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Guest Post: Social Media Mindset Shifts toward Community and Collaboration

We’ve got a special feature today! Jaimi Stewart who blogs about Family-Travel-Style-Home, is sharing how to navigate Social Media in a positive way. When I read Jaimi’s thoughts about how to feel good, be authentic and approach Social Media in a healthy mindset, I immediately thought you should hear her too! We connected through a collaborative group (called Your Blogging Mastermind) and have a mutual respect and admiration for each other, and are both passionate about sharing life “hacks” and ways to help moms enjoy life more.  

I’ve thought a lot about community and collaboration over the years as social media has grown. I often wonder if there is a place for me here. A place for me to have a voice, to serve, to grow, to challenge, to encourage, and to maybe even make an impact.

www.jaimistewart.com
Photo by Nathan Stewart

I too often listen to the lies of comparison and competition and get discouraged. If any of the above resonates with you…read on…I’ll offer 4 mindset changes about social media, and possibly beyond.

Myth #1: Everyone is doing it/saying it so why bother.

We all have certain passions, skill sets, preferences and talents – we may just not view them as strengths. It’s been a struggle for a while to even say I’m good at certain things. Some of the things I’d consider as skills are: putting together outfits, decorating my home, baking, folding clothes, and writing.

One thing that I’ve embraced lately to help with this struggle is the fact that while we have each talent, and that we’re all good at something, it does not equal being an “expert.” We can offer many insights and value without being the world’s leading expert on a subject. 

Also, my strong faith helps me to frame my strengths, and if I don’t acknowledge the fact I’m good at certain things, I’m basically rolling my eyes at God. You may find that it’s something entirely different spurring you on and giving you the confidence to own your strengths, but the key is to embrace your self and not roll your eyes at your own beliefs. 

I’m still learning, growing, and changing, as are you, and it’s important to remember that we all have value and talents to offer. Yet these days it seems everyone on social media is super talented with fashion, home decor, writing, crafting…you name it. And sometimes, when I am operating out of my power mindset…I get discouraged.

I don’t see the beauty in what others are doing, I only see that they are In.My.Way. “How dare they do that same things as me!” Instead of celebrating that they are doing what they enjoy and what they are good at…I sneer.

Or often my response is “they do that so much better than I can. I’ll just let them do it and forget putting my content out there.” I push my passions and talents aside for fear of being rejected or sub-par.

What a lonely and discouraging place to live! Instead, let’s choose community and collaboration over comparison and competition!

Mindset change #1: There’s a place for everyone and everyone contributes something.

I’ve taken a lot of writing, content, social media, and blogging courses over the past few months and almost every single one has said the same thing: “there is a place for you.” The first few times I heard it I thought “Yeah, right…” But I have faith in the fact that I find words and ideas to share within myself, and I want to humbly share my thoughts.

So, I keep creating. Keep writing. Keep learning. And I discovered something: the more I write, create, and connect with others in the process…the more I felt empowered to keep going. Yes, there’s still people out there probably saying the exact same thing I’m saying, but I know when I follow my personal compass, it grows me and encourages me.

I have even found great connection with the people who are saying the same things as me. When we say the same things together, there’s so much good that can come from that. We deepen friendships, we shed light on causes, learn from one another, and we encourage others. If we are not coming into our community at gatherings, volunteer events, church, meetings, or even social media with an attitude of “how can I help?” or “who can I learn from/connect with/befriend?”…then I know for me, my purpose will be self-serving. I’m guessing it’s the same for you too.

There are two places we can focus: outward and inward.  Others and self.  For me, I cannot embrace my faith and not see others.  For you, it may be from a different basis of values yet the end is the same…you cannot consider your values and family without seeing others. We cannot not see others. It’s impossible. On the flip side, we cannot look at ourselves and see others. It’s impossible.

Even if you are not creating content but you are on IG or FB as a follower, you can still serve and contribute. Adding your comments, likes, opinions when someone asks, and encouragement are such a gift to those who make their living through blogs and social media.

Photo by RawPixel

You wouldn’t go to a party and just sit back and mentally click a “like” button when people say things that resonate with you. When someone approaches you with a question, you wouldn’t just say “I like that” and walk away. I hope you would add to the conversation. Yes, social media feels different than face to face interaction, but let’s not go into all social settings in this day and age to be consumers. Let’s aim to be contributing, whatever that looks like for you.

And as Jenna Kutcher says, if you have one follower, you’re an influencer. You can influence with your comments, encouragement, and engagement.

Myth #2: I haven’t “overcome” so I have nothing to contribute.

