What Most Creators Feel, But Don’t Say

Like most people, creators want to feel validated, valuable, and like they’re creating something that’s meaningful to others.

In my industry, these creators often go to YouTube to obtain that feeling from comments left by mostly anonymous user accounts. When their channel grows, their validation feels affirmed, but in the more common scenario that the channel doesn’t grow or grows very slowly, it sends the opposite message to the creator: “No one finds your content valuable.”

As long as we’re looking to other people and YouTube analytics to fulfill that desire to feel wanted, desired, and respected, we will always be chasing something that’s very fleeting.

It’s so shallow that even if you “make it,” it’s rarely satisfying for long. Some people become very famous and are sought after for a few years, maybe even most of their life, but what happens as soon as someone else starts to take the spotlight or the celebrity can no longer perform the same? Then what? Does the audience care?

The crowd doesn’t really love celebrities — they just love how celebrities perform for them.

You stop performing, they stop watching.

As creators, we need to find our meaning and self-worth outside of what a crowd of Internet people think about us, outside people we’ve never met and people who honestly don’t really know us. They only know the perception of us that we put online. That’s it. There’s no depth to those relationships.

What happens when we actually meet one of our commenters in person? We usually have to start at the very beginning of a basic relationship. “What’s your name? Where do you live? What do you do for a living?” That’s not much of a deep relationship.

Instead, we need to find our meaning and value in something greater.

As a Christian, I find that ultimately in being someone who’s made in the image of God and, in smaller ways, through being a husband and father who’s leading our family team.

Maybe you find it elsewhere. Just don’t base your personal validation on the number of nameless faces on the Internet nor on what they say.

When you find your value intrinsically it frees you to grow an online audience for a better reason: to influence and change lives.

Your true motivation can genuinely be to serve others, to inspire them, and to cast a vision for something bigger than just a YouTube channel, a blog, or even a business. It’s no longer just lip-service for what you’d otherwise actually be doing: serving others as long as it makes you feel good about yourself.

Feel good about yourself, yes, but don’t use the Internet to affirm your self-worth and meaning in life. You are worth more than that.