I hear that message in my head when I reject something out of hand.

Like Instagram. Too many hashtags and paper airplane thingy’s. I want to reject it (before it rejects me).

That voice–“Have you even tried?”– comes from a wonderful anecdote I heard Susan Daniels tell at the Mount Holyoke College Summer Theatre prior to a production decades ago. Long story short, she would pre-warn the audience that the nearby Westover Air Force Base might be sending jets over the theatre’s tent, and if that should happen, the actors would freeze in position until the moment passed.

When an elderly patron questioned her, she told him “Sir. That’s the United States Air Force. I CAN’T JUST TELL THEM TO STOP FLYING OVER THE TENT!” And then he landed the blow: “Have you tried? Have you even tried?”

“I hadn’t even tried,” she confessed. For good reason. Who was an Equity Theatre Producer to call a military base for a favor? But, after that challenge, she did try. And succeeded. The nightly interruptions ceased, because she overcame an obstacle and made the call. She tried.

Instagram felt too complicated to me. But I hadn’t really tried, given it my attention, or spent enough time on it to see its beauty. Last month, I assigned a client the task of spending an hour on IG between our calls, thinking at the time that I should do that myself. One of the things I love best about coaching is hearing myself speaking what I need to do. Plus, my own business coach strongly suggested that that’s where the action is for all things creative.

Guess what I’ve been doing this holiday weekend! Yes, hours on IG delving through hashtags, followers, linktrees and the many rabbit holes they’ve led me down. I’m beginning to see how this could work, who I’d like to have see my new pieces, and what kind of posting calendar I can create for myself for best results. I may even try an IG story or video once I figure out how those are done.

I feel like a beginner, because I am. I don’t care for that feeling. I like to be the expert, fluent in the language. But that’s not how one grows. I need to broaden my social media horizon, dive in, take risks and see where this road leads. Anybody want to join me in their own social media challenge?

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