Self Doubt & Instagram: 5 Simple Steps To Keepin' It Real

Falling prey to self doubt is a slippery slope in this digital world we live in. I'll be the first to say that I trip and stumble on doubt more often than I'd like to admit in my relationships with my friends, my family, my business, my art and yes, with even with my Instagram account.

If you don't have an Instagram account, or if you've never used it to showcase your art or build your business - you may not relate to this post.  But then again, maybe you will?  Have you ever struggled with the feelings of not being enough or not knowing the right steps to take?  I'll bring it on home in the end - keep reading for more... 

lindynwilliams.com

I keep my Instagram account as up to date and consistent as possible with the hope that if I say the right thing, and post the right photos, that it will garner me a huge following, thousands of likes and hundreds of engaged commenters. 

Seems silly right?  

To leave a something as big as self worth and confidence in my business up to "chance" and the Instagram algorithms IS silly. Not to mention the amount of paid services out there that are created to post nonspecific comments on our behalf so people don't ACTUALLY have to engage with real humans anymore.  (Anyone else tired of the "Want more followers? DM me today!" garbage?)

Growing an engaged following is a big deal because a) there are currently 600 million active users on Instagram so you are bound to find your people and lots of them and b) creating our space as an authority in our niches could lead to some pretty amazing opportunities within our community and worldwide - like getting paid to travel, or free clothing and gifts or getting paid to post shoutouts to other accounts.  There are  countless other positives to building an Instagram following but today I want to address the self doubt that happens in so many of us as we put ourselves out there online - especially as creatives.

What truly gets self doubt all riled up is the comparison to other accounts, other artists, other parents, and other people who seem to have it all figured out.  We often forget these are the highlight reels from their lives because no one wants to actually say they are going through marital issues or breakups because, online, they are one big happy family!! Right?  Or that they may be struggling to find clients because, online, they look smokin' busy and completely booked up! We all have our own daily struggles and triumphs - and it doesn't mean we should be divulging every last detail of the bad stuff - it just means that to remain real and relatable, we may have to explore your story and put it out there.
 
It's a tough facade to keep up once you get going. Which means creating authenticity and trust online is a lot harder than it used to be especially if you are like me, and put way to much effort into creating real posts.
I love to connect with other artists and people online, as opposed to collecting more and more nameless followers to the daily tally and I especially hate the feeling that I need to sell out and conform to generic comments and "follow for follow's" JUST to get people to see my content.  We need to know that we definitely don't have to and in a way, its a disservice to those who do relate to us.

We are more than enough, and as mentioned above - with 600 million active users on Instagram alone, we're bound to make an impression - we just need to be patient and do our work.   Keep showing up and growing as human beings.  It's not about us.
 

Just so we're all clear - the amount of followers, likes and comments you receive are in no direct reflection of who you are, what you do, or how successful you will be.

Here are 5 simple steps to keepin' it real AND still grow your online community via Instagram:,

Step 1) Continue being you, and show up consistently. Use scheduling programs like Later.com to eliviate staring at your phone, wondering what to write every day. Treat your social media like a task at work, but with personality and feeling. Plus - your family will appreciate your attention!

Step 2) Share real, relatable content! Doesn't have to be the worst parts of your life, but sharing lessons or experiences through your story is so powerful in creating meaningful connections.

Step 3) Continue to post what you love regardless if someone double tapped it or not. Don't get caught up in the analytics!! (speaking from experience :P)

Step 4) Do the work, and return to the reason you started sharing in the first place. (It probably wasn't to gain uninterested followers just to get your numbers up)

Step 5) Comment on other posts from other accounts who you love. Be original! Simply saying "nice post!" or "awesome shot!" makes you seem like a robot. Be specific and explain what you relate to or really love about what they are showing. Bonus points if you directly tag them in your comment too!

Above all: Just keep going.

There are always new tips and tricks to learn when marketing your work and ourselves online, but what I know to be true is people want to connect with people.  Its a human instinct to want to find people you match with - so by showing up as you, and me, we can create some pretty powerful connections regardless of where we live in the world.  

