I never expected this to happen. Within weeks my business has exploded. All due to one small decision that changed everything....
I feel the word 'authentic' is thrown around a lot these days. Its one of those buzz words that is particularly favoured as a selling point with brands. What does it actually mean?
According to a quick Google, an authentic person can be defined as someone who's 'true to their own personality, values and spirit, regardless of any pressure to act otherwise'. A noble idea, but, in this day in age, I feel its easier said than done.
There have always been societal expectations within humanity. Since the age of social media, this has only increased, as everyone is able to broadcast their life 'milestones' to a huge audience at the click of a button. With this information crowding our screens, it can be easy to think that you should have similar goals, as this apparently brings happiness. This is the first dangerous step towards losing your authentic self.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, my childhood was a little bit different. I spent my teenage years home educated by my un-traditional parents, which gave me a very different perspective of the world. This encouraged a questioning mind, that has been vital in developing the person I am today.
Into my adult years, I questioned everything. I found myself shunning societal expectations when I found they didn't align with what I wanted. I gave up animal products when I became vegan. I turned away from commercialism when I embraced minimalism. I decided against the hefty mortgage and traditional career ladder, and instead decided to live in a tiny home and only work part time. This year, I even gave up drinking and I have never wanted children. This is a trend that I know will continue.
Its not that I think some of these things are inherently wrong, or that I'm fighting these expectations for the sake of being different. The simple fact is that I didn't want them. They were not part of the life I wanted to build. They simply weren't me.
When it comes to my business, which includes this blog, I've sometimes found authenticity more challenging. I've spent hours watching YouTube tutorials on how to craft enticing blog titles or nail the perfect social media strategy. I felt the pressure to move away from what came natural to me, in order to be 'successful'. Over time, I found I was no longer enjoying this side hustle and even considered giving it up altogether.
Instead, I found a compromise. I decided to give up on striving for this 'success', which would mean high numbers of blog readers and social media followers. I would focus on creating content that I am most passionate about and authentically portrays my life. Even if this doesn't perfectly trend on Pinterest.
It is the irony of life that the minute I made this decision, my following sky-rocketed. I was having the best time capturing moments of nature with Instagram reels, and it turned out that people loved them too. I recently wrote about my decision to avoid the typical influencer trap here, and I still stand by everything I said. No matter how much my following grows, I will make sure my content continues to reflect my values.
I've used this concept of authenticity in my new business venture, which I am thrilled to launch this year. This is a digital series that I have named 'Cultivate your authentic life'. This will comprise of a 4-part eBook series, in addition to other digital tools, that covers different areas of our lives and helps readers craft a simple, authentic life that is also gentle on our planet. Find out more about this series here.
Nature is weaved through this series, as its my ultimate inspiration. It is my hope that this series will both empower my wonderful readers to live life how they chose and equip them with the tools to protect our beautiful earth.
I want to take this moment to thank you all for your continued support. It really means the world.