Self promotion. If you are running a business, if you are applying for a job, if you are looking for clients, obviously you need to promote yourself. “Get yourself out there.” “Show what you can do.” But why does it make me so uncomfortable? I actually cringe when I see people post a selfie on instagram and then write a paragraph about how beauty is really on the inside. Just post the selfie with a little quip and be done with it. I have no problem with, “Look at me. I look cute today!” Don’t disguise your desire to be seen with making the world a better place. I see people on social media promoting their fabulous lives. They are promoting a “brand” and they are great at it. Some are actually making money at it and some just do it to make their lives meaningful. I would rather someone else did it for me but is that fair? Especially if no one comes along or if I don’t have the financial resources to hire someone. Does that mean I am not valuable enough to promote? Or is it another form of arrogance that I “shouldn’t have to do it.”
I’ve been writing this blog for a few months and I have yet to promote it. I have a lot of fear around exposing my writing to the world. Most of my writing has been intensely personal. I have read some of my stuff to my close friends, and in my early 20’s it became the angsty fodder of my short lived singer-songwriting career. Perhaps I just don’t have the confidence, or I am not thick skinned enough to be ok with the negative comments. I do not like this side of myself. Especially since there are people out there doing what I cannot do. As someone who does have things to promote and abilities to offer the world, I feel it is short changing my contribution.
I love to read other blogs, and books. I enjoy watching movies and plays written by other people. I look at works of art, some I like, and some I do not. All these are people putting themselves out there and promoting something. They are contributing to the world with their talents, and even if it isn’t my cup of tea it will be tasty to someone else. It takes guts. Guts that I want to say that I have. It is funny that I can post a simple pic of my new haircut, get on stage reciting words written by another person, stand in front of a group of teenagers and attempt to show them a drama game, or sing a song I think is lovely, but for me to promote my own words, say that I am a wonderful voice coach/actor or tell the world I booked a role on a TV show just feels so insanely intimate and “braggy.” Something I never feel weird or odd for others to do, (I actually really like it when they do) especially when they come from a place of celebration.
So maybe that’s the key. Perhaps I just need to celebrate more. Celebrate the success of others. Celebrate my own success. Celebration is not validation. Celebration is an open hearted, generous, and spirited way of living. Celebration is what kids do when they experience life. Celebration is not validation but it is contribution. Contributing to the world we live in, in what ever way we can, and celebrate along the way.