Numbers are just numbers - but real support is hard to come by.  Don't let self doubt get in the way of you doing you.
 

xo,
L


You may or may not relate to this post, but there will be others to follow regarding all things I deal with on a daily basis. My world is always changing, but my core feelings remain the same. Add yourself to my email list below to receive more about staying true to you on Instagram and through marketing, nurturing ourselves and our relationships, trials and celebrations to building a business and how to remain as sane as possible through it all. 




 
 

[Personal Post] The Emotional Blueprint To Building Our Own Home

AND WE'RE IN!!
[Nov 21] - We have been living in our new home officially for the past 3 weeks and wow - what a journey it has been...!
This is a post I wrote two months ago while I was right in the thick of it all emotionally but not quite ready to share. I wanted to write it to open the conversations for others in similar situations to mine, or others who are going through big changes. You might find it helpful, or maybe you might be able to relate on another level.. either way - thanks for being here with me.  xo, L

PS. these gorgeous photos were taken by Jeni Stafford in our own "morning-in-the-life"  photography session.  I wanted to be able to remember these days for years to come and photographs are the best way to help those memories stay vivid in our minds.  It was such a pleasure to have Jeni capturing our real life antics!! These photos made me smile and I feel even more thankful for what we have now.


[Sept 6] Building a home we thoughtfully designed and watching it erect from a pile of dirt is pretty incredible.  I am in awe of what we have already accomplished and I know our view of the ocean is one I will never get tired of. (I KNOW! a view!!)  With the kids growing up faster than I can even process, and Riley and I managing to find new ways push each other's buttons every day...

**cough** lighting decisions?! siding colours?! who's turn to bathe the kids in the tiny shower!? Where are all the clean clothes?? **sigh**

...I'm definitely feeling the constant push and pull of life in limbo.

And it's hard.
And it's amazing.  
And it's super difficult to explain how I feel day to day, but here goes.

167A5719 4x6 print.jpg

Taking on this project for our family and our future definitely came at an emotional price and, at times it felt like a pretty hefty toll.

"What was it like?" I asked numerous wives and women who have gone through their own home building projects before me.
"How did you get a long with your partner?"
"Did you have a hard time making decisions?"
"What was the most stressful part?"
"What was the best part?"
"What would you do differently?"
"How did you manage to remain sane with the kids running around a dangerous job site??"
"How did you remain sane at all??"

I asked over and over and got a wide range of answers, from positive to negative. But mostly, they said to enjoy the process, don't sweat the little things, and to be prepared to be on my own a lot more.  Which seemed all fine and good! I can do that!

What I didn't ask was...

"How did you feel when your relationships changed because you no longer had extra time and attention to put towards them?"
"How did taking on such a full time commitment effect your ability to work through disappointment from others?"  
"How did you manage your own expectations of your family, friends, and work?"
"How did you feel when you had to turn down invitations for camping weekends away, or a casual barbecues on a Saturday afternoons because you had a house to build?"
 "How did you work through your own feelings of doubt and, perhaps, incompetence at times?  

But guess what?

There are no pre-drawn out blueprints or plans to all of this.  If there was a guide on how to handle these changes and my emotions - I would've paid big bucks for it!  I could've asked a million more questions but in the end, there are no right answers.  Trust me, my practical brain has been quite disappointed with the lack of clear answers for anything these days! 

The hardest part about building our beautiful home - has nothing to do with building our home and everything to do with the expectations I have for myself and for others in my life.  I totally understand why some couples and partnerships crumble under the pressures put on each other during construction.  There is an immense amount of understanding and trust needed in order to keep pushing forward every day and the mental strength that it takes to do so often feels overwhelming.

I love the days when everything falls into place effortlessly, and I wince at the days when it feels like nothing is going right and the problems just keep piling up.. But these days are short - and it won't be like this forever. 
Remaining positive and being around those who lift me up has been my saving grace when I have not been able to do it myself.   Maybe it was the house build? Or maybe its just the time in my life when shit like this happens? I don't know for sure.. What I do know for sure is my eyes are open and my tunnel vision has widened.

