The other day, after the kids had gone to bed, I was scrolling through my Pinterest feed. Laying on my back, my body taking up the entire couch, I mindlessly passed by all the different pins. As I moved my thumb over and over, passing pin after pin, I started to pick up on a common theme. Every fourth or fifth pin I passed was an article trying to teach me how to be more likable. One informed me on how I could get more likes on my Facebook photos. Another wanted to show me how to get noticed on Instagram. There was one pin that insisted I was doing at least five things wrong on my social media accounts and wanted to show me how to fix my mistakes.
The realization that someone thinks I’m a failure struck me hard. Hurt and confused I scrolled on further, I looked the feed over again with fresh eyes. Quickly, I realized it wasn’t just about likes on my social media accounts. I started to see posts that catered to the areas in my life I felt I was lacking as a mother and wife. Tips on being a better housekeeper, how to be a kinder and more gentle mother, how to show my husband the appreciation he deserves. On and on it went. I was staring at a reflection of my insecurities and although the feed was flashy and beautiful I assure you, it was an ugly sight. After a while I remembered something, Pinterest’s algorithm is set up to show me things similar to what I have searched before on their site. Then the realization hit me, it was me. I was the one who thought I was a failure.
I don't want to confuse you, I don't believe there is anything wrong with self-improvement. I also don't think there is anything wrong with seeking out help when it's needed. I fully believe that all of these pins have the ultimate purpose of being helpful and informative. But that's not why I sought out these pins. I looked them up because I was feeling self conscious and doubting myself. I was paying to much attention to how many likes on social media I was getting. I found myself playing in the never ending game of comparison with unknowing participants. Constantly looking at how I stood up in comparison and in my mind I was losing. I was doing this at the cost of my self-confidence. I started to feel like I wasn't good enough, that what I was doing didn't really matter.
It was in that moment, I realized I was being too hard on myself. I was expecting too much and not allowing enough time for growth and improvement. Since then, I have thought long and hard on what I can do to help me get out of situations like this. It attempt to end the cycle, I sat down and thought about why I was doing this. Why it really mattered.
SO, WHY AM I DOING THIS?
When it comes to my personal photography, I do it to remind myself that I'm a good mother and wife. I want to show myself that my kids are having a great childhood and my marriage, though not without the normal hardships, is a good and joyful one. I have the same desire to do the same for all the families I photograph because life is hard and sometimes we forget to give ourselves a break. I want my photos to be a reminder that we are doing as best as we can and that's all that is required for happiness.
I don't need likes on a social media account to tell me how important that is.
I'm taking it one day at a time now. I'm going to keep in mind that while having the attention is great and can be good for my growing business, it does not define who I am or what I'm doing. Sometimes people won't like what I am posting, sometimes they won't see the value that I see and that's okay. I am going to give myself a break, allow room for growth and ulimately stop comparing myself to others.
So today I wanted to share this revelation as a reminder to anyone who might be in the same boat as me this week. Likes on social media accounts do not define your worth. Likes in real life do not define your worth. You do. Whenever you are feeling down try to think of what drives you to do the things you do. Come up with your why and move forward knowing that THAT is enough.
Until next time,
Koren Smith Photography is a Documentary Family Photographer based in Bellevue, NE. She specializes in taking natural, unprompted, and unposed photos centered around your family's unique life experiences. From birth to teens, she's focused on documenting your family's real-life moments every step of the way.
Welcome to my blog
I'm Koren! I'm a wife, mother and documentary style photographer all combined into one person. I am passionate about my family, encouraging others, documenting genuine moments that tell beautiful stories and capturing timeless images along the way. Here is where I share my latest work, peeks into my life and resources on how to take your storytelling photography to the next level.