Well, it’s officially been three whole months since I quit social media.
(Honestly, best three months of the last decade of my life.) It seems like the time has both flown by and slowed. In a weird, good way.
Looking at it through a very different lens these days, I am way more conscious of how fast-paced social media really is. Everything is about now, but then it’s almost instantly already *poof* gone, yesterday, never to be seen again, and how do you not already know about this next thing? I mean, no wonder it feels so fucking exhausting all the time.
Life without social media is still quick. I mean, I don’t live under a rock, and I still use the internet at large. But it’s quick on my terms, leisurely in the same way. I feel like I can be more present to live in real time, not so much in future or past.
I have a lot of love for presence, even if I’m still struggling to stay rooted in it daily. And that exact thing is actually one of my very favorite things about presence – it’s a practice. A lifelong one, I’m learning. But a really cool, layered practice that allows for cultivation of other, purposeful practices too.
For instance, during this time, with presence in mind, I’ve been shifting a lot of my time and focus to networking and relationship building. There’s a business growth intention behind that, of course. But for me, a lot of it is about connecting with people live, growing my local community in meaningful ways, just being able to talk to other humans in addition to my dog and cat (who, blessedly, is very vocal and does talk back to me most of the time). This practice, for me, is infinitely better in infinite ways than
wasting spending three hours a day on social media in some form or fashion.
Part of what I’m doing for networking is spending a good bit of time on LinkedIn. (So much untapped potential, my professionally minded friends. Ask me about it.) I post daily, Monday through Friday, varying my posts from sharing useful articles, testimonials, blogs, asks, and sometimes, original posts.
I try to mix it up and keep it fresh, and earlier this week, I realized I hadn’t posted something original in several weeks, so I thought I’d do that. I scrolled my phone for some photo inspiration to use, picked something, and promptly stared at a blinking cursor for five minutes. I realized another thing:
I’m out of practice.
I haven’t written a social media style post in three months, and I’m totally out of practice in that particular manner of writing. And when I realized that, I also realized how glad I am to be out of practice at it. How great it is to be out of practice at this thing. Because giving up my practice of writing social media posts has allowed me to sharpen my skills in other things that are more aligned with what I want to do and how I want to live right now.
In writing, I’ve been working on more long form blogs and emails, shorter pitches, quick intros to other pieces, totally different styles than social media. In speaking and connecting, I’ve been talking to a ton of people, getting comfortable and confident with how I’m introducing and sharing about myself and what I do, sharing my expertise guesting on podcasts nearly every week. In life, I’m getting much better at being present, staying in tune with myself and my needs and those of the people most important to me, taking breaks, and generally enjoying things I actually enjoy.
Basically, by letting myself get out of practice in one area, I’m getting in practice with the stuff that really matters to me and makes a meaningful difference in my life.
Because really, we only have so much capacity for practice, right? Sure, we can do a lot of things, but do we want that? Does it help? Sometimes it takes a break from even one or two of those things to realize just how much time and energy it takes to become skilled or fulfilled at something. And in that same break, we can often discover whether it’s a skill or practice we want or need to have at all.
That’s an important question, one we often skip over:
What do you really want and need to practice?
Do you want to cultivate a yoga practice? Or are you happy taking your dog for walks three times a day?
Do you need to become skilled at SEO? Or is your time better spent elsewhere in your business, and your money well spent hiring an SEO expert?
Do you want to change your morning routine? Or are you actually OK with the natural flow of things?
Do you need to get good at writing social media posts? Or would it feel a little better to be more casual with them, or not post at all?
(Side note: I love yes or no questions to start to clarify bigger, broader questions like, “What do I want?” It’s easier to warm up with those and then and drill down with more open-ended follow-ups, and it’s a method that really works with my coaching clients.)
I hear from clients all the time that they want to start a practice of [insert whatever here] in order to feel better or achieve more or be more fulfilled or [insert whatever goal here]. Then, they end up layering all kinds of stuff on top of stuff, complicating the practice picture, spreading themselves thin, getting underfocused and overwhelmed. It’s no wonder they’re never quite able to devote a significant amount of time or energy to any one practice that would really make a difference.
Too many practices, or practices that don’t matter to you, don’t increase your skill or your joy.
So often, it seems like we always need to be self-improving by adding practices, that doing more is the best way to go about it. I’d argue the exact opposite – subtracting practices that don’t bolster your personal self-improvement will actually support it better.
I honestly never thought I’d be a person who was cool with being so out of practice at something I was once very good at. (Though, surprisingly, the same could be said about running too – I’m hella out of practice at that and totally fine with it.) Turns out, though, it’s a huge gift. Being out of practice at writing social media posts means I’m getting really good at other, more relevant and encouraging stuff – including practicing presence – which is benefiting me in a million ways.
I know that’s an uncomfortable thing to even consider – getting out of practice at something on purpose. But consider this too: it’ll allow you to get in practice with purpose.
We talk about cultivating practices all the time, but maybe we need to start talking instead about the practices we need to abandon.
So think about it: What practice can you get out of on purpose starting today?
Maybe it won’t be so bad to not be good at something that doesn’t really matter that much to you anyway.
For weekly reminders of how to cultivate practices that make a difference for you, sign up for emails. And if you’re ready to get even clearer on your wants and needs, let’s hop on the phone (schedule a call directly below!) or email me to talk about 1-1 coaching.