How to Stay Authentic on Social Media
HUDDLE is a series that invites female entrepreneurs to look up from their own work, huddle up, and share in the success, struggles, and stories of other women doing badass things.
Each HUDDLE interview happens on Instagram live, and is then posted #ontheblog for those of you that miss the live, the replay, or who are just stubborn and like to read it instead. ;)
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My first HUDDLE is with Ashton Long, founder The Authentic Woman, a platform that empowers women to live authentically as themselves.
She firmly believes that women have the power to shift culture, eradicate unjust standards and ultimately change the world. When she's not working with her husband, she is most likely sipping on a cup of local coffee, swooning over pottery or adding to her succulent collection.
Ashton and I talked a lot about the intersection of authenticity and social media, and how to support ourselves on a journey of vulnerability.
Literally, it was MAGICAL. Get ready to get chills from some of her responses, especially from the last question I asked her.
Let’s jump in!
How to Be Authentic on Social Media
HUDDLE with Ashton Long
Question 1| What are you passionate about, and how do you live that passion out loud? (my take on who are you and what do you do :)
My name is Ashton! I’m an east coast girl who’s obsessed with the mountains. I’m constantly adding new beauties to my succulent collection, buying unnecessary pottery pieces, and drinking entirely way too much coffee. I just got married on March 17th 2018 to a kind, talented, and beautiful blue-eyed man who constantly encourages me to chase after my wildest dreams.
I’m deeply passionate about empowering women to not only love the reflection they see in the mirror but also every intricacy that makes up their entire being. I’m the founder of The Authentic Woman which is a platform that empowers women to live authentically as themselves, discover their purpose, and be a catalyst for positive change in the world.
We create beautiful books for the everyday woman that are released quarterly, share free content with women to aid them in their dream pursuit journey, and show up online as a voice that says “who you are is enough, and you are never alone.”
Question 2| You talk a lot about authenticity. What does that mean to you, and why is it so important?
People often ask me why I’m so obsessed with the concept of authenticity, and I’m sure some assume that I’ve simply jumped on the “authenticity-trend bandwagon.” But this couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Authenticity is when you are bold enough to be the real you.
It’s when you abandon all of the pressure, expectations, fear, doubt and insecurity that suggests that who you are at the core isn’t good enough.
Authenticity extends grace towards our imperfections, flaws and doubts. It creates a new standard that says “who you are aside from your curated feed, flawless makeup, and job success is wholeheartedly, entirely ENOUGH.”
But for me, the real obsession lies in the aftermath of embracing authenticity.
When we are bold enough to just be ourselves and we find the value in who we are at the core, we are then able to tap into our natural strengths, talents and abilities.
Because when we believe in ourselves with a deep passion, we can serve those around us.
We can answer questions, create solutions, and provide new perspective to the world around us… which means that we can impact society, shift culture, and ultimately change the world.
There is no one else in the entire universe with your same, exact genetic makeup… which means that those wild ideas in that beautiful head of yours NEED to be shared with the world.
Question 3| How do you maintain your authenticity in your business, especially in a world that’s saturated with soooo much information?
The biggest key to maintaining authenticity, for me, is shutting out the noise.
In a world that is full of chatter, it’s imperative that we embrace the silence often. Here’s two pieces of advice for maintaining your authentic voice:
Be very protective of what you consume. It’s easy to get lost in all of the podcasts, webinars, people in your feed, freebies in your inbox, and the never ending reading list of yours… but take a good look at what’s most important in your life right now. What’s your focus? Don’t overwhelm your brain by trying to do, read, and see it all.
Take time to journal.Sitting in the silence, or perhaps with your favorite music playing, and freely writing in a journal is a great way to stay inspired while at the same time getting in tune with where you are at and where you want to go. Let your subconscious speak. It’s very therapeutic.
Question 4| As a blogger and entrepreneur, social media is a huge part of what we do. What’s one thing you struggle with the most in terms of social media, and how do you overcome it?
Comparison, for sure. One moment of comparison has the potential to discredit every achievement you’ve made.
And frankly, I don’t have time to get lost in the rat race of comparison… it is such a waste of time, yet so easy to give into.
I combat comparison by doing the following:
Diligently working on my own self-love journey.I think comparison says a lot more about ourselves than it does the other person. It’s a hard truth, but when we compare ourselves to another person, it’s generally stemming from an insecurity we have personally. So, I work really hard on loving myself and letting go of insecurity daily. (This looks like journaling and positive affirmations).
Giving compliments. A great way to combat something negative is with something positive. When I find myself comparing my journey to someone else, I will intentionally compliment them (whether online or in person). It cultivates community, gratitude, and confidence within yourself.
Question 5| I try to ask one, dig deep, hard question to every person I interview. What’s an “edge of the cliff” moment for you, and what brought you back from the edge? This could be personally or with The Authentic Woman Series.
When I was eighteen, I began the process of exiting an extremely toxic relationship. In that process, I realized that I had based so much of my worth on this relationship, what this person thought of me, and whether or not they loved me.
This relationship destroyed me. It sparked early signs of an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety.
In order to heal, move forward, and grow stronger, I had to expose layers of myself that I’d never seen before. I had to come face to face with my truest self. I had to look fear and insecurity in the eye and try to understand them.
By surrounding myself with amazing people, consuming uplifting content, and investing in loving myself well, I came out of this experience stronger than I would’ve been without it. And I think that’s the beauty of pain… it has the potential to make us even greater than we were before.
Question 6| And last question, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone who is at their own “edge of the cliff” moment?
Remember who you are.
Your inhale and exhale breathes fresh, beautiful life into hopeless places.
Your dreams carry answers to the world’s complex problems.
Your tender kindness eradicates hatred and makes room for love.
Your mind holds great mysteries waiting to be uncovered.
You are beauty at your core - in the brave acts of faith you display, the kindness in your eyes and the hope in your soul.
See! I told you - CHILLS!
A huge thank you to Ashton for joining me on Instagram for the live interview, and for sharing her words and truth here as well.
Make sure to follow her on her socials below!