What makes influencers successful, and why do so many spoil themselves?.

If we ask kids today what they would do as adults, we can be sure they envision their future as a youtube or flu. But how is selection made, and what does psychology have to do with it?

If we were asked the question of whether we want to be famous and rich, many of us would probably answer yes. However, when we get to the gates of success and are really given the opportunity to gain immense popularity, many people back down at the last minute. What psychological processes may underlie this? On the defining social phenomenon of our time, the so-called influencer culture is described below with expert eyes.

What makes influencers successful, and why do so many spoil themselves?

In parallel with the proliferation of Twitch, YouTube, and other video-sharing platforms, we were able to follow as average gamers and vloggers gained a huge fan base in a short amount of time. What’s more, many of them accomplished this by sitting at home, in their own armchairs, producing interesting, entertaining content for others.

Of course, the formula for popularity is multifactorial: it is not enough to just create eye-catching content, you need to find the right channel and target audience.

What makes influencers successful, and why do so many spoil themselves?

In addition, expertise and presentation skills also play a significant role in making a real influencer. Even if we have all the necessary qualities, in the actual popularity explosion, of course, external factors can be the achievement of sponsors for the long-term maintenance of quality, the emergence of competitors, etc.). In addition, however, we cannot ignore internal, mental processes that cause us to trip ourselves before we can even achieve our goal.

What will others think?

We spend a lot of time wondering what others think of us. If we are facing an event of great significance, we are particularly concerned with how the outside world will look at us. In psychology, we call attribution when we look for the underlying causes of behavior. For example, if we have a sense of success, we will consider how others will evaluate it, what may be behind our merits. The reasons for this can be both external and internal. It is already well known among social psychologists that we tend to attribute the successes of others to external factors (e.g., luck), while we see our own efforts (e.g., we have worked hard) in the background of our own results.

What makes influencers successful, and why do so many spoil themselves?

In contrast, failure is valued the other way around: the failure of others is generally seen as a lack of effort (e.g., not working hard, not fighting for it much), while we tend to attribute our own failures to external factors (e.g., we are out of luck, not chosen). .

In doing so, we are trying to resolve the contradiction that, although we have worked hard, we have not achieved the desired result. This process will help us regain our self-confidence and re-stabilize our damaged sense of justice, that is, we can once again be optimistic about our future and make another effort to succeed. Similarly, there are individual differences in the octagonal ownership of wealth and poverty.

What makes influencers successful, and why do so many spoil themselves?

For example, individuals who are able to break out of difficult circumstances are more likely to attribute the success of individuals to their own efforts (e.g., hard work), while we try to explain the wealth acquisition of the rich by external reasons (e.g., inherited, won the lottery). We also tend to be more biased about personal qualities (e.g., the victory of a competitor of homosexual or Roma descent is more likely to be attributed to minority status and the bias of judges than to the consequences of their own efforts).

Attribution processes can influence our decisions, which is why we may turn our backs on success because we think others may attribute to luck by chance, perhaps other factors beyond our control, all that we worked hard for, and that would be detrimental to our self-esteem. Moreover, some may even accuse them of fraud.

This phenomenon may be familiar to many of us, for example, from cases where we perform particularly well in a game before our opponents call us a cheater, a hacker. The main reason for this is that they are trying to maintain the stability of their self-esteem, which has been shaken by the fact that, despite their increased efforts, they have not emerged victorious from any competition.

What makes influencers successful, and why do so many spoil themselves?

In order to prevent unjustified accusations, some may be more inclined to reject the potentially unpleasant consequences of success, along with the many positives, and tend to underperform.

Lampshade in the spotlight

Our self-esteem can also stand in the way of our success. Basically, we strive to make our decisions and behaviors reflect our self-image. It varies from individual to individual when they are satisfied with their own performance. Abilities also play a key role in this (e.g., someone with better memory can expect to learn a poem in one day, while others can give ourselves three days for the same task).

