Oblivious to the Obvious

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine, let’s call her Ms. Naughty, said to me “Why haven’t you promoted this on social media till now?”. I had shared the link to a new upGrad Masterclass on stress management that I had created, and my social media skills or should I say the lack of them were being called into question. The gap between knowing something and doing something about it was yawning wide in front of me. Yes indeed, why was I being hesitant to share this with my world?

I have spent the last 25 years honing my skills as a communicator. And yet the most obvious step of promoting this Masterclass on stress management and work-life balance was something I did not do immediately. As I reflected more on what made this happen, I found a few answers.

The feeling that it’s not good enough. The worry that it was not my best work lurked below the surface. Ironically, creating content about managing stress turned out to be a cause of some stress for me! Mostly I think because of the fear of getting infected when I took my mask off for the shoot. At the time I agreed to do the series, I (wrongly) assumed that I would record it virtually. However, after I had committed and dug into the how and what of it, I realised a physical shoot was on the cards. Add to that the novel experience of talking enthusiastically to absolutely nobody and with no teleprompter or visual aid, it truly was a learning experience for me. When I watch the video, I can’t help but wonder to myself if this is my best work. And in this maybe are sown the seeds of, “Nikhil, don’t share it just yet. See if you can improve on it.”

Telling myself that it’s not the right time. Reason number two is a good one. It’s the start of a year, there is so much going on, lots to be done and this can wait. There are so many more important things I need to focus on. There is also the hope that a few edits I asked for will take shape and maybe then it will be the right time to put it out there. Maybe later, can often drag on forever.

Assuming that it will take up too much of my time. My friend Ms. Naughty was insistent that I needed to get active on Instagram. The platform has over 1.2 billion users each month and is ideal for audio-visual content. She made it sound so easy. I told her that my Insta feed was fed a healthy dose of pictures of Cookie (my little doggie), trees, flowers, and sunsets. She said I should have a separate page for soul2sole coaching and share my ideas and views with the world. It sounds like a lot of work and time commitment, she insists it is not. Eight posts a month she says. Two a week. Twenty minutes over the weekend, that’s all it will take, she says.

And just like that late one Saturday night, inspired by this nudge the universe has given me, I decided to create the soul2sole coaching Instagram page and begin the journey. I told myself “take the first step and who knows what will follow.” A year ago, when I got the call asking if I would be interested in creating an upGrad masterclass, I had all the same worries and many reasons not to do it. I’m glad I took the plunge back then and said yes to something new.

Once again, I am on the adventure of learning how a new platform works. How to create content for it. How to cross-post and a bunch of other things that I don’t know. I will make mistakes. I will have fun. And hopefully, I will touch lives in ways unimaginable.

There is so much content out there. I often wonder who is listening? Who is reading? The wonderful quote by philosopher Simone Weil “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity” is the note I chose to end on. Pay attention to your life. Is there something that you are oblivious to? Pause and ask yourself – What obvious next step are you not taking?

Courtesy of this exploration, my Insta vocabulary now includes Regram (akin to a retweet but not so easy to do); close friends (a feature that allows you to share content with a smaller group of followers); and Agorapulse (a cool officially licensed tool for planning and scheduling posting content) which I hope to try out someday.

PPS. #30 which is the maximum number of hashtags that you can include along with a post. And while you are at it be careful not to use banned hashtags.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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