Influencing the Influencer.
What does that even mean?
Today, I want to talk about who influences the influencers.
And if those influences we’re letting in are positive.
Such a fabulously fascinating topic. Here we are, going on about how much we care for our readers (some of whom we call friends) and, consequently, the due diligence we conduct upon every product and service showcased on our social media platforms. And yet we ourselves often neglect to housekeep what (or who) influences us in turn.
A U D I T W H O A N D W H A T S P E A K S T O U S
What we allow into our ears. Into our minds and hearts and spirits. Choosing who (or what) has the authority to capture our attention and affect it. Being selective about the people or the things which have the power to make us feel relevant.
Of course, the fact that
many most of us are surrounded by social media and the powerful imagery it serves up continuously incessantly only serves to increase the number of potential influences we are exposed to at any given time. Visuals depicting seemingly perfect lives and seemingly perfect situations. Add to that our typical state of mind when viewing said images, and it isn’t difficult to connect the dots. Sometimes we feel inspired to forge forwards when we see them. Most times, however, it’s quite the opposite, yes?
We exercise so much caution when it comes to our followers because we genuinely feel responsible to only share what we personally believe to work, to be efficient, to be apropos. How is it then that when it comes to looking inwardly, we are very often unable to apply that same methodology?
Think about it for a second.
That very same filter we apply to brands who approach us
should must be applied also onto whatever and whomever has the privilege to speak to our intellect and our emotions and our consciousness. The way we treat our followers, our friends, must be the same way we treat ourselves when it comes to deciding who or what gets to influence how we think, act, and articulate.
F I L T E R T H E I N P U T T O O
Then there’s people and events that touch us in real life.
Personally, my first hurdle is that I often find it hard to even recognise a negative influence. Call me naive, call me gullible but it’s always been a challenge for me to realise when someone (or something) is proving to be toxic. Or perhaps it’s my subconscious mind justifying their actions by giving different names/phrases such as “he didn’t mean it“, “emergency“, “needs me“.
These days, thanks in part to therapy and in part to healthy doses of daily podcasts as well as inspirational literature, with generous helpings of mindset changing thrown into the mix, I’ve become a little smarter in dealing.
These days I feel more capable of identifying when someone (or something) is not good for me.
Whether it’s because I feel as though I’ve outgrown them (which is not a bad thing, despite my initial thoughts on the matter) and am no longer on the same mental wavelength. And as such, the happy conversations have been replaced with uncomfortable silences or bouts of verbal sparring.
Or whether I feel a sense of guilt when I’m with them. That I come away so drained afterwards I need therapy just to be a semblance of myself again. That I’d much rather be elsewhere. Talking to someone else, or doing something else.
I’ve learned to listen to myself a whole lot more.
If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Those aren’t, by any means, all of the signs to be aware of. Consider those also who set you back on your goals, or derail your goals in how you revert back to old patterns when you’re around them, be it something as rudimentary as dietary changes or far more self-destructive habits.
Or instead of being uplifting and motivating, your time in that particular environment or with a specific person (or persons) ends up being a dream (and soul) crushing session. Leaving you with more doubt and insecurities than ever before. And since we’re humans, it’s not quite as simple as hitting the delete button to erase all those negative feelings that are quite likely drowning us.
These days, my general rule of thumb is that if a person, or a thing or circumstance, leaves me feeling uncertain or troubled, then it’s not the right for me. And I choose to not invest my mind and my energy there.
Only positive influence(r)s need apply, I say.
Working hand in hand with my psychiatrist (yes, I have weekly therapy sessions and it’s been such a weight lifted off of me, to be able to verbalise my thoughts to someone who isn’t in my inner circle, to listen and offer an opinion and poke holes into my theories) and my business coach (he’s more of a life coach whose opened my eyes to understanding how work is merely a tool to bring about happiness, and it isn’t to be mistaken for or equated with happiness itself), I’ve managed to create an action plan of sorts to cleanse my life.
Naturally this isn’t a finite plan by any means. It will evolve with me, and my life, but for now, it’s working really well and I am happier than I’ve ever been.
One of the steps is to surround myself with places and people that love and uplift me. Sounds so basic, doesn’t it? Yet it isn’t always that simple to accomplish. Why? Well because what might work initially may no longer work with time. People change. We change. And not everyone changes at the same pace, and we need to ascertain how much of that is acceptable for us, how much isn’t, and if we’re willing to compromise. The point is to view change as the one constant in our lives, and to embrace it because we really can’t do anything to stop it.
I’m so blessed that one of my constants in the past few years has been The Fab 40s ladies. Since we began in March 2015, some have come and gone (and are very much missed, I’m talking about you, Dawn Lucy, and Annie, and Jane, and Sam) but it’s all part of change being the one thing we can rely on to happen with predictability, isn’t it?
I adore each and single one of you, and I am grateful for your constant presence in my life. I am truly grateful. You may not realise it but all of you have influenced me in some way or another, be it from three years ago, or from three weeks ago. I have picked up something positive from each of you, and it has helped me grow, and move away from the shadow, and become brave. Thank you for being you.
Enough of sappy Sheela, you say, and I hear you. Without further ado, please see how we each responded to Jennie’s (insane, shhh!!) theme of Western Wear for this month of November. It was SUCH a trial for me.
Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots
I have only one word – LOVE. Everything from those Laura Ingalls petticoats (why didn’t I think of that??) to her fabulously burnished leather boots and that sassy pose. Killed it. Nailed it. Hit it out of the park. All that and more, Jennie.
Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge
Does Shelbee not remind you of Pocahontas this month? I know, I know, but hey there are extensive Native American influences on western apparel, and vice versa, and I say she’s quite on the mark here. The colours. Those prints. Her boots, and turquoise necklace (OMG).
Daenel, Living Outside The Stacks
How does this woman look goth even when donning a pair of blue jeans and boots? With bandana in her hair? Next to Jennie’s, this is my fave for the month. It embodies everything Western, in my eyes, without being too much.
Is there such a thing as uptown country girl? If so, Suzy fits the bill here, beautifully and most eloquently. Everything here is so universally flattering, and versatile. I am particularly attracted to those subtle Western details seen in the belt buckle (drool) as well as big ass ring.
This month, we have an international guest woot woot!! Please say hello to Dee of Dee Sayz from India. Thank you so very much for being a part of our little style rendezvous this month, Dee, I’m a big fan of how you adapt and adopt seasonal trends into your wardrobe. These colours and textures you’ve put together here in this Western-inspired outfit of yours are nothing short of absolutely beautiful, like a desert sunset.
And then there’s me.
Doing my best rendition of Annie Oakley, complete with a wild west backdrop aka Schulenburg. Whilst there were no exciting gunfights between daring outlaws and the courageous lawmen during the course of my photo shoot, the town proved to be a perfect foil for this theme.
Fringe Denim Jacket, Camouflage Boots & Suede Choker (Poshmark) | Chambray Playsuit (Goodwill) | Turquoise Necklace (c/o Ettika) | Utility Belt (Salvation Army) | Bracelets (Isabel Marant) | Suede & Leather Hat (purchased in Australia)
At the end of the day, we all recognise that toxins aren’t just found in air pollution or poor nutritional choices. We acknowledge that in order for us to truly acquire that wondrous, oh so desired sense of relief, and clarity, and to glow, we must examine every single aspect of our lives. We must dissect what is toxic specifically to us, and cleanse what doesn’t work.
And that’s all these is, there isn’t anymore.
Until Wednesday, friends, be well.
p/s I link up here.