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I was shocked by the responses I got the last time I did an “ask me anything” on Instagram. And now that it’s been brought to my attention, I’m asked this in SO many conversations with new bloggers and small business owners.
You aren’t looking for ways to beat the algorithm or what app to use to filter your photos (even though that information is valuable & important).
You are looking for an answer and a solution to the fear and discomfort that comes with putting yourself, your life and your face out on Instagram stories.
I’ve always been an “over sharer.” I will talk to you about anything and everything, like the fact my husband and I met on a double date. That said, when I first started sharing on Instagram stories, I dreaded showing my face & talking into my phone. As soon as I started recording to take a story or a video, I would act all stiff and weird. I would sound rehearsed and robotic, which is NOT me at all!
You can’t sugar coat it. There isn’t anything comfortable about sharing your life on social media (at least at first). It’s awkward. All these fears and doubts creep into your mind.
Instagram made me feel like everyone else’s lives were so much more entertaining than mine. It also made me feel like everyone had more money than me. Like, how do these girls buy 12 new outfits every single day??? And some of their shoe collections are worth more than my house! All of this, in combination with pure self doubt, made me:
- Compare myself to “influencers” on social media
- Discredit my talents, skills and abilities
- Worry what other people think (especially people I know IRL)
- Fear judgment from others about my passions/opinions etc.
- Think my life is boring & unworthy of being shared
These things would flood through my brain every single time I opened up the app. I thought to myself, “Do I really have to share my life? Do people really care what I have to say?” The answer is YES. Stories the very best way to deeply connect with your audience on a personal, unfiltered level.
To create authentic, in the moment stories for your audience, you have to get over your pesky mind blocks.
I recently read the book Unf*ck Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life, and it couldn’t have been a more timely read as I write this post. The author, Gary Bishop, talks about thoughts vs. action and how action (not thought) is what TRULY dictates our life. I loved this fresh approach to tackling the brain’s fearful thoughts.
Bishop has an entire chapter explaining that our thoughts are NOT our lives. Our actions are our lives. Truth is, you may never get over the mind blocks listed above. You may never get comfortable hopping on a story with no makeup. But here’s my advice to you….
Jump on stories. Go live anyways. Be scared shitless, but DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. If you want to build a community, if you want to grow your brand and connect, if you want to form REAL relationships, you have to be YOU and you have to SHARE you. Instagram stories is the perfect place for that.
So there you have it… The best way to get over your fear of doing Instagram stories is doing Instagram stories.
Being You is Your Superpower
I am firm believer that YOU make your business and your social media unique. There are millions of home decor accounts, interior designers, and lifestyle bloggers out there, but none of them are YOU.
Being YOU is your superpower. If you don’t show YOU on your social media than you are leaving so much differentiation on the table! People follow people. Yes, they might start following for the home decor, but they will stay for the person behind it. They will stay for the hands that choose and place every color, textile, and piece of furniture. I promise you.
Here’s How I Got Over Showing my Face on Instagram Stories
I eventually got over my fear of doing stories by doing stories. I would feel the anxiety and nerves in my stomach, but I would push through & press “post” anyways. I still get SUPER nervous when I do an Instagram Live. I take deep breaths & drink water beforehand to calm my jitters.
I’m still weird about taking photos for my Instagram feed that have me in them, but I’m starting to do it more and more. With more experiences comes more comfort and confidence! I’m still awkward in front of the camera, but that’s okay! I’m pushing through & it’s paying off. Practice makes perfect(ish) and that’s all we need for social media!
Remember Your WHY
It’s easy to let fear win. I can’t tell you how many Instagram stories I’ve taken, watched and then deleted. I used to do this with feed posts, too! Now, I press publish with confidence, unwavered by the “crowd’s” response because I know my why. Do you know yours?
Your “why” is the reason you show up on the platform day in and day out. The reason you pour hours of time, energy & talent into your Instagram content.
For me, I share things that happen in my life because I want other women to know they aren’t alone. Their past does NOT define their present or their future. I believe that sharing the intricacies of my struggles and dreams gives other women hope, motivation and inspiration.
This quote right here get’s at the very root of my why, “Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for that one person.” That’s all it takes. Getting an Instagram DM from someone saying thank you, I needed to hear that today is my WHY. It’s more than enough to fuel my passion and desire to keep sharing my vulnerability with you.
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What is the Right Amount to Share?
We all have our own beliefs and morals on what is the right amount to share on social media. I’m not telling you that you need to write a novel about how you struggled through childhood and early adulthood like I did, but if you want to, and you have in inkling that it might change lives for the better, then march through the fear and do it.
I know tons of mommy bloggers who don’t show the faces of their children and tons of mommy bloggers that post photos of their children even single day on their feed and in stories. There is nothing wrong with either! It’s up to you to decide what feels right for you and your family.
So Here’s the Deal…
I’m really sorry if this feels like tough love, but the only way to get over the fear of being vulnerable & putting yourself out there on Instagram stories is to feel the fear, embrace it, remember your why & POST STORIES ANYWAYS. It might be awkward at first, but with a little (or should I say a lot) of practice, you will be an Instagram story natural! We all start as beginners and the longer you put off getting started with Instagram stories, the longer you have to stay in that beginner stage. So, let’s get started RIGHT NOW!
Tag me in an Instagram story if this post inspired you to share more raw, in the moment Instagram stories!
Lastly, I want to leave you with an amazing book on vulnerability because it really does go hand in hand with what we are talking about right now! This book is one of my all time favorites. I could read it again & again. It’s a must read & I don’t say that lightly!