Inspiration vs Aspiration: How to Build a Moving Instagram Profile

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These days, Instagram can get a bad rap. Thanks to the rising popularity of editing apps and the increasingly fine-tuned curation of #content, the reality of some of its users can feel scripted. As a result, the once-irrepressible lure of aspirational posts has started to lose appeal in favor of the inspirational. It makes sense: the platform’s initial mission was one of discovery, but while aspiration creates hopes and dreams that might wind up halted in the ether of ambition, inspiration can mentally stimulate people into action. But how do you do that? Read on to find out.

Set an Intention

Just like you would in a yoga class, begin by setting an intention. The mental force driving your actions can have a surprisingly profound effect on how they actually turn out. This isn’t just hearsay; according to psychologists, making a decision about the direction we want to take with anything in life, be it our day, our career path, and even our Instagram feed, can help guide it in the right direction. It can give us the power to not only raise both our emotional and physical energy, but also to help us clarify what our core values are, making it easier to focus on making our goals come to fruition. Ask yourself: How do you want to make people feel when they click on your profile, and how do you want to want to inspire them? It’s a great way of making sure that your content is always in line with your vision and – when we’re talking about your personal brand – with who you are. As Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, “Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.”

Keep It Real

If your attitude is genuine, the authenticity will shine through and your posts will never feel forced. This, in turn, makes it easier for people to relate to you – and the more relatable you are, the more likely you are to inspire someone to actually do something. There’s a reason why relatability has long been such an important part of the television and film industry. By seeing themselves reflected in you – whether that’s through your values, clothing, actions, words, or general lifestyle – your followers will be more likely to see themselves achieving the same. Your post could be just the boost that they need to actually get out there and do something. So how do you become more relatable? It’s simple: Just be honest, and be yourself. People appreciate the authenticity of honesty, and it’s one of the most surefire ways to build a real connection.

Know Your Audience

Who are you trying to speak to when you share a post? It’s important to understand why your chosen topic might be important to your audience in order to be able to connect with them and to really speak to them in a way that matters so that the message is a resounding one. This also helps with choosing the right vernacular. After all, we’re all more likely to identify with someone who speaks our language.

Question Your Motives

Before you post something on your profile, run it through your checklist of values. Ask yourself why you’re posting it, if it’s true to who you are, and if it will benefit someone out there. If you’re happy with the answer to all of these questions, you’re good to go.