The thing about putting yourself out there on the internet is that you rarely hear back from anyone about it. And it makes sense: the world has become so crowded with content and noise and information that any one single blog post or Instagram story is unlikely to make a big impact. People have so much to scroll through that it would be impossible for them to comment on every single thing they engaged with online (although wouldn’t that be a cool life experiment?). And trust me, I am just as guilty of this! I scroll past tons of things in a day without a single interaction. It’s not necessarily a bad thing.
But it does make it so that as a creator online, for the most part, you don’t get much feedback – at least until you hit a critical tipping point. I remember once on The Joy the Baker podcast (RIP) they talked about how for every one comment you get, there are probably 20 people who read what you wrote, enjoyed it, and didn’t comment. I think when you see someone getting oodles of engagement online, it’s still a 20:1 ratio of views to comments, except they have WAY more views to start with.
The thing is, you never know who is watching. You never know who is listening. You never know what they’re thinking. Maybe something you shared has gone on to have a tremendous impact on the way someone sees the world! Maybe someone has learned from you and taught that concept to others.
Yesterday I got this beautiful text from a friend of mine who said she’d listened to an episode of my podcast and it had resonated with her, she said it felt like a warm hug. She said it made her remember that we all experience hard things and we’re all connected. How nice is that?
Maybe she’s listened to other episodes, and I never even knew. Maybe she’s had thoughts about them, but I could never have guessed. But had I stopped sharing, because I thought “Nobody is listening or having any thoughts about this,” I never would have created the thing that she needed to hear at exactly the right time. (Note: I did stop making the podcast temporarily, but it will be back!)
The point is: you can’t stop just because you’re not getting the feedback you want. The point is: intrinsic motivation is so important. The point is: your work matters, and is having an impact RIGHT NOW, right AS WE SPEAK, and someone is not telling you. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. It means that it is counting without your conscious awareness. And until you become aware of your work’s impact (and even afterwards), your only job is to keep showing up because you want to, because it makes your soul happy, and because it’s what feels right.