Welcome to the Freelance Jungle #Unself challenge. This is an experiment for the month of October, so strap in and let’s see where we get!

The Freelance Jungle appreciates that not all freelance and creative journeys have to revolve around self-promotion. There are quite a lot of us who let the work speak for itself. Or carry the card of introvert, and this is usually accompanied with different ways to promote your business and market on your terms. Some freelancers find it uncomfortable to the point of complete rejection. Others pick up the mantle only to drop it again as Imposter Syndrome takes hold.

This Freelance Jungle #Unself challenge is about finding a different way forward.

What is an #Unself challenge?

The idea came from the Unselfing.Social website. It gave credit for the term ‘unselfing’ on a blog by Iris Murdoch featured on the Marginalian website (formerly called Brain Pickings).  

As an experiment, for one continuous month, make the focus of one in every three things you share on social media — wherever you normally share, however regularly or irregularly you do, however many people you reach — something other than yourself or your own work.

I shared the article within the Freelance Jungle and the concept attracted interest and applause. So, we decided to do something about it.

As the blog suggests, it’s not about posting every day or sticking to a regime. It’s simply about taking every third post and sending out something into the universe other than promotional stuff. And we’ve decided to support each other with this while we walk through the (usually very self-centric) halls of Instagram and LinkedIn.

Why do this in a group?

All great resistances come from a community. In this case, a community that can:

a.      Challenge the algorithm that is looking for a selfie and I-centric words in the description by jumping on to give a like and/or a comment to a fellow resistor

b.      Share ideas of the kinds of content that is fun and/or inspiring and inspire more of the same

c.      Make new friends that share the same values along the way

d.      Build each other up as we share. As much as we might be challenging the self-driven nature of the social media platforms, it still sucks to put out content you care about and get nothing but tumbleweeds.

Who knows. It may even take hold and become a thing!

How to participate

Let’s make it super simple

1.      Pick your places of experimentation. I have suggested Instagram and LinkedIn as they tend to be the most “self” orientated

2.      Give thanks to Maria from Unselfing.Social in your maiden post

3.      Gather some friends to play with (our Freelance Jungle list is listed below.)

4.      Use the tag #unself when posting that non-self-related social media post so we can find you. And subscribe to that tag on Instagram so you see other participants updates (https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/unself/ )

5.      Post your unself content. Maria lists ideas on the unselfing website. Below are a list of other ones that might inspire you.

The freelance Jungle presents the unself challenge

Art by Jessica Harkins

Here are 31 #Unself ideas to give you a little boost

The sky is really the limit. Some people might be posting flowers, others may opt for creative or business-related content that isn’t self-related.

Here are ideas of something you may wish to share:

1.      Someone else’s creativity or art (with full credit)

2.      A local placemaking activity (e.g. dog stick library, street library, community garden etc)

3.      Something beautiful, breathtaking or unique in your local natural environment

4.      An idea you stumbled on that could do with a shout out

5.      Something mundane that gives comfort or pleasure

6.      A photo of something in nature you would not usually photograph

7.      A photo of something in an urban environment you would not usually take the time to notice

8.      Something admirable about another person participating in the #unself challenge

9.      A local group, activity or business you have not promoted before

10.   A sunrise

11.   A sunset

12.   A quote from a favourite song, film or TV program that only fans would know

13.   Something blue

14.   Something that aches with history

15.   A creative idea you like but would never get around to doing that you want someone else to have

16.   The business work of someone else participating in the #unself challenge

17.   An everyday item that we often overlook  

18.   A black and white moment

19.   An unspoken rule, idea or guideline shared by your culture or community

20.   A kindness you have seen or heard about

21.   An overlooked word

22.   A small happiness unique to where you live

23.   An idea filled with love

24.   The creative work of someone else participating in the #unself challenge

25.   The weather

26.   Water

27.   A piece of street art or graffiti

28.   A square

29.   A joy you can give to others

30.   Something unexpected

31.   Something that you learned as a result of this challenge

Note: these are only suggestions to keep you inspired. You do not have to follow this as a format. But they are there if you need them.

Your #unself posse includes

Creator Maria (Her Instagram handle is @mariapopova – other social media choices are available on https://www.themarginalian.org/ )

Freelance Jungle founder and virtual content marketer Rebekah Lambert (Instagram https://www.instagram.com/unashamedlycreative/ and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebekahlambert/ )

Musician Helen Perris (Instagram https://www.instagram.com/helenperrismusic/ )

Writer and musician Virginia Musik (Instagram https://www.instagram.com/virginiamuzik_writenoise/ )

Author and reviewer Suzie Eisfelder (Instagram https://www.instagram.com/suzsspace/ and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzie-eisfelder/ )

Healthcare marketer Claire Hewitt (LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/clairehewitt-melbourne/ )

Art Advocate & Copywriter Ali Strachan (Instagram https://www.instagram.com/alistrachanwrites and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/alison-strachan )

Film director and documentary maker Felicity Blake (Instagram https://www.instagram.com/the_dove/ )

Health writer Sophia Auld (LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/sophiaauld )

Learning and design curriculum developer Lottie Kershaw (Instagram http://instagram.com/lottik_learningdesign and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/lottikershaw)

NOTE: if you indicated you liked the idea in the Freelance Jungle and don’t see yourself listed, you are not forgotten! I didn’t want to give the wrong handle for you or nominate you in case you had second thoughts. Simply add your handles in the comments below the article.

Similarly, if you didn’t see the thread, feel free to share your details in the comments below.

Happy #Unself challenge, everyone!

The Freelance Jungle has a Facebook community, virtual catch-ups for stress reduction and networking, and a commitment to education via podcasts, blogs, and online learning.



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