5 Ways to Be Less Influenced in a World Full of Influencers


Note: This is a guest post from Renee Benes of The Fun Sized Life.

It wasn’t until I was 28 years old that I was hit with the shocking realization that the majority of the items in my wardrobe were purchased under the influence. Not to mention a lot of major life decisions.

What I mean is that I had purchased sweaters that my husband liked, jewelry I saw other people wearing, and bought a big house just like the families in my favorite movies when I was kid!

Thank goodness this was before the internet started to become swarmed with perfectly curated, influencer-heavy Instagram feeds and Tik-Tok videos—otherwise my bank account would never have survived (it barely did as it is).

Now that we live in a world where we are constantly being influenced, what can we do to slow our impulses and stay true to ourselves? 

5 Ways to Be Less Influenced in a World of Influencers

1. Know Your Style 

If you’re anything like me, one of your biggest temptations when it comes to being influenced is fashion. There is no shortage of people telling us how to dress, what to wear, and what is outdated and must be replaced immediately. 

One of the best ways I have found to slow our roll when it comes to being influenced is to first know our own unique style. This can be a daunting code to crack because a lot of us tend to have wardrobes filled with stuff other people like rather than items we choose ourselves. 

I used to have a closet filled with sweaters that my husband liked, jewelry that was gaudy but trendy, and shoes that I had seen worn by beautiful women on TV. 

If you can totally relate and have been easily swayed into buying wardrobe pieces that were pre-approved by someone else, here are some ways you can begin to find yourself (and your style) in your own closet: 

  • Pull your favorite clothing articles out of your closet.
  • Ask yourself what specifically you like about each item. (Texture, style, length, color)
  • Use this as a guideline the next time you are feeling influenced to buy a new piece of clothing: Does this match my style?

I have come to find that taking time to declutter your wardrobe can be one of the best ways to learn a little more not only about your style, but who you are allowing yourself to be influenced by. 

2. Know Yourself

Aside from the fashion factor, we are constantly being fed little messages about what type of person we should be. Every single human we meet these days seems to have a different idea of what success means, how a morning routine should look, and even what to eat in a day.

The constant overflow of outside influence is enough to make your head spin. 

I myself have fallen into crippling anxiety over the fear of not doing my makeup correctly (heaven forbid anyone see the natural shade of my skin), getting up at 5am (even if I’m exhausted and don’t have to be awake for hours), and even the size of my booty. Why do we live in a world where so many of us are spending our precious waking hours thinking about how to mold our butt into a trendier shape? 

Being influenced by these types of things is nothing new. Yes, it’s trickier than ever to avoid the constant onslaught of people telling you who to be and how to live. But the truth is, we have had plenty of people doing this to us since the day we were born. From parents and grandparents, to teachers and friends, we have taken on an array of messages that are (don’t tell your mom I said this,) total rubbish. 

Before you start adapting an 18-step skincare routine, or committing yourself to another year long gym membership, ask yourself these few questions: 

  • Is prioritizing this in my life going to add stress or remove it? 
  • Was this something I cared about before someone made me feel like I had to?
  • Have I attempted this before and failed? If so, how could I do it in a way that works for me

As soon as I start to feel that bubbling up of anxiety in my belly telling me I should do something the way someone else does, I pause and ask myself if this thing really matters to me or if I can simply allow someone else to have an experience without feeling the need to adopt it for myself? 

3. Know Your Priorities 

What about those times when you find something you totally know is in line with who you are, who you want to be, and your personal style? Awesome, great, totally psyched for you. 

The next stop to check in is to ask yourself if this new want lines up with your current priorities.

When your friends call you up and work on coaxing you into taking a 3-day vacation, this might meet all your needs for travel, time with friends, and self-care, but if you’ve already committed yourself to a family vacation 4 months from now, it might be a good idea to consult which one is a bigger priority. (Unless of course you can swing both. High five!)

As much as we might love them, our friend group can be one of the sneakiest influences in our lives. And if we’re not careful, we can easily shift ourselves off course in an attempt to fit in and prevent creating waves. If you thought peer pressure ended after high school, think again. 

Speaking of vacations, have you ever noticed how tempting it is to spend extra before going on vacation? Even when it’s not necessary. The urge to overspend kicks in hard core especially if you’ve done things like browse Pinterest or scroll the Instagram feeds of people who were recently on vacation. 

You might have everything you need to bring on vacation within a 10-foot radius of where you are currently sitting, but it’s awfully tempting to scoop up that cute beach hat you see your favorite influencer wearing. A good thing to remember when this type of temptation creeps up on you is that you aren’t going on vacation to wear a hat. Chances are, you are going for some much-needed rest. 