To end this post, I have to say how grateful and impressed I am with my partner in crime and his crazy attention to detail. He makes building a house seem so easy!  Also, how thankful I am to have the support I have from friends and family close to us, and how privileged we are to be able to say we built this with our own two hands and with the hands of many talented tradespeople.  We did it! And I believe we're better people for it.  
To say I've learned a lot is kind of an understatement.  Thankfully, this year especially, I began to trust in the timing of it all and realize that nothing happens by chance. 

Advice to those on a similar journey, or a journey of major change - TRUST yourself, enjoy the process, allow yourself to feel the highs and lows, and remember why you started in the first place.  You've got all the answers you need.

  
xo,
L




 

Wholehearted Women: Georgia


Sometimes this self-care ride can be overwhelming.. YES, incredibly rewarding - but at the same time, there are SO many unanswered questions coming your way via friends, support groups, books, podcasts, coaches etc.. It can leave you feeling like you wish you never started to begin with sometimes.
 
Where are you going?
What are your intentions for the day?
How can you live a more whole life?
Why are you here?
What is your purpose?
If not now, when?
What are you doing today that you need to stop doing?
How many breaks have you taken just for you today?
Have you let go of what no longer serves you?
What is blocking your path?
Remember those intentions you just set?
Have you fueled your body today?
Don't forget to breathe!


Breathe.

All of these questions are so important for moving forward and owning your life the way that serves you best - but its almost impossible to answer them all in one fell swoop.  So.. What do we do when that overwhelm sets in? 

Breathe.

Breathe and let go of your own expectations of what self care "should" look like and allow yourself to relax... seriously.. you can take a nap if you want! There are no rules!!


One of the most important things Georgia has shared with me in the past 10+ years of our friendship is the importance of finding your breath - and allowing yourself to fuel your whole body with it - especially to calm an overactive mind.

I am so thankful to have simple tools that Georgia has taught me to pass on to my clients for their sessions.  It becomes more about presence and play, and allowing ourselves to let go of the anxious thoughts that might usually accompany a photography session.

After reading through Georgia's questionnaire, it was clear to me that this girl needed some celebration in her life.  And not just celebration in general, but allowing JOY to resonate through her with play, movement and just being silly!  Blustery chilly weather and ice cold yoga toes couldn't keep us from laughing through her whole session.  This is a form of self care I don't think enough of us women take time for. 

Laugh, breathe, play, relax, repeat.

and then breathe some more.

xo,
Lindyn


PS> To learn more about Georgia's journey and to follow easy daily intention check ins, simple yet effective yoga flows and breathing techniques - I highly suggest you give this girl a follow on Instagram or Facebook.  (I know you're on there anyway, avoiding answering all those questions at the start of this post... like me... right? ;)

And if any of what you have read resonates with you - please feel free to comment, like and share this post with your own online communities.  You can follow my own Wholehearted journey on Instagram or Facebook as well. 

Wholehearted Business: La Petite Souris Chocolate

When you think of the top 10 things that make you instantly happy, how high does chocolate make it on the list?  

Like - REALLY GOOD chocolate.. the kind that satisfies all your senses at once - that can take you out of that funk just by breaking off a piece and letting it melt in your mouth.  The kind that can surprise you with its underlying flavours and aromas. Mmmmmm....

WELL! This just so happens to be the kind that La Petite Souris Chocolate creates daily!  

The self care trend is catching on quickly (thank goodness!), and most people may instantly think of expensive vacations, or spa visits that will do the trick - but did you ever think that the simple pleasures of chocolate could hold the cure?  

Something that really intrigued me about Amber and La Petite Souris was her passion to create amazing chocolate that soothes the soul.  I have been gifted a few of her beautifully packaged treats in the last few months and can honestly say I instantly felt happier once I ate them... OK - I felt a little less happy when I couldn't stop myself from devouring the entire box.. LOL!! but you know what I mean. ;) 

What if chocolate was clinically proven to cure most of our Monday blues, or Tuesday overwhelm, or the midweek Wednesday slump...  See where this is going? :P And what if we had to follow strict prescriptions for these everyday ailments?? 
I know I'd wait 2 hours at that appointment for sure!!  (as long as there were free samples in the waiting room of course ;)

I am really looking forward to seeing the new website and vision come to life for La Petite Souris! Thank you Amber and her gorgeous staff for playing with me and embodying the vision completely.  Take a peek and let us know how you feel about the look!

