I am someone who is deeply engrossed in the beauty community of youtube. Michelle Phan was my idol. If a beauty guru I admired recommended a product, I was on the Ulta website almost immediately to put it in my cart. This combined with my interest in social media (my secondary major is communication studies) culminated into an inspiration to blog.
Of course, I started by pillaging Pintrest. I pinned everything there was about blogging and social media. Next, I created my Instagram (mindxoverxmatter212). This was my first bout of anxiety. I didn’t want anyone I knew to discover my Instagram. In a way, I was embarrassed and my novice in this field. I wanted to delete it and just forget it ever happened. I looked into some promotion techniques, and my following began to grow. I decided to present my Instagram to my private account. I put the Instagram handle on my story. About ten minutes later, I was staring at the post, switching back and forth between my blog and the list of people who watched my story. I created my own judgement. What they would say rang through my head. I wished I never started this project.
My biggest motivator was meeting with my department head. I have met with her before and greatly enjoy her company. I mentioned I was starting a blog, and she was very intrigued. When she asked what my target audience was, I blurted out “people with mental illness”. My original plan was to create a lifestyle blog for health and beauty, so this new audience was a surprise to me. She was overjoyed to hear my answer. She praised me for tapping into an audience that needs support more than ever. I realized that this could actually be a great idea for me. One thing that helped me with my mental illness is learning about other people who had it. I was inspired. Right when I got home, I made this website and began posting.
Things were going well until I tired to go to sleep. Notably, I have a lot of trouble sleeping anyway, but this wasn’t my normal insomnia. I couldn’t breathe, my chest hurt, and I started sobbing. I hated myself for thinking that this project would be a success. I already felt embarrassed for failure I was anticipating. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I had no way to ever become a famous blogger. I was kidding myself. I stared at my website, hovering over the delete button. Was I being to naïve?
Two things solidified my determination in continuing on with my blog. The first was the extremely positive reaction it received amongst my friends. So many people reached out to me to commend what I was doing and offer statements or personal stories. It was so unexpected to me. the only outcomes I imagined for this blog involved it crashing and burning. Shortly afterward, I received a notification from WordPress. I had gotten my first follower. I called my sister in tears. Something about knowing I could help someone instantly made everything worth it. This is what I wanted. I wanted to fight for it.
The next anxiety inducing endeavor was trying to monetize this blog. I wanted to promote brands that advocated for mental health and shared values similar to mine. I messaged so many brands and sent so many emails. My anxiety went into a whirlwind. I got that gut feeling that I was being stupid; that I was getting my hopes up for inevitable failure. I could already imagine the disappointment I would have in myself. Soon after, I got a message. I found someone who wanted to be my sponsor. I screamed. This might actually work. More information about my sponsor will be revealed later! Stay tuned!
Anxiety sucks. It will drag you down. I didn’t want to get out of bed because I felt stupid for pursuing my goals. The most important thing to remember is: your anxiety is not you. It is only a part of you. Sometimes you have to separate it from yourself, put it in front of you, and yell at it to leave you alone. Its awful and terrifying but it is something so rewarding to take control of something that has controlled me for a lifetime. I am proud for coming this far, even though it has only about 24 hours since the publication of this website. Have faith in yourself. Instant gratification should not be your only signifier of success.