Friday, November 1, 2019

Stream With No Complaints

Many streamers will find themselves overwhelmed with the responsibilities of streaming. Whether they have problems making their shows, or it takes a toll on other parts of their lives, many of us turn to complaints and excuses to get us through the day. If you're thinking to yourself how inconvenient it all is, verbally venting on your broadcasts, or telling coworkers about how little time you now have, all these paths will eventually hurt your long-term streaming career. Don't create a mental association between your stream and your other problems in life- it'll only cause you to eventually resent your passion. Plus, if you're complaining on stream, it's just no fun to watch.

Complaining is a very primal defense mechanism: it's every human being's way of getting others to empathize with their problems while simultaneously doing nothing to solve them. It's also one of the most addictive activities on Earth. The more someone complains, the more likely they are to continue complaining in the future. If you're already hooked on complaining, there is hope, but you're going to have to work at fixing it.


Remember what's important. You get to live your passion!
If you want to kick your complaining habit, it's important not to dwell on your problems. Instead, constantly remind yourself why you love what you're doing. The chance to play games on the internet, the ability to build something and watch it grow, or the opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions with others across the world. There are plenty of reasons to love streaming, but focus on the ones that are important to you.

Don't just keep it to yourself either- tell your community! Rather than spending five minutes venting about how much you hate your work hours, it's just as easy to talk about how lucky you feel to have a wonderful community to spend time with when you get home. Instead of going on a rant about how your streaming tech gives you all sorts of problems, thank people for always being patient with you while you fix those issues. Any negative thought can be spun into a positive talking point, and when all you're thinking and talking about are the positive sides of things, you'd be surprised how much less frustrated you are overall. Scientific studies say that smiling actually tricks your brain into making you happier, and the same is true of smiling on the inside.

In past entries I recommended that you not aspire to quit your existing job in order to stream. This means you're going to be extra busy for a while in the months where you figure out how to balance your work life, personal life, and new streaming lifestyle. And while it's important not to complain on stream, it's just as important not to let your stream cause you to complain in other aspects of your life. This can only lead to resenting your stream in the future, and it's an important step toward accepting streaming as a fact of life in the long run. We all have lots of things to be upset with each day, but it's how you project these feelings that leave an impact on yourself and your audience.


Break down negativity one step at a time.
Here's one thing that sounds simple but isn't: you don't have to follow all your friends on social media just because they're your friends in real life. One of the biggest sources of strife for me was seeing people around me complain and bicker with each other constantly on various online platforms. I didn't even realize it was affecting my own daily personal mood either, until I stopped using the platform or slashed my follower list. We all think these things don't have an impact on us, but ask yourself: what if it does? Are you willing to bet your happiness on it? Because that's what you're doing right now if you're unwilling to make a change- you don't know whether these influences are truly affecting you until you try removing them.

If you don't want to outright delete your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media account, then try unfollowing anyone who gives off negative vibes in your feeds. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, make a self-righteous post about when or why you're going to unfollow people, just do it without a word. In my experience with this, I found it very difficult to remove many of my friends or internet acquaintances from my lists. Ridiculous as it might seem, it almost felt as if I were striking them a personal blow by unfollowing their account. What helped me was writing down their usernames in a text document so I could re-follow them later if I wanted to. It made the removals feel less permanent, even though over a year later I still haven't added a single one of them back onto my lists. Now for example, I can scroll through my entire day's Instagram newsfeed in less than ten seconds, because I follow so few people that there is nothing to either cast bad vibes on me, or distract me from accomplishing my goals. It's a great feeling.


In the entry Build Your Twitch Channel Like You're a Secret Agent, I described how telling others of your plans releases the same chemicals in your brain as actually executing those plans. The same is true of complaining- it makes you feel like you've accomplished something when in reality you've done nothing productive at all. Complaining to your audience on stream can dredge up a few cheap conversations in some cases, but at what cost? As a viewer I personally leave most streams when they start complaining for more than thirty seconds, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this. It's just not a fun environment to be around. Plus, complaining outside your stream will only create more mental baggage and make it harder to sit down and go live the next day. Complaining is easy to do in the moment, but if you take the harder route and kick your habit now, you'll be making an investment in your future. Streaming is much sweeter when you do it with no complaints.

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