OUR TIPS & TRICKS FOR A HEALTHY & BALANCED LIFESTYLE
As an influencer, I've had my fair share of prejudice and criticism. In fact, I dare say that influencers generally have a pretty bad rep when it comes to professional credibility (right, Vogue?). When I first started blogging it was a fairly new concept, so there weren't too many opinions on how I managed my business. Fast forward to today and things have changed A LOT: not only are there countless influencers and social platforms out there, there are just as many ideas and misconceptions about blogging as a career. More specifically, people seem to have a very particular idea about how I spend my days and whether or not it's 'fair' for me to conduct my business the way I do. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked how much money I make, or have gotten subtle remarks on how annoyingly easy it must be to make cute pictures of the free outfits that I'm sent and get filthy rich from it too. Since these misconceptions can be a tad exhausting to deal with, I've adopted a few key tricks over the years to handle prejudice and criticism and to actually - gasp - grow from it. And as we all come across judgmental situations ('cause remember Carrie's words: "some people do arts & crafts, we judge"), I thought it'd be nice to share them with you all:
1 / STAY FOCUSED
The biggest challenge in dealing with prejudice is not getting distracted by it. No matter what, you really want to avoid ending up with a self-fulfilling prophecy situation, where you actually start acting the way people expected you to. I admit it can be tempting to start acting like a diva when people think you are one, but in the end, it will totally backfire. Try to stay focused on your original goals instead, and don't ever adjust those based on wild assumptions.
2 / CONSIDER THE BIGGER PICTURE
This is something that has always helped me a lot in dealing with prejudice and criticism; since they're usually very specific and slightly petty, it's actually not so difficult to zoom out for a second and consider them in the bigger scheme of things. Is it really worth to feel so bad about this, and more importantly, will it make you grow to get into whatever comments that were made? Try to always make a distinction between petty and constructive criticism by finding out the motivation behind it: anger, jealousy and vengeance usually don't lead to remarks that make you grow, so you might want to skip worrying about them altogether.
3 / FOCUS ON THE FUTURE, NOT THE PAST
From the very beginning of my career, I had to deal with some pretty aggressive backlash that I didn't see coming at the time. Ironically, this is something I'm often reminded about in interviews now, while I honestly don't feel inclined to keep reminiscing about things from the past. Everyone has the right to have an opinion, even if it's a faulty one. Instead of putting energy into a defensive response, prove them wrong by your future actions. It will make you feel so much better!
4 / RESPOND WITH INFORMATION, NOT EMOTIONS
Fact: people tend to judge what they don't know. Or even worse: they create their own version and base their opinions on that, whether it's grounded in reality or not. And for my job in particular this faulty version of the facts is supported by what is perceived on social media, which easily creates the illusion of a perfect life. So in an effort to keep things real, I've come to learn about the importance of finding a balance between sharing inspiring content and real struggles, even if that makes you feel super vulnerable. And more generally speaking, I've found that responding with truthful information is much more effective than voicing anger or frustration - no matter how challenging that may be in the moment.
5 / BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
Constructive criticism can be one of the best things in life, as long as you stay true to yourself and what you believe in (there's no way to formulate this in a non-cliché way! :)). Especially as a social influencer, it's absolutely crucial to be you instead of copying someone else. It can sometimes feel a bit frustrating to work 24/7 and then be called a 'lucky girl', but I try to remind myself of the values that my parents taught me, to work hard and pursue my dreams - which has always made me feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be in life.
How do you feel about this? Do you often have to deal with prejudice and criticism? Any tips to add? I'd be so happy to hear! :)