It all started when I was preparing to take the LSAT. "Wouldn't it be so fun if I had hot pink Legally Blonde themed pencils for my test?" I thought to myself. So I browsed Etsy, and I found some. I was tickled because hello, that's the perfect Instagram photo. Long story short, my pencils were going to cost like $16 with rush shipping, so I didn't do it. Ridiculously enough, sometimes I still look back on that missed opportunity.
One of the toughest things for me about blogging has been comparing myself to other bloggers. When I see that someone is able to start blogging full time after a year of being a blogger, I wonder what they have that I don't. I have to stop and remind myself that we're all walking different paths, come from different backgrounds, and possess different skills. We all feel different levels of comfort with different things.
I'm a list maker, so I made a list of "blogging guidelines" for myself. Whenever I'm discouraged because I hate the background of a photo (aka the vinyl siding at my apartment complex) or no one likes my photo on Instagram, I remind myself of these guidelines. Not only do they snap me out of my funk, but they help me to maintain my integrity and the brand of my blog.
1. I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection. Say it with me - I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection. I can't tell y'all how many times I say this to myself a day. Your worth is not defined by likes on a photo. We're saved by God's grace; you don't get to cut the line in Heaven because you have 50,000 Instagram followers.
2. I will be authentic, and I will know my brand. I will never be the girl that posts photos of fruit taken in a grocery store or selfies from dressing rooms or a bouquet of flowers in a handbag, even though I always see them getting a trillion likes on Insta. It's just not who I am as a person. I am the girl that will post a photo that's a little blurry because I was excited about something and moving around, and there is joy radiating from my pores. We all have different brands, and I think it's important for us to be true to our personal brands.
3. I will know my strengths. In Honor's British Literature, my teacher made us all stand up and brag on ourselves. It was absolutely mortifying, but it really made me think about what I was good at. I'm not saying that you need to be prepared to scream your strengths in a British accent, but knowing what you're good at is a good thing to know. I'm not really the best at design, so when I 'm trying to design something and seconds away from pitching my Macbook across the room, I remind myself that design isn't really my thing, but hey, I really have an eye for mixing patterns. Knowing what I'm good at helps me to feel confident.
4. I will build my tribe. I'm really not a great photographer. I'm learning, but it's mostly luck when I get a good shot. But my boyfriend, brother, mom, and aunt are amazing with a camera. They're my tribe. My dad can immediately pick out the best photo shoot location anywhere we go. He's my tribe. The ladies of Millennial Blogger Network? They're my tribe. I try to surround myself with people who are better than me, with hopes of learning from them.
5. I will be content while continuing to grow. Photos stress me out. Have I mentioned how much I hate the vinyl siding from my apartment that continues to be my background? But some days, my boyfriend works late, I have a meeting after work, and we have 20 minutes to get the photos done before the sun goes down. I'm learning to be content with the circumstances in my life, while continuing to brainstorm ways to do things more efficiently and aesthetically pleasing.
Now that I've shared with y'all what my "blogging guidelines" are, I'd love for y'all to share yours with me! What are your strengths? Who makes up your tribe?
Happy Wednesday, y'all!