One of the things I love most about Facebook is the “today in history” feature, otherwise known as a Facebook memory. Post a picture on Facebook, and on the anniversary of that posting, Facebook will drag it up and put it on your timeline reminding you of what you were doing on this day a year or two or ten ago.
Today, this popped up on my timeline:
The memory came up from only three years ago, a couple of months after I started the podcast. I was thrilled at hitting this milestone. Then, things happened. I compared myself to other podcasters. And the day-to-day grind of producing the podcast and the YouTube channel made me wonder whether it was worth it. Getting 100 subscribers was no longer thrilling. I wanted 1,000 downloads a week. I wanted my YouTube channel to grow faster. Every time I hit a milestone, I looked for the next one, 100 YouTube subscribers, 1,000 YouTube subscribers… you get the picture.
This judging is the human condition. We all have that internal “Judge” that tells us we are not good enough, our circumstances aren’t good enough, and the people around us aren’t good enough. “I’ll be happy when…” is one of the most insidious phrases in English. Of course, we want to do better. We want to set and achieve goals. But, “I’ll be happy when…” is a lie. If you’re not happy, no future circumstance will make you happy.
I love this reminder because, at least for me, to appreciate where I am, I need to look back. I looked at my podcast downloads just a couple of days ago. I’m getting approximately 750 downloads a week. I should have been thrilled with that. But, true confession, I was not.
Thursday, I was consulting a young lady who is about to start a podcast. I told her not to fall into the trap of comparing herself to others. All new podcasters do it. They ask, “How many listeners will make me a successful podcaster?” That is an internal question that can only be answered by the one asking. I had 100 subscribers three years ago, which probably translated to approximately twenty downloads a week. I just hit 10,000 YouTube subscribers. Is this successful? It is if I say it is. It isn’t if I say it isn’t.
More important than the numbers is the feedback I get from people about the podcast. It’s making a difference. People wait for episodes to drop. I get comments on my videos daily. That is not easy to do! I’m not sure that this is a good thing. But, many people have told me they listen to it in bed because it helps them sleep.
So, I will tell my “Judge” to shush. I’ve set out what I intended to do. I’ve launched a successful podcast making a difference in the world.
Thanks for the reminder, Facebook.
Words of wisdom. I am sure others find it helpful to hear you also struggle with this….all part of the human condition[ing].