The other day, Jared and I were watching Youtube together because I honestly prefer it over television. Fun fact: I always have a video playing while I'm working, and usually like to watch self-help or decluttering ones. They're incredibly calming.
Over the past week or so, I've been incredibly inspired by Meghan and even decided to embark on the path of minimalism due to her videos and functional yet beautiful ~300 square foot apartment.
I found myself wondering how I could potentially inspire people like she inspired me, because the way she did it was both natural and unintentional. It was just her, offering small bits of advice and showing snippets of her life. The tips in her video included walking, listening to your gut, not giving up and other simple things that anyone can do. She also provided the tips in a way that was understanding and gentle, like she was talking to the viewer over tea.
Her intentions in her videos are clear and upfront: she loves healthy eating and simple living and uses her platforms to guide others in finding their healthy, mindful life.
After watching her video, the next one played automatically. It happened to be Lavendaire’s video 10 ways to change your life in 2020. It was similar to Meghan’s in the way that it offered general wellness tips.
The video began with Lavendaire spinning, smiling, and showing incredible clips of her and friends traveling, touring museums, and having a blast together. Immediately, I found myself comparing my life to her's, as well as more physical things--I was envious of her hair, her nails, and her beautiful room. These were feelings that I hadn’t experienced with Meghan’s videos and felt gross for having.
I wanted to be Lavendaire. Her tips suddenly made me feel inferior. Even Jared felt a sudden annoyance toward Lavendaire, stirring uncomfortably at my side.
I couldn't figure it out. Her video had thousands of views and comments and was put together beautifully. She had tons of great content of herself and friends exploring, and her tips were basic but helpful.
I did not feel even a little inspired while watching.
But once she gave the tip "travel more" while showing a clip of her at a getaway retreat on an island, I realized why I felt so intimidated rather than inspired by her.
When you tell people how they should live their life, they are automatically going to be put on the defense. Sure, people watch these types of videos to gather insight and start their healthy life. Yet, with this specific video, I felt like it was telling me, quite harshly, that I should be doing more.
Maybe that's how Lavendaire is--fun, happy, a lover of travel, and to the point. There is nothing wrong with showing clips of you enjoying yourself, dressed in your cutest outfit with your hair done. There's nothing wrong with being a little straightforward. Nothing at all! In fact, I'm the one who is always encouraging people to look at the bright side of things and find happiness.
But, her videos didn't feel sincere to me. It didn't feel like she wanted to help anyone--it just felt like she was pushing out a video.
It didn't feel authentic.
And I almost feel bad, because I'm sure she took time to edit the video and does actually want to help and inspire.
Maybe it works for others.
But when you tell people who can't travel at the moment to travel more in order to live a better life... it's easy to begin comparing rather than to feel encouraged.
I noticed, as the video went on, that she never related the tips back to her, either, so the viewer would never know how these tips effected her and whether she even uses them on a daily. She also wasn't putting the viewers into account; some people can't travel more, and maybe people don't enjoy reading. It would've made more sense to bring this up if Lavendaire shared how reading had helped her grow or how traveling has expanded her mind.
If you want to give advice, you must accommodate everyone, or at least your type of following.
I do want to make it clear that I’m not trying to bash Lavendaire at all. I'm quite sure she has positively impacted many people.
I basically just had an awareness I felt inclined to share.
When I first discovered Lavendaire a few months ago, I was thrilled--I am a lover of affirmations, meditation, and self-help books, and Lavendarie discussed all of them. However, after watching just three of her videos, I felt so small and far from my goals. I even wrote about her in my blog post 6 ways to stop comparing yourself to others!
She's sort of like that friend that bluntly says, "I'm sorry you're having a bad day. Have you tried affirmations?" when they know you already do, or "Oh... you really shouldn't drink that Coke" and you don't know whether to kindly say, "Thank you" or feel inferior. Because these things just put you on the defense. They make you feel awkward and little.
Another fun fact: I used to be that friend. Yikes!
While Meghan was giving simple tips and being real and true to her viewers, Lavandaire was almost showing off her life and telling you how to live.
Of course, YouTubers must, to an extent, put on a face for their viewers. However, putting on too much of a face (a.k.a. smiling, twirling, hopping around, and only showing clips of your family while everyone is laughing) can make followers feel low or unworthy.
As I was pondering over this, I understood why Meghan inspired me so much and in a way that I didn't want to be her, but felt inclined to live my healthy life in my way.
We inspire others by being authentically ourselves and sharing our stories from our hearts. The intention, really, is key.
When we take a close look at who we are and ask ourselves, "Why do I want to inspire? Why do I want to write/blog/create/be heard?", we can find our voice and truly allow ourselves to shine.
Our voice should stand out loud and clear. Our intention should be known.
I accidentally inspired five people and counting to declutter their closets when I posted about it on my story. And it wasn't because I was showing off my cleanliness and hoping to gain followers--it was because I felt inclined to share from my heart, so I did. I was being truly myself, raw and vulnerable.
And out of it, I inspired.
Sure, we can inspire people in other ways as well, through publishing books, launching blogs, creating art, getting out and seeing the world, etc.
But, how do you want the world to see you? As the author? The blogger? The go-getter?
Or, do you want the world to see you as you?
In a world where everyone is supposed to have a title and be somebody, it's difficult to lead your platform by authentically being yourself. But, with so many people only posting about the great moments, authenticity can also be refreshing, welcoming, and inspiring. More inspiring than the perfect platforms.
You're not a walking, smiling robot. You're human, with emotions, desires, tears, quirky laughs, embarrassing moments, and probably three close friends.
You can be whoever you want to be online. Your image is yours, and that's the beauty of it. However, don't feel the need to show off your life and prove to anyone that you're worthy of followers and likes. You already are worthy, just by being you.
People are going to attract the energy you put off, even online. That's why it's important to have a clear intention and lead with your gut so that you naturally welcome followers and don't scare others away or intimate them by trying hard to be perfect.
For instance, Meghan's energy is soft, inviting, as well as uplifting. Maybe I'm drawn to this type of energy more, or maybe she just has a great job of being herself and letting it shine through. With her tea at her side and her walls down, you suddenly feel at ease and ready to hear what she has to say.
If you want to gain followers naturally and expand your platform, be as authentic as you can and offer guidance based on your personal struggles/experience. Don't beat yourself up though, and don't feel inclined to open yourself too much. But, don't just pull something out of a self-help book, slap it on a blog post and never explain how it specifically helped you, either. Be you, be genuine, do what you love and do it often, and you're bound to inspire along the way.
I'm still figuring it out. There was a period when I lost about 30 followers with no explanation, and I crumbled on the inside. But over time, I let loose, I embraced who I was and I started posting with the intention of inspiring others and growing my blog along the way.
And by just doing that, I gained back nearly double! :)
Don't give up, either. If you have a dream, a goal, or something you want to say, let it out. Share what you want, do what you want, and have a blast along the way.
Hopefully, I didn't sound too harsh when discussing Lavendaire. If you enjoy her videos, that's fantastic! I suppose not everyone gains inspiration the same way. I know it, actually.
We can be inspired through actions, books/words, and simple gestures as well as other's energies. Sometimes, things just won't connect with us as others do, and that's okay.
In my own personal experience, being myself, something I'm still learning how to do, is always how I reach and impact others the most.
Related posts you may like ~
How do others inspire you? Let me know below!
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Have a wonderful, authentic day. :)
Probably sipping tea,