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Instant: Voila! You think you can insta-fix yourself, but can you?

Instant: Voila! You think you can insta-fix yourself, but can you?

By Natasja Beyleveld, Managing Director of NaMedia.

Don’t you love all these instant options. Instant pap, cake, juice, bride, pizza, taxi, loan, movies. Just not in that order!

Now even public communication officers, similar to the innovations departments, have started revolting in the way they engage, shape, and communicate. For them, it’s the 21st century rat race of instant gratification but also trying to please their stakeholders by being everywhere, all the time. We schedule social posts to maintain momentum while on holiday, because now, ‘nobody takes a break’, and if you do – you’ll get it good from the ‘green ones’.

We are taught that being vulnerable translates to being weak, so you are mounted to pedestals of popular social norms, unless you decide to challenge them. Oh hell, she’s not wearing lipstick today. Is she tired, are you working today?

You are flustered from chasing meetings and then your kids happen. You wonder ‘who you gonna call’ at 4pm for that guitar lesson when you’re still stuck in a meeting. You feel guilty on your way to a VIP meeting you find yourself cancelling, because your son started projectile vomiting on the couch at home. The dog just made it, but you’re not entirely sure. We end up circulating ridiculous memes of how we cope with being leaders, spouses, parents, family – that some bored panda thought of…

Being instant has its ups and downs. It’s great if you can whip out some humour to cope with the mistakes you make, but it becomes a war zone when you want to ‘insta-fix’ yourself, your line-up, your short term goals – all the time. It’s headed to insta-mess if you ask me. So that is the moment where grace comes in, and where you have to just let it go Princess Elsa. You have to know when enough is enough – when giving your best (whether succeeding or failing) was enough, or even at times too much. It is the instant pressure from your boss, colleagues, work and personal lives that want you to practise vulnerability without boarders – don’t go there.

Therefore my friends, take courage and set the boundaries for the good yesses, and the good no’s. Instant ka-wait (Namibian style) a bit. Instant meditate and think it through and listen. You’re not a lotto machine for people problems, you should respect your time and contributions in your profession, or ‘play victim’. Invest your skills where they truly matter. Yes; men’s hearts are failing them because they must provide, give, grow, be strong, be better, win hard, work hard – but we raised them that way.

So let us work on the new lessons insta-life has taught us, and be a little more old school when we need to. A website might find your soulmate, but a dumpsite too if you are lucky. Being impossible is a mindset, you can be really good or bad at being impossible – depending on the way you look at it. My guess is; it takes good time to be perfect, and this is an ongoing process.

If we set reasonable expectations, we’ll have a reasonable (w)life. Your reasonable might be someone else’s impossible, so be kind to one another and give each other a hand from time to time. There are people going through their own insta-hell, and if you can relate with them, you’ll connect with them in a way that matters. Not just to you. Take the time to be at peace with yourself, so that you can practise authority via your profession when it really matters, and really make a lasting impact.




About The Author

Natasja Beyleveld

Natasja Beyleveled, the Managing Director of Namedia (Namibia Media Monitoring) has her finger on the pulse of many large corporations and leading institutions. It is her job to track her clients' media profiles, advising them on PR strategies to either boost positive developments or contain public image damage. She first became a prominent figure as the Young Namibian Businesswoman of the Year 2013.