But it’s free! Reflections on my habit of signing up for online trainings.

I have a habit of signing up for free webinars and workshops, ones that claim to be beneficial, boost my mindset, give me tools for my small business, etc. It is likely that these have value in themselves, and I’m sure they benefit many people.

However, I rarely attend these things. The truth is: I feel bogged down by watching videos online. I have to take webinars in small bites. I get restless. Sometimes I can watch things while doing something else, like taking notes or making jewelry, but after a time, I get overwhelmed by the amount of information and the fact I’ve been watching a computer screen for an extended amount of time. The content adds more noise and clutter to my already full e-mail inbox and internet time. It can add to overstimulation and potentially lead to a sensory shutdown.

I also reached a point where self-help resources became less helpful for me. Part of that was burnout: I spent thousands of dollars and over two years on a live-in empowerment program. In the end, I can say that parts of it were worthwhile and beneficial…and other parts were not helpful and even harmful for me. I am now more cautious and skeptical. While I believe it’s helpful to have a good and hopeful attitude, I don’t believe completely in mind over matter. If someone starts talking about manifestation and the law of attraction, I’ll lose interest quickly. It’s not that I don’t think these things aren’t helpful for some people; I just don’t believe that they are helpful for me.

Also, sometimes something that was meant to encourage me doesn’t have the desired effect. I was watching something (as part of the marketing section of my transcript proofreading course) recently about imposter syndrome and how to overcome it. I recognized it in myself and I’ve actually felt more self-conscious since then. I do have tools for overcoming self-doubt; sometimes, I need to find my own way out.

It’s also that I’m not generally the best person to market to. Yes, I’ve clicked on a link, I’ve signed up for a free class, I get on an e-mail list. I’ll get that far; you’ve sold me on the free parts. But at this point, unless you’re selling a set of skills I want to acquire or a Nia training, I probably won’t buy the product or service that you’re trying to sell. It’s also that I sometimes get annoyed at even well-meaning people who are selling their products and services. No wonder I struggle with the idea of marketing and selling my services — I don’t want people to react to me selling something in a similar way. (Note: This is not to say that I’m invulnerable to marketing and that I don’t get the desire to buy things; I do. I just don’t think I’m the best person to target for an actual sale).

Perhaps the obvious lesson here is to stop signing up for online events I won’t attend, for free services that may turn into sales pitches. I can acknowledge that while I’m curious and would appreciate the insights, it’s often more effective for me to find those in another way. Maybe I can find an article by that person or check out their book. Maybe I’ll reach out and connect with someone who has done something similar to what I’m trying to do. I can write down what kind of support I need and brainstorm ideas on how and where to get it. Alternatively, before I sign up for something, I can look more carefully at what’s being offered. I can then make a more considered decision, and, if I like what they’re offering, make an intentional date with myself to watch it.

I recently signed up for a free training that had multiple videos/webinars about how to overcome overwhelm. I was completely overwhelmed and daunted by the amount of videos. So here is my intention for the future: to sign up for things like this with more intention and not all at once, and to pause before I sign up for another thing, no matter how low (or free!) the cost.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Problem is, our time is never “free” :)) Here are some “free” Virtual horse rides you can use to cut out of life for a while, if you want to take a break . . . :)) Dawn



  2. Ah, again I can so relate! If I’m looking for an answer to a specific question/problem I will SO not accept a video as an answer – too much input. :O Give me still pictures and text to read, and I’ll be fine. I’ve participated in a “pace yourself in your own time”-webinar which was fun – 2,5 years ago. I’m still almost full of that one. XD Podcasts – somebody TALKING in my ear? No wayyyy – with the exception of Clarissa Pinkola Estés, of whom I devour most anything she releases. Interesting. And, good self-awareness there!


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