UncategorizedSoul-Pondering Saturdays: Self-worth November 16, 2013 The purpose of Soul Pondering Saturdays is to shine light, share heart stories, and very literally, make known what the soul ponders. My hope is that after a busy week, you’ll take a moment to sit down with a good cup of coffee to let your soul rest and ponder. Something that has been on my heart for a while is the idea of self-worth. Where do we find it? Where does our worth actually lie? For me, I thought that I had this covered. I know in my head that my worth does not lie in my life as a blogger. Blogging is what I do, but not who I am. I know this. I’ve preached it to myself again and again. But lately, my heart has begun to believe that lie. In today’s internet world focused on fame and status, our worth is defined by our number of Facebook friends, Instagram followers, re-tweets, shares, the list goes on and on. But as a blogger, our literal worth to brands and others often depends on those things. If we are pouring our heart out to the world every day on our blog, we want to see our numbers rise because if our numbers don’t rise, then we believe the lie that what we said isn’t connecting with anyone. No one cares. We don’t matter. Before I started this new brand, I was obsessed with blog growth. Why isn’t mine growing as much as I want? How do I do it? Does no one hear me shouting out into the universe begging to be known? I knew, and told myself time and again, that if I just became a bigger blogger, this craving would be gone. People would care and I would know this because I had what the world might consider a significant amount of followers. If I could just get there, I would stop striving because I made it. Then I started the new brand and went to a few conferences and made some helpful connections. And things changed. I started to see growth. More people commented. More people followed. More people were shouting, I was starting to get what I’d been striving for! I have in no means “made it” and I’m not sure that I even believe in that term anymore. But I was seeing results. My followers increased daily and I was happy. What took me a few weeks to realize, though, was that my happiness and even my joy had started to depend solely on my numbers. As a blogger, our “numbers” are often seen as a direct representation of whether or not we matter in this blogging world. I found myself checking my Instagram followers fifteen times a day and jumping for joy when they’d increased a little each time. For weeks, this steady rise continued and then the unthinkable happened. Someone unfollowed me. Out of the hundreds of new followers, one unfollowed. Happiness gone. Joy dashed. Self-worth as a legit blogger destroyed. Someone doesn’t like me. Someone doesn’t care. That one “unfollow” was the first of several that steadily come in every few days now. And it hit me, the more followers you have, the more you have to lose and the more pressure you put on yourself to try and keep them. I became obsessed, without even realizing it, with why people unfollowed. What I didn’t process at the time was that my “unfollowers” were small in relation to new followers. I didn’t process that, nor did I care. I went to the Allume Conference back in October with this baggage. I was happy with my new blog and the growth I’d seen, but I was carrying around this pressure to keep improving, keep doing more, and keep working so that people would stop unfollowing. On the first night, Ann Voskamp spoke and it changed my entire perspective. It hit me that I was trying to be everything to everyone and that just isn’t possible. I realized that my entire self-worth was no longer in God and who I am as His child, but in my beloved White Buffalo. When people liked me, I was on top of the world. When someone didn’t, it was a personal attack and I was in the depths of despair. She said something that changed my life and that I have been preaching to myself ever since. She said that we have a deep, God-given desire to be known. We need to know that we matter. And we seek to be “known” by the world. I know I was seeking that with my blog. But what we often forget is that we don’t need to matter to anyone else because we are already KNOWN by God. He has chosen and appointed us. He has always and will always know us. I felt like a weight that had been pulling on my heart burst free and flew away. I immediately took a deep breath and felt light for the first time in weeks. He knows me. And it does not matter if one other person ever does because For me, this knowledge is life-changing and freedom-giving. But I’ve realized that we also have to be careful with this. Letting go of followers or success, however you define it, is wonderful. But that doesn’t mean that we stop being good stewards of opportunities we’ve been given. Our blogs, or businesses, or families, or whatever is in your life are gifts and callings given to us by the One who knows us. We have to let go of the craving to be known by the world, but not stop working toward our calling. I am still processing that every single day as I hack my way through this beautiful, but dense blogging jungle. But what I do know is that I have to be faithful. I had the idea for this Soul Ponderings series for a while now, but had been fighting it. I thought, this is a style blog and if I talk more about faith and inspiration, more people will unfollow. And you know what? That’s completely true. But I can’t worry about that. Does that fact make me sad? Absolutely. Does my human nature tell me that I should do everything within my power to keep every reader here? Of course. But my calling is bigger than that. And in the end, I will not be answering to those who unfollowed. I will be answering to the One who knows me and who has called me according to HIS purpose, not my own. Thanks for joining me as I try to blog about style, but also BLOG WITH PURPOSE. Okay, ladies, I would love to hear your reactions. My goal with soul ponderings is to merely start a conversation that we can continue through comments and e-mails. Do you struggle with finding your self-worth in something other than where it should be? Do you have advice for conquering that?