You can find La Petite Souris Chocolate at 4-626 Shaw Road, Gibsons, BC. 
Check them out on Facebook and Instagram too!

PS> Thank you to Sabrina Samy from Shy Beauty for the beautifying!! 
 

20160306_LPS_lifestyle-8.jpg

Lindyn Williams: Wholehearted Photography Launch Day!!

ITS LAUNCH DAY!!!

... and I am definitely jumping for joy!

My intention for myself through this online launch is to recognize how far I've come in such a short amount of time.  It would only be possible with the support of those who have been on board with me from the beginning, but also to the new support system that is growing with numerous people across the globe.  (Thank you internet!!)  I also wanted to "officially" introduce myself to the photography and entrepreneur worlds.  I have been building my foundation in the backgrounds for a few years, and now I am ready to show what I offer!

So here I am!

In a nutshell, I am a 28 year old mother of two amazing children who are constantly testing my limits, the "wife" to the hardest working yet most particular guy I know, and a woman with a dream of helping others grow themselves, their relationships and their businesses authentically through unique experiences and soul capturing imagery.

I look forward to where this journey will take me, and Im so happy you stopped in to take a look!  

Click around, read, laugh, scan, view - and send me a note if you resonate with anything you see! I love connecting with like minded individuals and fellow photographers too! Also make sure you scroll to the bottom and add your name to my email list to stay in touch with me and any offers or new experiences I have to share :)

** LAUNCH OFFER! **  click to my Women in Business page to see my new Wholehearted Session built for the entrepreneur woman!  I am offering this session at a discounted price until the end of the month and I would love to chat more with you about it to see if it would be a great fit for you and your business.  :)

Please also share with anyone you feel might also love what I am offering!  My business is built strong with referrals and I greatly appreciate every one.

Im going to go shower now.. HAHA!! life of a Mompreneur, amiright? :P

xo
Lindyn

Wholehearted Business: Libre Tea

I had the absolute pleasure of collaborating creatively with Libre Tea for their first Wholehearted Business session!

What is Libre Tea?!

The short answer being - just about the most amazing tea glasses that I have ever used!  

Technically, the idea behind them is for loose leaf tea on the go - and it definitely works wonders for this purpose.  But personally, I have found so many more uses for it!

I love to put fresh fruit with water in mine, or fresh pressed juices (without the pulp getting in my way) - and NOW they have just come out with a MatchaGo cup for Matcha Tea!! 
(lol! can you feel my excitement?! - Im a newbie Matcha drinker, but so far I LOVE it.

Take a peek at their website, on Facebook  or Instagram to see tons of great uses, videos, and ways to connect to the Libre Tea community for your own #teamoments :)

For this session, we needed to encompass and capture the lifestyle of Libre Tea. 
As some of you may know, the weather on the west coast of BC is very unpredictable in February, so the day before our scheduled shoot (which called for torrential rains) - it was bright, and beautiful and WARM so we had to go for it - we rescheduled the session on a whim to capture that warmth and sun.  Thank goodness we did, the next day was black, dark and wet out :(!

Id like to send a HUGE thank you to our models and Libre Tea lifestyle followers: Georgia Cyr (Blissful Yoga) and Shayla, Chris and the kids !  You guys made this so easy for me as all I needed to do was capture you, being yourselves.  

And I also have to add - I don't think I've ever seen a more manly way to drink tea! Chris, you may be starting a new trend... !!

But really, I think its safe to say, the kiddos stole the show completely. Especially when little H decided to test out the durability on the rocks! (very durable, for the record.. lol!)

And another big thank you to Wendy Weir and Violette Alaouze for allowing me to capture the Libre Life!  Looking forward to our next session :)

I will leave you with this gorgeous sunset at the end of our session, on a fabulous February day on the Sunshine Coast! .. (you guys remember the sun, right?)

We really are living the dream over here :)



Behind the Scenes video: Wholehearted Business

I had the privilege of having my good friends, Kaylyn and Sean McLachlan from Mclachlan Studios, come along with me to one of my recent Wholehearted Business shoots.  We are working together to create a visual story about what I offer, and what that might look like for someone interested in going through their own Wholehearted Experience.

