Why Counting ‘Followers’ Gives Away the Only Power You Really Have

When you allow blog metrics, Google Analytics numbers or “follower” counts to dictate your perception of your own success, you’re actually giving away the only real power that you have.

You hand away your own private inner sense of contentment and accomplishment, of happiness and self-confidence — things that you alone can control.

If your success depends upon their showing up and their reactions, you’re choosing to allow them to dominate your own sense of worthiness. You’re not actually measuring power that you possess over others: only what power they have over you.

Sorry to break it to you.

When you track statistics as attempts to measure your clout, influence, power or leadership, you’re only really attempting to pacifying insecurity… to hollowly justify your choices or lifestyle… to transparently validate your presence, job, or work.

We’re becoming more and more obsessed with being validated. We want our existence to be reaffirmed by others, time and time again.

So it’s not really “success” we’re striving to understand, it’s a bunch of external things — measures, “proof” — that will temporarily reassure you that what you fear is not true. You fear that what you’re saying isn’t popular. You fear that who you are doesn’t matter. You fear failure. You fear rejection.

We all do. It’s normal.

But blinding the truth with shallow, fleeting reassurances like comment counts and votes in an arbitrary poll is like throwing candy at a kid with a boo-boo. You’re grown up now. It’s OK to take your licks, humble your ego, and be better for it in the end.

Otherwise, looking outside of yourself for all the answers, reassurances and reaffirmations will be your ultimate downfall.

We see politicians and movie stars and pro athletes who grow attached to numbers and statistics — naturally, their business depends on measures to quantify their political victories, on-the-field success, or film profits.

But that ain’t the real world. And that ain’t happiness.

Real happiness doesn’t come from measures of followers — and so, we turn on the news and open up gossip magazines and wonder why powerful politicos fall to corruption, glitz-and-glam celebs numb themselves with drugs and multi-billionaire athletes act like children.

How is their happiness escaping them, in spite of their having so much to count?

More isn’t the answer. And when we only focus upon more (what we naturally associate with “better,” remember), we become addicted to their growth rate. You think you control it. But it controls you.

And like a junkie, every high pierces your brain with fleeting ecstasy; and every low makes you want to disappear:

  • When they slip, you feel like failure.
  • When they disappear, you feel dead inside.

That’s pure enslavement.

If you don’t measure, then how do you “know”?

How do you know what you’re doing is working? That your efforts are progression or regression? Forward or backwards? Succeeding or failing? Making me better or worse?

When in this life do you EVER really “know”?

Exhale.

Uncomplicate. Undo.

Simplify.

The answer is to trust, to let go, and to let flow…

That’s faith. That’s true confidence. That’s trusting that all of your efforts, words and actions are aligned with and originating from a pure place of inspiration. And Goodness. And love.

And everything else will take care of itself.

Flickr photo credit: Thomas Hawk

 

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