I recently realised that it has been 1 year already since I started writing and even more since I set up Greener Identity’s blog. For me it is really a milestone, it took me a while to make the decision to create this space and commit to this project. I am surprised it’s has been more than 12 months already.
Earlier today I was reflecting on this, thinking about my story starting this blog and definitely one of the things that this experience has taught me is that we need to start sharing our story and find our voice, regardless of what other people may think.
So today’s post is about vulnerability and honesty, I am sharing with you a bit of me hoping it will inspire you to share more your story.
Earlier in my journey, in the excitement of all the things I was learning and changing, I started randomly talking and sharing a few things about sustainability with some friends, colleagues and acquaintances and the reactions were often passive; usually the response was kind of “Ahhh ok, interesting” when I was waiting for a “wow, tell me more!”. I even felt some of them were somewhat uncomfortable and tried to change the topic quickly.
After getting a couple of similar reactions, one day I decided not to talk more about it. I said to myself that this was a personal journey and as such I would focus on learning and continue doing positive changes in my life, and maybe that would inspire some people. Then I started sharing some information/thoughts only with people I knew were interested in sustainability.
That was my approach for several years, but later I understood that the reason why I didn’t want to share these experiences, was far beyond the story I was telling myself. The reality was that I was also afraid to show a side of me that could be perceived as weird and different in my social circle.
Fit in please fit in
One way or another we try to feel we belong, since we are kids we learn that sometimes it is better to fit in than paying the price for being different. In adulthood under certain circumstances is not that different…
Have you ever been to a work event and people are super engaged talking about a particular work-related topic that you don’t really appreciate/care? If you can’t find your way out, you smile, nod and keep quiet and if they start asking questions, you end up trying to show your boss and colleagues you’re interested too because you’re supposed to care. Fitting in brings us acceptance.
Anyway, the reason I gave myself “people are just not interested, this is my journey” deep inside really meant “being green and sustainable is weird for most people, so I better keep it to myself“. So instead of risking being labelled, I subconsciously decided it was better to fit in.
I didn’t comprehended all this, it was probably easier for my mind to believe my excuse above than accept that I was caring way too much about what other people thought about me.
Time to do something
The more I learned, the more I felt I needed to do something to raise awareness about these urgent issues and share the things I had been doing and discovering. Some of the few people that were interested from the start found some of the tips I had shared with them useful, so I hoped that even when I didn’t have all the answers (I still don’t) maybe other readers would be interested.
I started caring less about “people not being that interested” (and to a deeper level what they would think about me) and I focused more on the prospect of strangers learning and getting inspired to take action for the planet.
After facing and addressing many internal voices and fears (not great writing skills, English as a second language, not knowing enough) I started Greener Identity and this blog was born.
I remember I sent an email to some friends telling them about the project, several of them replied with encouraging messages and followed my social media accounts. I felt the support regardless of the interest they had (or not) in the subject.
I’d say it was a surprise to many of them; they didn’t know I was passionate about these subjects.
In the end, I cared more about the environment than other people’s opinions; I changed my perception and I felt proud of being the weird one.
I’ve also learned
- We can all make a difference just leading by example and being open about it.
- People want to get on board, but majority tell me habits and busyness get in the way of doing more.
- You can really inspire change when you share your story and let others see what you are doing to live a greener life. I have seen many of my friends doing many things that they were not doing before, like: carrying their own cutlery/reusable bags/water bottle, composting, recycling soft-plastic, refusing single-use plastic and so on.
- When I talk to people I know about the environment some feel uncomfortable because they feel they are not doing much about it, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t think it is a good cause.
- Our values are all very different, what’s important to me is not necessarily important to others, but I can still raise awareness about climate change and the environment and that may inspire them to take action.
I’ll keep going
My plan is to keep working on this project. I’ll try to do my best to share some thoughts and information through these channels. I can’t deny it takes a lot of time and energy to bring a project like this to live and maintain it, but it has been great experience so far.
I am very far from being an online “influencer” (I am not sure I want to be one anyway), but this project has allowed me to learn more about sustainability, help and inspire some readers and connect with people around the world on my social media accounts.
Thanks for the support during this past year and I hope you have found some of the posts I have shared useful or inspiring in some way. If so, please let me know in the comments o social media, it is always nice to know this effort has indeed trigger positive changes.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
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Thanks for reading,