This week I am going to address the controversy around my Instagram. Whilst I have had infinitely more supporters than haters, many of my clients have argued that inspirational quotes are cliché and unhelpful. Whilst I have almost 4,000 followers, I have a large number who refuse, because they find the overly optimistic and positive nature of accounts like mine to be unrealistic and that is absolutely fine – to each its own. If you are currently following me and inspirational quotes aren’t your thing, then unfollow me because as I have experienced on all types of social media, there is nothing worse than being friends with someone who just posts annoying statuses or an excessive amount of pictures. However, I am writing this post, because I do think there is an element to what they are saying which is accurate and correct and I want to be clear in saying that this post is not merely addressed to the critics and the purpose of this post, is not to convince more people to follow me but actually more focused on my current followers because I think it is important for them to hear these messages.
I find inspirational quotes, wise words or excerpts from books infinitely interesting. For me, it’s a small snippet of insight into people’s beliefs and opinions about the world and life in general and as my job namely focuses around people and their beliefs, it is unsurprising that I enjoy these quotes. I have a belief that you can learn something from every single person in this world, everyone has a niche they are interested in and taking the time to listen to people is important, to actually find out what it is for the individual that makes them passionate. There is nothing better than having a conversation with a person who exudes passion when they are talking about something, regardless of the topic. In fact, it is almost better when I know less about the topic as it gives me an opportunity to learn even more. This is what I believe quotes do. It provides you a small glimpse of an alternative way to view the world, and I think that is exciting!
But, and here is the important bit, quotes are useless unless you take the time to fully understand them and apply the ones which resonate with you to your life. I understand the criticism, you see the cliches, ‘shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars’, ‘ be yourself’ , ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. They have been said so often, they have no more impact and power to them when they are said; actually more often than not, they are met with groans. The issue with all of these is, they are not practical, they are very easy philosophies to have theoretically but very hard to apply in practice. Yes of course, I would love to shoot for the moon, but how about my fear of failure, my fear of rejection? Ok, I’ll shoot for the moon, and I’ll land amongst the stars, but I’ll still always want that big goal, the one I aimed for the first place. Landing amongst the stars is still failing and also just settling for second best. The issue is, it is very easy to becoming a collector of quotes like these, screenshot Instagram quotes, and repost them but very rarely do they give you actual ways to make this change and it’s all good being a collector and writing a long list of how you would like to think, and actually changing your thinking.
This is where my clients get particularly worked up as they believe my Instagram account is in contrast to what I preach. I claim to offer practical, useful advice which you can apply here and now, yet my Instagram offers more vague and more theoretical statements which are idealistic. I encourage my clients to be real and experience their true emotions instead of disguising them in this false overly positive way, yet I post quotes which say otherwise. In my opinion though, they aren’t in contrast, they work hand in hand. My quotes tackle the conscious side of things, it tackles how you know you should think and how you would like to be. My sessions focus much more on getting you to that mindset effortlessly and beneath the surface (unconsciously). I like to think my quotes aren’t vague and useful thoughts to challenge your thinking, but in essence it is only a small clip. The majority of quotes are a sentence long. No one goes on Instagram to read an essay. The benefit of a quote, is they are quick to read and digestible, and occasionally, when you find a good one, it triggers the ‘wow, I never thought of it like that’, and that’s where quotes have their effect. They get to the point succinctly and that’s where they have their power.
Speaking of which…. What is my point? Quotes are great, if, and only if, it changes your thinking and thus your behaviour changes. Having a long list of quotes that you like, doesn’t help you, unless you are making those changes in your life on a daily basis so I am going to break them down, one by one. I am starting a series called Cracking the Quote. I will take one of the quotes I have posted and make it more practical, offer suggestions as to how you can apply it to your life and give you the practicality that makes the difference!
It won’t be every post from here on out, but every so often, so as to break up the monotony of my weekly blogs. That way, if you don’t like those types of posts, you can stick to my traditional posts or if you only like those more practical ones, now there is an option for you! Essentially there is no longer a reason to not subscribe… unless you don’t like my writing at all, in which case, I am very surprised you made it to the end of this post! On that note, I should end my failed attempt at trying to be concise.
Send me suggestions via twitter, facebook or instagram of quotes you want me to discuss using the hashtag #ctq