I can feel a turning of the tide in the online world, and it’s funny because it feels like the very reason I started this blog is very soon going to be where it’s at in terms of online trends. That is, keeping it real – normal, accessible, realistic self-care. Imperfection embraced, and loving ourselves regardless (even if it’s only for five bloody minutes in a crazy day).
I started Feel Better Collective as a worn out new mum, fresh from a career still on the rise (that hadn’t been plain sailing, so many a lesson learnt there) and questioning my identity. I had spoken to so many women in various guises of me – finding themselves in a bit of a ‘what’s it all about?’ spiral (dare I say a third life crisis because THAT IS NOW A THING). Some of them single, some with kids and some without. But all just struggling with the challenges of modern life.
I felt like I wanted a place to talk to those women and say, there are small, incremental changes you can make on a daily basis to help this improve. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about feeling better every day in some small way. Whatever floats your boat. Go easy on yourself and allow yourself to catch a break, however you like to feel good.
A whole new (online) world
Entering into the blogging world of course means that you start to follow key influencers through their newsletters, Instagram feed and other social channels, to see what’s working, what gets engagement and what people are looking for, to ensure you can really deliver useful and interesting content that can make a difference to people’s daily lives.
There are huge numbers of ‘inspo’ sites out there today, but honestly as my time following them has gone by, they begin to seem thin, and at times insincere in their message. I don’t mean all by any means, there are some amazing women out there who have quite accidentally made a living from just being their true, aligned and beautiful selves and wanting to share that message and RIGHT ON to them. But there are sites that offer an impossible image of perfection that also appear to say you can have it ‘just like that’ and if you don’t have it you are somehow a less-whole person. They will us on to be willowy zen goddesses of gorgeousness and tell us to do it NOW, beautiful.
It got me thinking about the many women and girls who are not strong in their belief in themselves and look to these communities as a source of inspiration and truth.
“if I take up yoga I will be healthier”
“if I eat raw food I will be thinner”
“if I get up at 5.30 every day to meditate, no matter what, I will be happier”
In truth, for busy, frazzled women these are objectives we might actually try to set ourselves in a frenzy of great intentions needing to JUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, but after a bad week it falls away and we end up feeling even worse about ourselves. What’s healthier or happier about that?
The intention and energy with which we do something is absolutely key to our success – no amount of yoga or raw food can change how we really want to feel if we don’t know what we are doing it for, other than the pursuit of perceived perfection.
The gremlin of self-doubt
I’ve doubted the validity of FBC a few times in the face of these online ‘giants’. I’ve wondered if my message is going to cut through that perfection. I’m not aspirational, I don’t spend hours laying out and editing my beautifully shot Instagram photos, in fact at the moment I still enjoy Instagram and Facebook being very much ‘in the moment’ and unplanned. This is VERY un-strategic for a comms person but it’s how I want to feel as I deliver my message – REAL. In the moment. Just like everybody else, trying to make it through the day, but using this platform to cheer you on from the sidelines and say YOU CAN DO IT!! Or TRY THIS FOR SHITS AND GIGGLES. (Special shout out to my friend Gemma who this week discovered Marmite soldiers for boiled eggs through one of my facebook posts. YOU ARE WELCOME).
I’m currently working with a coach and she asked me to name a few sites that I really liked and admired and why that was. After much gibbering, she pulled a word from me. Genuine. The sites I love are of women that just seem so genuinely themselves. Their message is about taking your own path, doing the best you can, with some helpful and supportive anecdotes or ideas to help people through it. She helped me see that what I have to say DOES matter and IS valuable to the women I want to speak to. She helped me to remember my WHY.
What is my why?
I have been really lucky over my life to meet some guides, coaches and mentors that have changed my mindset, my ability to grow and accept change in my life. While I was falling over on maternity leave with many MANY hours of thinking time, I thought about how I might be able to start to use my experience to help others.
If I was struggling, so were other women like me. If they found it hard to galvanise themselves into action, then maybe I could help. If I could use my experience to really understand the struggles that women face every bloody day just trying to get through life, alongside my boundless enthusiasm then maybe I could actually make a difference.
This blog was the start of that. A place to tell stories, share what works for me that’s manageable and doable in a busy life. Talk about falling off the wagon and getting back on again. Never proclaim perfection or a higher state. A place to have conversations (and thanks to those of you who comment or share, because that’s what really makes blabbering away every week worthwhile). I wanted to make anyone who read my blog go ‘ooooh my GOD that sounds like me!!!’. And that’s why i called it a collective, because I really want us to be in it together. Warts and all.
So thanks for being here, for sharing my stories and yours. I would LOVE to know what you’d like to hear about, the stories you need to hear or the tips you’d like to receive. Comment below or on facebook or Instagram or even drop me a little line. It would make my day.