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Is Your Influence Powerful Or Popular?
I’m in this stage of my “career” and I even feel weird saying that this has become my career because I find being an “influencer” as sort of an “all about me” job field. And while I look up to so many amazing influencers here on social media, I still find it extremely difficult to navigate the ins and outs of building a brand strictly on ME! I find myself constantly in battle with my motives because if I’m being honest, I like the attention and praise of others. I like seeing people commenting on my posts and telling me what a great mom I am or how awesome they think I look in that outfit. Heck…who doesn’t like to be praised??
However, I KNOW I’m not called to constant ego boosts from strangers thousands of miles away. If you’ve been following me on my instagram account you know that I’ve been battling with this term “influencer” and what it truly means to be an “instagram sensation.” And so as I’ve gone on this quest to “find myself” for lack of a better term, I began look at the the similarities that so many influencers have in common. And here are a few things I found to really stick out; they have a similar style, drive similar cars, live in similar communities, promote similar products, and gain their attention from how they dress, what’s most “trendy” and in style.
In other words, influencers follow what’s most popular. They do the thing that’s going to gain them the most attention because that’s what brands want to see. And these brands want to know that the influencers they’ve invested in or plan to invest in are selling their lives in a way that is appealing to others; that inflict change and action in the people that are following these investments.
And then I heard a quote by powerhouse Lisa Bevere that completely aligned with all these findings that just solidified the truth that much more. She said,
“Sometimes your influential but you’re not popular; influence will always tie itself to truth, and popularity will always tie itself to trend.”
There it was. The truth I had been staring at for so long. The truth that I knew subconsciously, but denied the right to sink deep into my actual consciousness.
When I finally made this connection I was completely turned off. I was turned off by myself and everything I had worked up to be. Because like so many others, I had fallen into the lie that in order to have influence I needed to follow the trend. I needed to be “popular.” Are we in High School for the rest of our life? Running the popularity race? God NO!
But here’s the truth friends…influence is powerful, while popularity is common. So are we really being “influencers” if we’re all following what’s most common, what’s most popular? Because let’s be completely honest, it’s easiest to follow the crowd right? It’s easiest to be quiet and not speak your heart, it’s easiest to wear what every other person is wearing and do what every other person is doing. But what’s not easy…what doesn’t gain popularity, is doing the opposite of all those things.
What’s hardest is being the change that stands against the grain. It’s hardest to speak truth in love, KNOWING that you’re not going to be the most popular for saying it. True influence, true honesty sometimes makes people uncomfortable, actually most the time it does. It’s not the thing that immediately receives praise and a pat on the back. Often times it comes with a lot of backlash, it’s seen as mean, offensive, and heartless.
Our influence has become a race against popularity and not of truth.
I say this not as judgement but as sort of a challenge to reflect on the “popular kids” that you remember from your school days. Why did people follow them? Were they known for making the best decisions? Why did their influence hold so much power? Was it because they spoke truth or was it because they were doing what was most common/cool?
I want to call you influencers UP! Not out. I want to influence based on love and truth, not on what’s most popular. And here’s the thing…I believe we can still be successful influencers if we choose to stand in this way and guess what? I also believe that you can still make a living off of being a truthful influencer. I understand this is a business. I’m not discing on the people that choose to run their businesses like this, because let’s face it…it’s a business and not real life. Influencers are paid to make their lives look beautiful, they’re not paid to make it look like what it actually is. I’m sorry if that shatters your idea of what your life should look like because you’ve gotten so caught up in this instagram game that you’ve forgotten what reality should look like.
But influencers we really can be better. People are looking to YOU! To US. God designed this world with leaders and influencers for a reason. He knew they could be used to help change the world and to lead others to do what was right. So I’m challenging you today, to rethink what you believe your influence should look like and ask.. do you want your influence to inflict others to live their lives in constant pursuit of needing more? Or do you wish for your followers to be inspired? Motivated? And challenged to be better?
You can still take beautiful pictures and inspire beauty through fashion, home decor, and your makeup routine. But let’s remember to have grace for those looking into the windows of our lives. Let’s remind them that we too are human and our lives are never as “put together” as we make them look. Show them your behind the scenes life on Instagram stories, share your heart, reach out to a follower and encourage them. Let’s be better!
As always, thanks for stopping by! xoxo, Tessa