Social media is terrifying.
Anyone who tells you anything different doesn’t have a firm understanding (As firm of an understanding that the average user can have) about what social media is.
Those are likely the same people who would stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon and scoff at its overwhelming vastness.
It’s terrifying, but not terrifying in the way that jumping off a cliff into unknown waters is, but more terrifying in the way a very sharp knife is: necessarily dangerous, but deserving a great amount of respect.
The day you forget that and stop giving it respect or get careless, is the day you get cut – or worse. This is the fear that those who are new to the social media game feel, even if they don’t know it.
The good news is, fear can be conquered. My Dad told me growing up that fear is simply an acronym to remind us to ignore fear. Fear is Future Events Appearing Real, and this is the source of fear for most people.
- What if I’m too transparent?
- What if we’re criticized?
- What if we lose control?
- What if we can’t find an audience?
- What if it takes too much time?
- What if it doesn’t work?
- What if it doesn’t succeed?
- What if?
- What if?
- What if?
These “What If”’s (or Wifs, as I call them) are a part of every single decision made that moves you into uncharted waters. Entrepreneurs know this. Parents know this. Heck, I get the Wifs when I am trying to choose lunch at the food court.
Fear keeps it real, but should never hold you back from something that can help you reach your full potential.
Face Fear With Ambitious Strategy
If you’re anything like me, you like improvisation. I like the idea of being able to show up and do whatever it is I need to do very well with minimal preparation.
If you’re not anything like me, you plan everything. You want to make sure that you are always prepared, and that nothing goes down without your knowledge and foresight.
Or maybe you fall somewhere in between.
Regardless of your situation, the less and less you know about something, the more and more power of will it takes to overcome the fear you will inevitably face.
There is one sure-fire counter to this. Fear’s kryptonite: Ambition.
There is no room for fear to take control when you are ambitious. It will still be there, but proper ambition will have it sitting in the corner making snarky remarks.
When I’m scared of something like social media (or tweeting at my social media savvy and influential co-workers, or writing blog for my company’s website) I make an ambitious plan of action.
Sometimes it is nearly unachievable, but I try to adhere to as much as possible. I don’t worry If it’s overly ambitious, because if I don’t happen to complete everything on that list, I’ve probably made some significant accomplishments, but I still have room to improve.
With a clear goal, and a solid direction, opting to foray into the mysterious unknown only gets easier.
Make Mistakes Unashamedly
Hand-in-hand with using ambition to counter fear, is unashamedly making mistakes in the realm of social. As much as individual tweets have come back to negatively impact many influential brands, everyone makes mistakes and in social, and nothing is set in stone.
Along with the leap of faith that some see social media as, comes a safety net for those keep a level head.
More often than not creative and well-handled mistake management garners more respect and notability than a harmless social media blunder. Sometimes good solutions even go viral!
So even if your ambition causes a mistake or two, you’re only a tweet away from fixing it. With social comes forgiveness, because we’re all human (except for the bots) and most wounds heal eventually.
So chalk up those Wifs as prudent caution, accept the reasons why you may be afraid, and wade into those uncharted waters with a plan of action.
Social media is nothing to be actually afraid of, it’s simply the newest (deadly) weapon available to someone who wants to bolster their marketing arsenal. Don’t allow the possible future to cloud the actual present, and don’t let apparent reality hold you back from achieving something that can really benefit you.
Because what a shame it would be if no one ever took any chances.