Take a peek at the video below!!

Here are a few of my favourite images from Sayata Gabriel's shoot for her company: Anansi Solutions.  She specializes in providing support for small business owners to feel more comfortable with their online presence through writing, and offers her services for content creation, management and upkeep for your websites and social media as well.  Check her out HERE

Week 30: colouring outside the lines

Written 1 week ago via Instagram:
Check it here!


When?

When is the last time you created something and didn't change your mind at the end of it or even half way thru..

When is the last time you didn't second guess your artistic decisions, or doubt your own abilities.

When is the last time you took a photo, painted a canvas, sketched a drawing, or built something from nothing— without a specific end result in mind or a good idea as to who would appreciate it the most (or hate it the most?)...

When is the last time you created from your heart- like a child learning to colour and craft. Staying outside the lines, mixing what ever colours moved you in that moment...

I can't tell you the last time I did that. 


Today I tried something- doubted myself- told myself "you've taken this picture already" and put myself down for not being more creative. 

Trust is my focus word for 2016. And I guess the best place to start would be with me...

Week 29: Don't leave your life choices to your hairstylist...

...because that is just waaaaay too much pressure for a 2 hour hair appointment! ;) lol!

read on...

Week 29 of 52...  New hair, new lease on life.  right?  

A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.
— Coco Chanel

I've cut my hair dramatically quite a number of times, does that mean Ive changed my life just as many times? 
...Possibly. 
But Im not one to leave big decisions such as changing my life to my hair stylist - even though, she's never steered me wrong yet!

Maybe I am changing my life - but change can be a scary word for some - even me.  I don't necessarily love change, because with change comes uncertainty, and with uncertainty comes doubt, and doubt is the killer of moving forward. 
...not really the ideal thought process.

So instead, I am a believer in choices and timing.

The right timing.  Not forced timing.

Trusting in my choices and not worrying about the "what if's" but instead, being curious about my options and letting my natural internal reactions of yes or no lead the way.  Its a powerful tool that has lead me places I would never have dared go before.

The "Expansion and Contraction" method - as explained by my friend Leah Goard is, essentially, allowing yourself to get crystal clear on your top two options for any decision, and then allowing those options to sit within you and see how you feel.  Does one make you feel instantly tense, or does it allow your breath to return to normal?  Maybe one option makes you feel giddy and excited, or does it suck all the joy from your being? 
Taking time to make decisions is ok - and should probably be practiced more often than we think.  

**Updated! see link below for video**

Click this link to see Leah's PowherTalk!

Don't get me wrong - I struggle with this "new way" of thinking daily. It's way easier to just do what I have always done and stay in a non-decision mode - or, better yet- stew in my thought process until the very last moment and then blurt out my response... both are not really that effective.

But trusting is believing, and then seeing the result of my own trust is proof enough to keep doing it.  Even when it SUCKS big time.  
(Anyone else want to quit this whole being an adult thing sometimes??)

So this month I am putting every ounce of trust into how I feel and allowing my inner decision maker to help guide my way.  It means I need to say no to some people who I may not have normally, and it means I need to believe in what I am working on, and keep pushing forward.  All with as much grace as I can muster :)  

I encourage you to do the same.  

And make sure to practice Leah's method for decisions, even on the small ones like- "what do I want to eat" or - "what do I feel like wearing" lol.. it actually works.  And later - when the big ones come along, you'll be ready and waiting :)


xo,
Lindyn


PS. I had way too much fun taking these self portraits last week.  You can view the rest of them here: http://lindynwilliams.pass.us/20151202sppweek29

PPS- If you're local to the Sunshine Coast - my stylist, Karyn Swanson, works out of Hair Matters in Sechelt!  Don't wait to call because she's usually booked solid a month in advance.. Tell her I sent you ;) also - **disclosure** I did my own hair for this shoot... the cut and colour are all her though ;)

Self Portraits: Week 28

Fern Friends • Beauty • Self love

Week 28 could have been one of those "inspired imperfect actions" perhaps, or maybe I just really loved my new jacket, and felt my lip colour was on point.. whatever it was, I felt the need to document in the forest - so I went with it.

