How I Found My Voice on Instagram

When you think of Instagram, you might think of selfies or celebrities, but Instagram is so much more than that. The reason I was drawn to Instagram in the first place was that I could control the content I see. My issue with Facebook was always that it was nearly an obligation to be friends with someone, and that meant you would have to see all their posts, good, bad, and ugly. With me being so sensitive to energy that often meant just opening Facebook would cause me to process and clear other people’s emotions.  Instagram is entirely different, you follow who you want, they choose to follow you back or not. If someone starts posting things I don’t want to see, I can unfollow them. No big deal, no hurt feelings, and most importantly for me, the experience is as positive as I make it.

Because of this, I decided to really make a good go of being on Instagram in July 2017. Plus, I have over 10K photos and I really needed a place to share them. I had an older account that I had started, but really had done anything with, @karenedowning . When I started back I was trying out different topics, posting photos of all topics, blog posts, vegan food, affirmations, past life patterns, and I certainly didn’t know much about engagement. I would follow people I was interested in, in in the hope that they would follow me back, and that seemed to work. But, my problem still was what to post.

From July to September of 2017 posting on Instagram was a mystery to me, I would just pick something and share it with a few hashtags, thinking that was enough. My description would be a few short words, like, “picture of flower”, or something similar. Not exactly an original caption!

Near the end of September, I began to be aware of some the photo feature hubs, and I joined onto one as page moderator. For those who don’t know what a photo feature hub is, it is a place on Instagram that features original photographs from other photographers and Instagram users. A photographer will use your page hashtag in their description, to put forward their picture for a chance to be featured. As a moderator, I learned so much about posting, hashtags, images, and content. It was an incredible learning curve. A short 3 weeks after becoming a moderator, I was asked to be an administrator of the page, the duties moved from only posting pictures, to engaging with the audience, sharing Instagram stories, creating graphics, and so much more. I also become the administrator for the photo hub’s challenge page and learned about how to run a photo challenge.

In December 2017, the photo hub I was a part of split into two different hubs, and the admins and mods were asked to choose where to go. I still didn’t have much experience (I thought), and so I followed some of the people I had connected with to newly named hub. While here, I started to admin a third page, and also became one of the lead administrators for the entire hub (about 60 Instagram pages). My new duties here included training new moderators, creating even more graphics, and also handling personality conflicts at times. It really pulled from my HR background. I learned so much from every person I met and every task and duty I had.

This went well for a few months, the new hub grew, and my knowledge also grew more and more. I started to get inspired ideas about why something worked (or didn’t), and begun to research more about different ways to post, share, engage and grow a page. Eventually in late March of 2018, I saw some things in the hub that I didn’t agree with, and I chose to leave. A friend of mine encouraged me to start my own photo feature hub, and the first page, @Colorful_challenges , went up on April 3, 2018.

During the month of April, I added 7  hub pages to my photo feature hub, called @Colorful_clicks ! I was able to take my knowledge and apply it to this new hub, and learn more about what works, and what doesn’t. Plus, since it was only me, I was also free to experiment with different ways of doing things, including trying out new Instagram features, like IGTV. At the time of this writing, 3 ½ months after starting out, over 4000 photographs have been tagged to #colorful_clicks for a chance to be featured on the main hub page. Phenomenal!

Now, here comes the part about how I found my voice. So, during all this time, I had connected with amazing photographers from all over the world, who are all passionate about sharing great photos as well as words of kindness and encouragement. This was the world of Instagram that you would never know about if you didn’t follow these pages! With so much positive energy and encouragement swirling around me, it gave me the confidence to share more about myself to push the boundaries beyond my fear of judgment.

From July through the end of 2017, would experience an incredible amount of fear when trying to figure what to post, who would like it, would would be upset by it, how to say it in the best way, etc. But, what I learned from all of this is to simply be myself, drop the façade that had become my security blanket, and allow the words to flow free. Only with giving myself permission to be truly free in my expression, was I able to find my voice.

Last Saturday, while at my mom’s birthday celebration, we were talking about Instagram. I expressed how I had learned so much over the past year. My brother-in-law replied with something so profound for me, “Imagine if you applied that to your business!” It took a moment to settle in, and my fearful resistance initially tried to pop up. But then, oh my goodness, it just clicked into place for me. That is what the whole year had been all about, to learn about Instagram, and to work through the fears of judgment and ridicule. The very next day, I started an IG account for my business @Your_soul_mission . It is the place for affirmations, past life patterns, blog posts, and vegan foods. I will still hang onto my other accounts, they are part of the fun!

On Your_Soul_mission, my posts are no longer one sentence descriptions, they tell a story, they are a part of me, as I finally feel free to share my vulnerabilities, and to be a person, not a well-groomed façade. In my previous blog post, I wrote about cracking the façade, and how it important it was for me to bare my truth in such a public way. I found my voice in that journey, and can’t wait to see where it will lead me.

Are there outworn patterns of fear that have become your security blanket? A good way to find out is to take the Past Life Quiz and read about the different past life patterns. One of my patterns is the Infidel, where I had been persecuted for my beliefs in previous lifetimes, and I had such of fear of saying or doing the “wrong” thing, that it would holding me back from experiencing who I truly am. I do not want to be in the prison of the past any longer, and I’m sure you don’t either. When you are ready to have some help with working through your challenges and growing your past life gifts, consider my Past Life Discovery program. Thank you and Blessings, Karen

P.S. Be sure to follow my new Your Soul Mission Instagram page!

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Karen Downing

Karen Downing is a Soul Mission Facilitator, here to guide others to living an empowered life.

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