1. You don’t need to be good at your hobbies to enjoy them
The standards set by society and comments made by people robs you of the entertainment you gain from spending time on your hobbies. Every time you sing, you think of that person who commented on your voice. Every time you pick up a paintbrush, you think of how someone commented negatively about your style. Every time you want to do pretty much anything to relax, someone has something to say. And outside competitions, these words can hurt for no good reason.
But in the end, realizing that you don’t need to excel at hobbies to enjoy them goes a long way. Who cares if your work wouldn’t win at a competition? Those hours of enjoyment are still equally valuable, if not more. Surround yourself with supportive people but learn to filter comments too; society isn’t perfect.
2. Compare yourself not with others but with how you were yesterday
Have you ever started singing or dancing but stopped at the thought of all the other talented friends and acquaintances you have? Or have you let an Instagram account die because the numbers weren’t popping? Have you wanted to pen down some rhymes or publish something on your blog but couldn’t get yourself to do it thinking of other young authors and budding writers?
Congratulations, it means you have good taste! But that doesn’t mean that your content is not in good taste or that you aren’t good enough to be out there. Research suggests that your taste develops faster than your skills, and insecurities are normal when you’re stuck in ‘the gap.’
But maybe you’re not really in the gap. Your mind could be undervaluing you because, for whatever reason, it enjoys doing that. You might also be facing the impostor syndrome, which is a situation of self-doubt in abilities and skills without good reason.
Ultimately, the best way to deal with these is to adopt realistic comparison criteria. Everyone is different, and you will always find people “better” than you. So compare yourself with your past and track improvement and you’ll feel good again.
3. You don’t have to monetize your hobbies
In today’s world, many people deviate from the traditional employment and income generation routes as more and more people resort to the internet. Nowadays, prevalent side-hustle options are starting a YouTube channel, podcast or even just social media pages dedicated to a hobby (music accounts, poetry pages and others) for greater reach or as an archive.
But, again, the purpose of hobbies is for your enjoyment and relaxation. To use your hobbies for online pages or money can be a daunting task as it changes the focus from you to the viewers/listeners. You start to pay more attention to likes, comments, shares, revenues, and less on how the hobby actually makes you feel. This is more common if you tried to monetize it because someone or the internet told you to.
As a blogger, I encounter this often. I enjoy writing, but not all my works are for the world to see. The difference between all that I write and what you read is the distinction between pure enjoyment and enjoyment with a side of statistics. I’d say, if you decide to monetize your work, don’t let the overwhelming content on the internet discourage you and rob you of your fun.
4. Content creation is not a get-rich-quick scheme
Let’s say you decide to monetize your content. You should know that it’s not easy money. You need to consider the following points when you start your journey:
- The algorithm matters, and the internet is unpredictable – luck plays a role in taking off immediately or randomly. Don’t worry if you don’t get instant results; it’s normal! Perseverance and consistency is key.
- Depending on your platform (YouTube? Podcast?), the revenue streams will differ.
- Revenues are unstable in different fields, in different platforms, on different days.
- It takes effort to land sponsorships and succeed at other income generation methods (freelancing, affiliate marketing, etc.). You cannot just “get over being shy and start recording” to get rich in no time, as some influencers have incorrectly suggested.
- But to start recording/posting, taking that first step and putting aside second thoughts can go a long way.
5. You don’t need to invest in new stuff to begin
Apart from much-needed investments (an instrument if you’re getting into music), utilize what you currently own instead of buying new things first. As long as you don’t have a Nokia 3310, use your phone to record instead of buying a new stuff first. Test how your headphones and tweaked audio settings sound before buying a professional mic. Purchasing could be wasteful, act as a source of procrastination and, increase pressure to produce immediate results.
I hope these pointers give you more clarity in your journey of content creation and a push to keep yourself more confident and take back ownership of your hobbies to continue enjoying them. Which of these pointers did you find most helpful?