If someone puts their abilities on balance and has higher expectations of themselves, they may be more motivated to succeed.

What makes influencers successful, and why do so many spoil themselves?

They are the ones who usually strive for higher laurels. In contrast, those who have less confidence in their abilities are more likely to be satisfied with more modest results. However, the assessment of abilities is often subjective, based on the individual’s own assessment, so individuals with low self-esteem may be more likely to think, even with outstanding abilities, that they may not achieve greater success and therefore not try. In this way, they coordinate their behavior with their self-image so that there is not too much difference between the two, as this can lead to internal tension, so-called cognitive dissonance.

Self-esteem can also be affected by external sources (e.g., feedback from others about our performance). If we regularly hear from others that we are not performing well enough, our self-esteem may decline, and if our work nonetheless is followed by success, we may think we don’t deserve it. The reason for this is also that we are trying to strike a balance between our self-image and our behavior, because in this case we have already identified with the role of eternal loser.

As a result of the process, we can stay away from the possibility of achieving a more serious result by accounting for our success as a one-time, accidental event and no longer trying, i.e., “no longer haunting our luck”.

Low self-esteem can become lasting as a result of long-term, ongoing negative feedback, which is why we may not continue on the path to greater popularity after unexpected success because we are afraid of change.

What makes influencers successful, and why do so many spoil themselves?

There are also big individual differences between people in who is open to novelties. Some are quickly bored with permanence, flexible, and motivated to pursue new experiences, while others cling to the familiar and find it difficult to tolerate new, uncertain situations. Fear of change and the challenges of new situations can deter those who find it harder to bear change because of their personality after initial success. This can prevent them from finding new challenges and increasing their popularity.

Do we dare to level up?

Even those with higher self-confidence may be discouraged by the fear of success. This concept was introduced by American psychologist Martina S. Horner in the late 1960s. According to Horner’s research, those affected fear the consequences mainly, most of all social rejection, and women even lose their female identity. In Horner’s research, 72 percent of participants were found to be susceptible to fear of success, and 63 percent were women.

Because in most Western cultures, competition, performance, and the pursuit of success are generally seen as male traits, women who value these values ​​may experience success as a renunciation of their female identity. On the other hand, many people are jealous of successful people, so in response to high popularity, they react immediately to a legitimate, often only temporary, decline in performance with grievance, which also affects a person’s self-esteem. Before that, many don’t even get into the challenges of potentially greater success.

What makes influencers successful, and why do so many spoil themselves?

In addition to the fear of recognition, it is important to mention the fear of failure. This is because the more followers a person has, the more negative comments they receive in addition to the positive ones on the content they convey, and thus significantly more people will witness these comments, and even the eventual fall, if they are so frustrated by the unfavorable reactions that they end up.

Fear of failure can also deter people with higher self-confidence from gaining wider awareness and thus becoming “visible” to trolls.

How to overcome uncertainty?

It may be important to be aware in ourselves of the mental processes that can prevent us from pursuing bolder goals. If we discover a difference between our self-esteem, our abilities, and the feedback from our environment, try to reduce the distance between them by developing a realistic self-image that reflects our abilities in almost the same way through our development and efforts.

So let’s extend the boundaries of our selves without putting ourselves in front of challenges that we don’t have the capacity to meet yet, but we can flexibly change any patterns that may be stuck. Higher popularity usually requires higher performance, more time and energy, and we also need to divide our attention between more activities such as content production and responding to an increasing number of comments.

So let us set more serious goals if we are also ready to carry out the tasks that come with it and have a solid self-confidence to be able to cope with the negative consequences, jealousy and negative comments that come with popularity. If we are able to systematize and properly handle the positive and negative events associated with reputation, we will also become more immune to external factors that threaten our popularity.

The article was written by psychologist Ágnes Zsila, whose main area of ​​interest is the meeting of media psychology and pop culture.

Extra Life is a social responsibility column on SamaGame that aims to help young people and parents work with professionals to talk about issues that may affect you.