up on this journey of mine, however I understand that I need to be A LOT more savvy about how I am using my time, so I can cultivate time to start ‘being’.
I find social media a very noisy place to be and a place that often strengthens my self doubt, rather than alleviating it.
Yesterday as I painted I Iistened to the Raise Your Hand and Say Yes podcast with Tiffany Hahn, it was the episode when she talks about taking social media breaks and to the core of me I knew it was time to delete some apps and free up some headspace. In the episode Tiffany makes SO many great points and gives some wonderful advise to create the right mindset around doing a break.
A HUGE part of me is questioning whether I am once again being very naive about taking a social media break, at a time I am trying to build my business, however all my inner doubts are currently being calmed my the math. At the moment my numbers are clearly showing where my energy should be going if I want to take some time to rest and lessen my mental load.
I’m going to be deleting the Instagram App off my phone tonight (Facebook has already gone) and won’t be adding it back on until the muscle memory of the the swipe and touch has subsided.
Do I have FOMO, yes! I I grateful every day for the community that I have been nurturing over the last few years and I am of course worried about losing the momentum of what I have been working so hard to build up. But, I’m going to be using that time, energy and focus in other ways.
Instagram and facebook at the end of the day are someone else’s business and I’m interested to see what happens when I invest all that time and energy into cultivating my business in another way, and I will of course be reporting back to you about how I get on and whether it really is possible to grow your business whilst taking a social media break.
I will also be using a large proportion of all the screen time I have been averaging each week and using that towards doing things that I’m hoping will help to ease this overwhelm and anxiety and interested to see what clarity comes in the ‘quiet’ and hoping to regain a little more confidence through that clarity.
So friends, I would love to know how you are feeling about social media at the moment and whether you believe you too are in need of a break to reset.
Until next time friends, please remember just how 'Strong and Capable' you truly are!