There are hidden gems in situations of all kinds.
I had been growing my Instagram following for a couple of years. I was about 300 followers shy of a 5K following when one day I tried to log in and my account had been shut down without any notice. It was like Instagram broke up with me and then ghosted me. I tried about 10 times to get back in, several different ways, but had no luck. My account and my audience were just gone – like a flash. I was never given a reason. I thought at least I would be given that courtesy. I looked through all the rules and I hadn’t broken any of them, so I was very confused. I thought, “maybe they think I’m using a bot to grow my following,” but that would’ve been ironic given that they were only communicating with me via a bot. (I most definitely have never used a bot to grow!)
This is not about Human Design per say. However, as a Generator, I realized that I need to respond to and not try to push or initiate any more. Any further attempts to retrieve my account felt like pushing and not flow. So, after surrendering to the idea that my account was gone – and there was not much I could do to get it back, I was able to reflect on why this happened. I want to share the lessons I gleaned from it. Facing something challenging can show you it’s time to slow down, change the direction of your course, or lighten up a bit. It can help you garner wisdom that you might have otherwise overlooked or discounted. Challenges can have a long-term negative affect on us if we let them. As an alternative, you can ask yourself what you’ve learned in the process.
Here are five things I’ve learned from this situation.
1. Diversify your following. As an entrepreneur, I now see that there’s a fine balance between trying to take part in too many social platforms (aka overwhelm) and putting all of your eggs in one basket. I liked the idea of mastering fewer platforms and becoming well known there, so I was putting my energy into only one or two— Instagram being one of them. Now, I see that you may want to consider a variety of places to reach your audience. With Instagram, for example, you may feel like you own the content and that the followers are always going to be there, but at the end of the day the platform and followers can be taken away in an instant. You actually don’t own that information if it can be taken away so suddenly. I still believe I will stick to about three platforms— more than that makes me feel spread too thin, but less than that can leave you without a way to connect with your audience if something happens to one of them.
2. Things aren’t always fair, but sometimes they are what’s best for you. I was mad that my account was closed and I hadn’t done anything wrong because it didn’t feel fair. I realize that this is a “first world problem” and that it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I realized, though, that if I get this worked up about something this relatively insignificant – I can better understand why people have such powerful emotions about the myriad injustices that have been ongoing for decades— centuries even. While these problems cannot really be compared to my Instagram fiasco, it certainly gives me perspective on the fact that groups of people and individuals have been silenced their whole lives and in many cases, throughout their ancestry.
Social media has been a blessing for me, as well as an energy suck. I have connected with some great people through social media and have also been able to share my passion globally. I also have found that there is negative energy spewed all around. This is all part of my journey to find the right ways to connect with the right people. My intention is to spark more joy in people’s lives or maybe just help someone get “unstuck” in some area of their life— big or small.
3. It’s not that big of a deal if you look at what else is going on in the world/your life. We all need to stop and think about the significance of the things that we think are a really big deal. Sometimes they are— and sometimes they really aren’t. In this case with the timing of what is going on in the world, it’s not even close to the worst thing. Right now, things are all out of whack, with people facing huge challenges on a daily basis. It almost feels like the world is going through a Saturn Return – where the rug is being pulled out from under us collectively on a daily basis, long-held beliefs are shattering all around us, and the world is in the process of becoming more aligned and more authentic. It’s a process of breaking down, building up, breaking down and building up again. It’s a challenging time for sure – so it’s good to keep things in perspective.
4. Figure out: is it something I really want to fight for? At first, I really thought it my account would be back up again after a few days— that there must have been some random misunderstanding. I had talked to others and their Instagram accounts just turned back on after three days. So, I waited a few days…then a week…and now it’s been months. But it was never turned back on. I filled out forms and sent pictures of myself with codes – but was just re-directed to forms I had already filled out. It was after about the tenth attempt, I finally surrendered to the fact that I was no longer willing to fight to get my account back. This is going to be something that happens to all of us. Especially after the world is a safer place (health-wise) to venture back into. All of the activities, sports, in-person meetings etc. have been put on hold. We all have a choice to only start back up with what feels good when the time comes. Will you relax into what you cannot control or will you fight? Only you can decide what’s worth fighting for and what’s not. You’ve got to weigh your battles.
5. What do I really want to spend my time and energy on? When I finally surrendered to the fact that I either had to start over on IG or just not have an account, I realized the universe may have been giving me a wake-up call to spend my energy elsewhere and nurture my email list, Pinterest and YouTube which are platforms that have always felt good to me and that seemed to easily be growing.
I realized I was spending all my time in one place and neglecting others. I did it because it was the easiest thing to do – because I could do it on my phone. However, it wasn’t the best way for me to serve the people I am connecting with and it wasn’t best for me. I finally had the time and space to focus more on my email list and connect with those who are truly invested in connecting with what I am sharing.
I leave you with this…
My point in writing this is partially just me processing what has happened and what it all means, but my hope is that the nuggets of insight that I’ve gleaned from all of this can help you gain a new perspective whether you are an entrepreneur or a social media user. What are you spending your time and energy on? Is it really serving you? Who really owns the content that you are spending your precious time creating? Would a simple shift of priorities feel better to you? I will continue pondering these questions and integrating the lessons I’ve learned through this experience. If we have previously connected over Instagram, I can’t wait to connect with you in new (and hopefully even more meaningful) ways in the days to come!