I’ve been putting myself out there more lately. When I first started doing it, I was scared. When you write a post titled “5 Myths I Believed as a Young Mom” thoughts creep in, “now people will think you have it all together.” When you host a 14 day IG story series on life hacks sharing your own life hacks every day, you start to doubt yourself that you have anything to offer. The same thought pops up “now people will think you think you’re perfect and you’re some kind of super person.” Womp. Womp.

But on the flip side, when I read other people’s posts or gather their advice, ideas, hacks, lessons…I don’t think “well, they’ve got life all figured out. They’re perfect.” Occasionally, you do come across those accounts where every post is perfectly styled, and I appreciate that sometimes.

I love beautiful pictures. But those accounts aren’t typically my role models because there’s not much content behind the photos and they aren’t coming from a place of community or sharing.  Instead, I so appreciate those people sharing what they know and learned and giving us some reality along with good photos.

Mindset change #2: Show up in the midst of your mess.

In spite of my shortcomings and struggles, I keep showing up. Because I also know two other things are true: I learn a lot from imperfect people sharing their lessons and stories…and I know others do as well.  I’m just a girl who leans on my faith and internal values compass, and I want others to lean on their belief system and values too. Even if my post is about clothes or life hacks or road trips, that’s my goal.

The past few years have been a little rough for me. I felt discouraged. I felt if I spoke out of a place of discouragement, it would hurt me and anyone reading. But despite my discouragement, I’ve also found something else slightly groundbreaking to me…I do know truth. The simple truth is: I am loved and valued. 

Even in the midst of those discouraging times, I still am loved and valued. I’m not an exemplary mom. Many days I feel overwhelmed and defeated. But I come back to truth again and again. And I find when I write a post for an overwhelmed mom like me, or remembering how I felt with infants…after I write it, I feel encouraged myself. I can’t really explain it. Encouraging others encourages me?

I’m not perfect. Neither are you. And yet we can still collaborate, connect, learn, and grow alongside one another. IF our hearts desire that. If my heart desires self-promotion…connection and collaboration will result in comparison and competition.

Mindset change #3: ask yourself “why am I following this person”?

About a year ago I was faced with a question…and I can’t remember exactly what prompted it, but it came all the same: why am I following this person? And that lead to other questions.

I will share the questions with a downloadable list at the end of this post, but since this post is coming to a close, I’ll end with a little bit of a nudge slash challenge: when scrolling through your various feeds ask yourself these questions or any others that might pop into your head. You may find you need to unfollow a few people. Or mute them for a while. I had to do that.

Photo by Nicole Vaughn

As to unfollowing, don’t ever feel guilty or bad about unfollowing people. If you are not following them with the right heart attitude, it’s in your best interest (and theirs!) for you to unfollow them. That doesn’t mean you’ll unfollow/mute them forever, our hearts do change, but if you need to for now…then do it. We should be the kind of people to allow ourselves as well as others the space they need. Social media crowds so much of our hearts and thoughts, its ok to unfollow.

Questions to ask yourself

Why am I following _____?

Do I want what’s best for _____?

What thoughts or feelings rise up inside me when I see posts from _______?

Do I follow _______ to watch and see if they’ll mess up so I can criticize them in my head?

Do I follow __________ to criticize and scoff at the good things that happen to them?

If I saw _______ on the street today, how would I greet them? Or would I?

Do I harbor unforgiveness toward ________?

Do I have ulterior motives following ________?

Is ________’s feed encouraging/inspiring/good for my heart?

Do I agree with ______’s views on issues/topics that are foundational for me?

And finally, am I viewing ______ through the lenses of positive intent?

DOWNLOAD THE SOCIAL MEDIA HEART CHECK HERE!

Mindset change #4: ask yourself why you’re on social media in the first place: for you? Or for others?

Who are you collaborating or connecting with in person or on social media? Who are you comparing yourself to or see yourself as in competition with…either in person or on social media? Are you there for yourself to consume and be entertained? Or are you there to add to the conversation, encourage, and serve in some way? You can ask yourself those questions about pretty much any situation in life, not just social media.

It is my hope that you can consider me your cheerleader. Someone who is your friend, who is honest, loving, kind…someone who points you to the right path and to examine your heart. Because that’s what faith and hope are friends.

Grace & Peace, Jaimi

If your life feels chaotic and full, Jaimi is a friend who can relate! You can often find her with a coffee in hand and a surrounded by twins. She and her high-school sweetheart, Nathan, live in Colorado with their 2 sets of boy-girl twins who all seem to have two speeds: going at 150% or asleep. Jaimi is passionate about encouraging women (moms especially) in all seasons of life with some style and travel thrown in. You can join her on Instagram, Pinterest, and her website, www.jaimistewart.com

Photo by Ian McMillin

Feature Photo by Angela Carlyle

*This contains links only because No Qualms Mom thinks highly of Jaimi Stewart and her blog. Any links are not sponsored and purely information – listed only to help you.