Do you find yourself comparing your business to your colleagues? Are you spending hours changing your space, shopping for materials to make that latest activity you saw on on-line, and trying to keep up with an endless sea of information and new ideas? Or even worse yet, do you find yourself not sharing your hard work with others because you don't think you are "good enough" You many find yourself caught up in this cycle which only leaves you feeling down on yourself, and not ever "good enough". Below you will find some helpful tips to help you escape from the clutches of social media envy.
Less than 10 years ago early childhood educators would purchase books, subscribe to magazines, connect with other providers at training classes to find new ideas to improve their spaces, create activities and improve their business.
With social media, many of those days are long gone! Now you wake up every morning to find over 100 new toilet roll crafts in your newsfeed, and a simple Pinterest query will return thousands of curated childcare spaces even before you take that next sip of your coffee.
The internet is making it easy to find inspiration, but it doesn't put any perspective on the time that went into creating it.
You only have so much time
Most educators take on too much (let alone deal with a pandemic). You are most likely caring for multiple families (sometimes over 45+ hours a week), getting paid little to nothing, meeting licensing demands, possible operating your business, and still need to meet the needs of your family after you close for the day. Realize you need to prioritize what you put your energy into.
You are good enough!
You really are. Whatever you are doing right now, whatever your space looks like, whatever you just served for lunch, is "good" enough. Think back to how far you've come.
Get out of the trap
Should you ditch FB? Cancel your Pinterest account? No, instead we should recognize how we are consuming information, and be more cognizant of comparing ourselves to others. When you find yourself comparing to others instead you can ....
Sometimes we need to set healthy limits on ourselves, especially if we are trying to change a bad habit, or create a new routine for ourselves. Schedule a day/time that you check your social media accounts and limit yourself to a specific amount of time (set a timer if you need to).
Make sure you are doing things because they are needed, and not just on a whim. Before making changes-ask yourself questions such as, do I "need" to change my space? What problem am I solving? Will this improve my business? Will this bring me happiness? Will this save me time? Write the idea down and come back to it in a week-is it still applicable?
Lift someone up
If something inspires you, take the time to let someone know! When someone shares something with you-they are sharing a gift. Make connections, build relationships.
Celebrate yourself-you have something important to share!
Each early childhood educator is like a fingerprint-unique. No matter how big or small your program is, how new or seasoned of an educator you are, how much money you have or don't have-you have something to offer! You might have found a clever way to save time in your business, spend more time with your family, organize something. Be proud of your unique accomplishments. Share with the intent to collaborate, and to help others-you never know who you might inspire.
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