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The Middle

Performed by: Jimmy Eat World
DJ: Kelley Buttrick, voiceover talent and owner of KB Voiceovers

Self Doubt, FOMO, Authenticity … and Social Media
Tips to stay confident and true to yourself

Scrolling through my colleagues’ social media highlight reels sometimes makes me question my own abilities, feel completely left out and tempted to change something about myself so I can fit in. It’s like being back in the cafeteria of Redan High School.

Jimmy Eat World captures all that angst and more with their song “Middle,” singing about feeling judged and excluded, as well as the importance of being you.

So, what can you do to reassure yourself that everything’s going to be just fine?

Write Yourself a List
You’ve got skills, training and work you’re proud of, right? People have said nice things about you, right? There’s something powerful in the mere act of writing, so sit down and write a list of accomplishments large and small. Cut and paste nice things people have said about you in emails into a document. Frame any awards or display tokens of your accomplishments.

In my voiceover booth, I keep a simple yellow legal pad and write down some of the jobs and moments behind fun recording sessions. I keep a list of client testimonials on my website and a folder of cards of colleagues in my file cabinet. Awards, articles and tokens reminding me of successes populate my studio shelves. When I’m doubting myself, I flip through the pages of my chicken scratch, scroll through saved messages or glance around the room and am transported to times when I felt completely confident in my abilities.

Look at Someone Else
Your Instagram feed is flooded with event photos, and you’re not there. Colleagues tweet gems mined from meetings you were not a part of, and moments you missed are being relived in industry Facebook groups. So, grab your mental binoculars and look beyond the confines of your colleagues. No doubt there are many people you admire who have never attended that event or been a part of those meetings; they are clueless about those moments.

There are some highly successful people in my industry, and I’m sure in yours, who aren’t group-oriented. They are doing great away from the social media cool kids’ table, and when I’m feeling Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), I remind myself that they are doing just fine.

Be Yourself
Social media is a great venue to celebritize the everyman. No need for film credits to become a trendsetter. A viral YouTube video can make a kid putting on makeup in her bathroom a powerful “Influencer” sought out by cosmetic powerhouses. Within creative industries, PR departments are cranking out pitches making their leaders the ones to follow. Coworkers sing the praises of this tool or that coach and immediately everyone else is on board.

It’s easy to forget that one of the keys to marketing yourself is to focus on your differentiators. There are thousands of female VO talents out in the world, and while I look to many of them for inspiration, I am my own person.

Because of social media, we ARE our brand. When people hire, they are buying a person, their skills and personality. It’s important to always keep in mind that sameness is not marketable. As Jimmy Eats World suggests, we are better on our own.

Take a listen to “The Middle.” It’s a great anthem for owning who you are in a world filled with same ol’ everyone elses.

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Why the Business Practice Playlist? Where some people find romantic inspiration or work out motivation in music, voiceover talent Kelley Buttrick finds business wisdom in the words. Fortunately, her creative and successful business friends do too, hence the birth of the Business Practice Playlist. In this blog, DJs spin experience and advice for fellow music lovers working in creative fields.

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Just some of the clients that trust Kelley with their message...

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