What I do know for sure is I felt beautiful, snuggling up to my fern friends - sitting on the damp earth in silence, hanging out with Me..

Something I want to admit about these self portraits, is how much I obsessed over them in the beginning.  I wanted them to be perfect - and, in my mind, I accomplished exactly what I set out to do at that moment - so, to me it was a success.

What I didnt realize the power of (until now) was the power of just being, and forgetting the camera was set up.  Sitting in the forest, loving how I feel in my body, not paying attention to any other noises and distracting thoughts - but instead.. laughing outloud with myself, because - Im hilarious and weird and who sits in the middle of a park taking photos of themselves.. :P  

Self portraits are transformative for me.. each one unique and different and serving a different purpose for my life in that moment.

If ever you have the chance to document yourself through portraits, or selfies - please do.  Try to let your guards down, and realize - you dont need to take yourself so seriously.. its just you.


xo,
L

The Self Portrait Project Continues....

20151106_SPweek27-16.jpg

Week 27 of my 52 week self portrait project has finally made an appearance and even though it took its own sweet time to get here, I'm pretty sure there was some crazy universe shit that was making me wait....

until now....
 


The basis of my entire business is built around showing up - being vulnerable enough to express who you really are with complete abandon - live into your truths - and having fun telling your story.  

Yet - here I sit.. on the other side of the camera, merely entertaining the idea and hoping that is enough..

News flash to ME.. it's not!!...

 Its time for me to step into the light that scares the crap out of me because then - OH NO - THEN, people will actually see me, know me and **GASP** possibly dislike me?... oh jeez.. here we go.. 

copyright of lindynwilliams.com

copyright of lindynwilliams.com

As you can see - I'm totally nude in these photos (ok you cant see that, but I'm admitting this to you now..) and these are the reasons it scares me the most:

1) People knowing I CHOSE to take photos of myself nude and judging me for that.
2) My family and friends thinking I am some kind of freakshow, and dissaproving of me and my business.
3) Showing my flaws willingly... stretch marks, pock marks, red marks.. my imperfectness.
4) Setting myself up for judgement and ridicule behind my back amoung my community - at the store, daycare, out for a walk...

In a nutshell: being talked about negatively is a huge fear of mine.  I'm a people pleaser by nature, and I'm slowly learning that it's not sustainable for me, and I can not move forward with what I want to do if I am constantly in fear of what people might think.  

Especially when it comes to me telling my story....

20151106_SPweek27-12.jpg

Telling my story has been hard for me because I felt like I didn't have one.

I felt like I didn't have too much to say about my past because I thought you needed to go through some horrible experiences in order to have a story. And I am thankful that my life has led me through relatively unscathed..

But I missed the point completely.

The point of telling our story isn't to compare ourselves to another's heartwrenching, emotional, and often painful pasts - but to accept each story for what it is, and who is telling it.  

That's all lovely and great hey? What a revelation I have made?.. well, I didnt get there willingly, and definitely not by myself.

So, if you see the little 14k gold bow on my finger, just know that it's there to remind myself of who I am, and not who I thought I needed to be. Telling me that my story is compelling, awesome, amazing and great - just as much as anyone else's.

It's there to tell me to shut out anything that doesn't speak to my identity because my time and energy are worth more than that.

It's there to make me feel pretty, and loved, and cared for - not from a boyfriend or lover - but from myself.

This little bow is the inspiration behind the big decisions I will make moving forward in my life. It may not look like a big deal, but I'm so excited to have found the Forget Me Knots and to be able to offer them as a part of my women's Wholehearted Sessions. 

Check out more info on the Forget Me Knots at thefmks.com

So if you've made it to the bottom of this post - congrats!  It was longer than I anticipated.  

You may have a few questions about where my Self Portrait Project: Weeks 1 thru 26 are, and you can still find them HERE at my previous blog.

This is probably only the beginning of "my story" so you'll have to check back for more soon.

Thanks for your support, or criticism, or love, or hate.. whatever it may be - thanks for showing up and giving a shit!

xo
L