When the rules aren't working... create your own GAME
Welcome to lesson #3 in my 4-part series on power.
It's been a fun few weeks getting down to the business of living your most powerful life, and with the 2017 political landscape as it is, there's truly no time to waste.
So let's get to it.
WHEN THE RULES AREN'T WORKING... CREATE YOUR OWN GAME.
In the last couple of months, you may have noticed that my blogging style has changed.
In my emails especially, I've basically gone from this:
And it was completely intentional.
I'll tell you why.
In the business of blogging — when building your following is the name of the game — being yourself can be an odd challenge.
You might think you're being yourself, but it's actually the perfectly well "positioned" version you want the world to see (and follow).
Now, there's nothing wrong with brand positioning. It's vital for businesses to control their image in order to keep customers feeling safe — we wouldn't buy from them otherwise.
But when your business is the business of being one's self, when your mission is to empower people to be more of their unrestricted, authentic selves, it would be hypocrisy to then blog in a controlled, "positioned" fashion.
Which is why I had to call bullshit on myself this past December.
Not in a smelly, "oh my God you're such a phony" way.
But in a, "girl, you are WAY too cool to be withholding all those ballsy opinions and funny memes" kind of way.
And because likability is conditional, there's rules attached.
Share yourself, yes, but don't overshare. Don't post anything that might alienate followers, because your followers are your power.
It's true. More followers does equal more power.
Yet this game of acquiring followers can actually make you feel powerless, because there's always the threat of punishment if you fail to meet a follower's conditions.
Take Instagram, for example, where #unfollowed has never been so prevalent in the comments section.
I saw a famous blogger post a photo of President Obama thanking him for his service, when a follower commented that she was considering buying the blogger's coaching program, but because she now knows the blogger's true political stance, she will never buy from — or follow — her again.
You wanna know what the famous blogger commented back?
She didn't defend or apologize, she simply owned who she was in a succinct yet profound way. (The angry follower then deleted her threatening comment.)
As powerful as this moment was though, let's be real for a second, because this sort of thing is currently happening WAYYYY more frequently in reverse.
Anyone who does anything remotely in favor of Lord Voldemort is gonna get major backlash from Dumbledore's Army on social media.
I've done it myself (#nothanks #nordstrom) and I'll continue to do it again because our social media accounts are very real weapons of influence on people or companies who depend on popularity for profit.
But whether that's right or wrong isn't the point of this post.
My point is that threats like #unfollowed are simply a consequence of the game of "being liked." A game in which "winning" will always be handcuffed to the terms and conditions of other people. (This is true no matter what side of the political battleground you're on.)
To sever this dependency, to be free to play by your own rules and get what you want, you've gotta start playing your own game.
Take the famous blogger again for example. She "won" that interaction with the angry follower because her game isn't about being liked.
(And she has hundreds of thousands of followers who LOVE her for it.)
The same goes for 9gag, fuckjerry and The Fat Jewish. None of them care AT ALL what anyone thinks, yet they each have 36.8, 11.2, and 9.5 million followers, respectively. Proof that while you may find some of their posts offensive, you still follow them anyway.
And while we're on the subject of "you follow them anyway," lest I mention the Kardashians?
An anomaly — given that they're actually quite hated by the millions of people who follow and "like" their posts — they make no apologies for their behavior. But they don't have to. It's not a part of their game.
Their game is about being public; being seen. And because of this, we keep watching.
I say "we" of course, but I haven't followed that shit since Khloé and Kourtney took Miami. Their game doesn't serve me, so it's not what I give my energy to.
Rather than have your energy get spun round and round, you can choose to redirect it so that it serves you. So that you have the power to get what you want. What you need.
I'm also very careful about my energy, because if the political craziness of the first two months of 2017 has taught me anything, it's that one's energy can be unknowingly harnessed to accomplish other people's agendas; other people's games.
I know it may sound abstract, but when you feel like you’re losing at something, when you're working really hard and yet it all feels "wrong," it's often a sign that something actually is wrong. The game you’re playing!
By game I mean the means to which you’re trying to achieve an end goal. A destination. A reward.
And though the latter doesn't have to change, the way you get there can.
You can gain followers and not compromise your identity.
You can protest the current administration and not feed into its paralyzing anxiety.
You can do whatever it is you wanna to do and not suffer how others say you must suffer.
Because when you play your own game, you automatically give yourself the power to be the exception — not the rule.
So go be a game changer, and start creating a new #winning reality.
2017 already needs so much more of it...
Thumbnail image via: Tumblr