Hello everyone! Today, I wanted to give you an update on The Life of Alana brand (I guess I’m a brand now), create a few goals for that so called “brand” and myself personally, and share some words of wisdom from a not-so-wise, but still semi-smart lady. I also think I’m going to make this a monthly series: real talk. I’ll share personal stories, life updates, and just some serious real talk.
I started The Life of Alana about three months ago. I was lucky enough to be able to be a part of a blogger mentorship program run by my friend, Blair, and learned a lot in that one month of the program. However, I haven’t done much since then. I still post on my Instagram account semi-frequently and check my Google Analytics on the daily, but that’s it. I’m about to share my first piece of wisdom with you: if you’re not sharing content, people aren’t going to be checking out your platforms. So you might be asking yourself – Alana, why haven’t you been posting?! Well guys, let me tell you. There are two key factors as to why I haven’t been posting: self doubt and negativity. Raise your hand if you sometimes still feel like you’re a teenager again and feel like no one likes you, so you decide that you hate everything and everyone? Yeah, me too. Let me explain:
Self doubt. I have struggled with self doubt for, oh I don’t know, forever. For some reason, I have always felt like I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough or skinny enough or funny enough. I’m not sure why I’ve always felt this way, but I have. Along with self doubt, I care way too much about what people think about me. These thoughts have only escalated since moving to a new town two years ago and I’ve had to put myself out there, whether it be through getting to know people at a new workplace or making friends. I’ve succeeded in finding my way in my workplace, and thankfully finding a workplace that works very well for me, but that whole making friends thing has been one of the most difficult challenges of my life. Partially due to my self doubt, partially due to me wanting everyone to like me and psyching myself out when I meet new people, and partially due to the fact that making friends as an adult is HARD. Then I look at my growing blog and social media presence and the same self doubt creeps in. “I don’t look like that girl.” “My make up isn’t that perfect.” “That person must have a photographer that follows them around 24/7 and I don’t have that.” “How does that person have a zillion followers and I can’t even break 200?” All of that self doubt and comparison leads to the second factor: negativity.
Negativity. Oh my holy hell, do you know how many times I’ve been called negative in my life? I’m going to use that phrase – if I had a dollar for every time someone said I was negative, I would have… well, a lot of freaking dollars. I tend to get very negative when it comes to someone or something hurting me. In relation to meeting new people and making new friends, I get really down if I hang out with someone and then I don’t hear from them again. (Oh my gosh, I sound like I’m dating again.) Instead of just moving to the next person, I get hung up on why that person didn’t get back in touch with me or “why they didn’t like me” and then I shut down, thinking that every other person I come into contact with will do that to me. (Hello, negative thought.) I am beginning to learn that people sometimes aren’t meant to be friends, even if both people are super cool, or some people are going to be friends for only a season in life, instead of several seasons, and I’m learning that that is all okay. In regards to my blog, I get really down in the dumps when looking at engagement on social media platforms, which then puts me in the mindset that no one likes my content and “why should I do this, if no one is going to pay attention to it”.
All that explanation brings me to this one statement: I’m exhausted. Beating yourself up, not believing in yourself, having a negative mindset, and catastrophizing (what a therapy word) every single situation is exhausting. No wonder I take a nap every day and am grumpy in the afternoons. I exhaust myself. I understand that we’re all uniquely made and we all have not so great qualities about us, and that’s all 100% okay. What’s not okay is me doubting myself, being mad at the world for not being exactly what I think it should be, then hiding in my bed and watching YouTube during my free time. So, that stops today. Or, the better way to put it is that I’m intentionally changing my mindset today to love myself, believe in myself, and do things because they make me happy, not because I think they’ll bring me more likes or follows or friends. I really think that just being intentional about those things will make a huge difference in my how I run my blog, how I feel about my new town, and how I approach social situations.
Here’s where the goals come in. I’ve never been a goal setter, so I’m going to give it a try now. Why not?! From now until December 31st, I’m going to work hard to achieve these goals:
- Post on at least one, but maybe multiple, social media and content platforms 5 days a week.
- That’s right. You’ll be seeing The Life of Alana content Monday-Friday between now and December 31st, and hopefully continuing past that! I most definitely am putting my foot down and will be posting on the blog twice a week. I also want to post content that I like and that makes me happy, not content that I think is going to get me followers. I like hockey, cooking, baking, Christmas time (sounds appropriate for the time of year), books, and all sorts of things. I’m not going to have a perfect posed picture on Instagram every day and that’s freaking okay. Jimmy has told me that maybe Instagram might not be where I will find my following and I should try other platforms, so make sure you’re checking me out everywhere else, since I’ll be trying out new ideas in the next month.
- Go to a social event at least once a week.
- I think I had a mini-panic attack by just writing that sentence. And I’m pretty sure I hear Delaney cheering all the way over in Atlanta. Yes, I’m going to go to a social outing once a week and be myself and be okay with that. I’m really wanting to meet new people and hopefully build a community here, but I can’t do that by hiding in my house every day. Please send me all the good vibes, as this will be the most difficult goal to achieve.
- Not care about the numbers.
- For this month, I’m not going to post a numeric goal. Yes, it would be wonderful to gain 100 or 1,000 or 1,000,000 followers in the next month, but it will also be wonderful if I don’t. I’m excited about the content that I’m currently creating and that’s all that matters. I’ve learned in the last few weeks that my close friends and family are watching and they’re so supportive. I’ve received a lot of love and encouragement from them about this new thing that I’m doing and it means the world to me. Even if y’all are the only ones who ever read this, I will call that a success. Thank you all for loving me and supporting me!
And that’s it. Those are my words of wisdom, a bit of a personal life rant, my goals for the next few weeks, and what you can expect to see from The Life of Alana. Real talk: I want to build this. I want to create content that brings people joy, encourages people, and builds a community. Keep me accountable people! I’m writing this for the whole world to see, so if you notice that I haven’t been posting, yell at me and tell me to get my ass in gear!
If you relate to any of the things that I’ve said in this post, reach out to me. I can definitely be a cheerleader for you during any time in your life. Or if you noticed that I have a dog and you have a dog too, reach out to me. I’m always down to talk about how dogs are the most perfect living creatures on the planet… with penguins being a close second. And by penguins, I do mean the animal and the hockey players.
Thank you all for reading this. I love y’all so much!
Sending Christmas wishes, positive thoughts, and hopes that the Penguins continue to move up in the standings,