Launching The Banter Press was a monumental step for me personally. I was emotionally invested in this project and I was anxious about the response I would get. Cancelling or postponing the launch and retreating back to social safety was not an option I was willing to entertain. In spite of fluctuating confidence levels and a deep-seated fear of rejection, I plunged into the deep end.
What happened in the next 48 hours was rather baffling. I did not anticipate developing a disturbing obsession with analytics. Given that my day job involves an excessive level of reporting, the prospect of voluntarily and enthusiastically perusing analytics was a shocking revelation, to say the least. Unfortunately, my productivity levels took a nosedive due to this new and unsettling addiction. Who would have thought?
The launch sparked another addiction, one that we can all relate to, but would rather not admit to – the insatiable hunger for social validation. I was watching the Facebook likes intently as though I was receiving some form of monetary compensation for each like. Not only did this serve as a mighty distraction, I was losing sight of the bigger picture and foolishly using this metric to measure the value and success of my blog. Stupid doesn’t even cut it.
The point of disclosing my stupidity here is to remind you that while the craving for social validation may not disappear, you need to shift your focus to the bigger picture rather than fixating on the like counter. Don’t waste precious hours obsessing over trivial elements. I finally made a sensible decision to turn off all social media notifications on my phone in an effort to revive my productivity levels. In doing so way, I was no longer peeking at my phone every so often to snack on yet another piece of approval.
I’m committed to writing from the heart and sharing genuine, honest advice based on personal experience, but of course, there is an inexplicable fear attached to sharing a filter-free part of myself. I’ve never been a heavy user of the ubiquitous Facebook status update and so the idea of plating up an essay size piece of my mind is somewhat strange. I guess I’ve just taken the zero to extreme route.
I was concerned that people might react negatively or share opposing opinions. I had to give myself a bit of wake-up call. If you’ve got the same thoughts flowing through your brain, snap out of it. Of course people are going to have conflicting opinions. You simply cannot please everyone! Not everyone shares the same views and that’s the attitude that you need to go in with. That is the attitude that will allow you to lose the sensor and maintain your authenticity.