When you take the time to get clear about your priorities, before temptation kicks in, it makes it so much easier to tap into that part of you that remembers what does and doesn’t line up with the person you want to be and the life you want to live. 

4. Practice the 3 P’s 

If you’re feeling a particular influence toward something you see, especially in the stores or online, practicing the 3 P’s can help slow you down so your logical brain has time to kick in and prevent you from making a decision under the influence. 

These three P’s are something I got really good at practicing when it came to learning how to kick my shopping addiction:

Pause, Picture, and Plan


We live in a world that moves at the speed of light, and because there is less and less lag time between us and the things we want, pausing is not something most of us are good at doing anymore. 

Back in the old days (ya know, like 10 years ago), if we saw an ad for our favorite restaurant, we’d have to pause, consider the journey to get there, and if we could afford to eat out. On top of that we might make a few phone calls or send out a text to see if anyone cared to join. 

Nowadays if you want your favorite restaurant’s food, you can have it ordered and set to be delivered to your door in 3 minutes only using your phone, lifting nothing more than a finger.

Pausing is not natural for us anymore, but if you want to make sure you are living an uninfluenced life, it’s crucial to take 60 seconds just to check in with yourself before you commit to what would otherwise be nothing more than a brief temptation brought on by influence. 


Years ago, I saw a Facebook post from a mother who said her 2 year old was throwing a tantrum in the store because she really wanted a toy. This mom shared her story because what she did next was a major #momwin.

She had her daughter hold the doll up and then she snapped a picture of her daughter and the toy. Her daughter’s tantrum stopped and this mom was able to carry on with her life. 

A lot of people might read this and think, “I’m going to try that with my kids!” I, however, read this and thought, “Oh my gosh, I wonder if that would work on me?!” The shopaholic in me was most definitely at the same maturity level as a 2-year-old, so I figured giving it a try wouldn’t hurt. 

I put my theory to a test when my husband, Tom, and I took a trip to Nashville. 

I saw a cute little knick knack shop that made me instantly think every human I have ever known needed me to buy them a kitschy souvenir. Instead of purchasing, I started taking pictures. If I saw something that reminded me of someone, I sent them the picture, and you know what happened? 

I received texts back that said, “lol cute,” or “love it.” This made me realize I was dangerously close to spending $20 on stuff that mustered up the same amount of enthusiasm people feel when their Aunt Rita tells them the same joke for the 8th time at Christmas dinner. 

Whether it was potential souvenirs for friends or a flowy skirt for me, taking a picture made it so much easier to walk away. It was as if I had tricked my brain into thinking it actually got the item. It satisfied my inner 2-year-old and now I pass this wisdom onto you. 

This can also work for workout routines, cooking tutorials, or craft projects. Save the videos, screenshot the steps, or save ideas to your Pinterest boards. Know that all of these amazing things will be there waiting for you if and when you need them, and let go of the idea that it has to be right now. 


Lastly, plan. Perhaps you do take the screenshot and give yourself plenty of time to pause but you just can’t kick the urge to scoop up a new item, take the vacation, or try teaching yourself how to cook. That’s cool. Instead of either trying to resist the urge or give in without hesitation, why not consider making a plan?

Maybe this means carving out a portion of your next paycheck to devote to making purchases, gradually adding a daily walk into your schedule, or looking at the ingredients you currently have and deciding to make something simple with what you’ve already got. 

Planning can help ease us into new decisions and build excitement for when each big moment finally happens. 

5. Quiet the Noise 

More than anything, the best way to become uninfluenced in a world where we are constantly being influenced at, is to simply quiet the noise.

This might mean reducing your time on social media, only watching the re-cap segments of the daily news, or unsubscribing from email newsletters that are always tempting you into something new. 

No one said you had to allow yourself to be constantly subjected to the push and pull of this ever-present stream of influence.

I know it’s tough to resist the urge to scroll your phone for a few seconds (or a half hour) in the morning—especially when most of us depend on our phones to wake us up. Instead of starting your day with the loud noise of the outside world, consider finding other slightly more peaceful, productive ways to start your day instead of mindless scrolling. 

If you feel your anxiety spiking and can’t seem to shake the feeling that you’re always a step behind everyone else, then I highly recommend you stop focusing on what everyone else is doing. 

Carve out some time in your day to do your favorite things. Read a book, watch your favorite sitcom, take a bubble bath, and challenge yourself to be comfortable with any quiet that might accompany you. 

The world can get pretty noisy, so make time to reconnect to your inner peace.


Renee is a self-proclaimed shopaholic turned minimalist and mom in a blended family of 6. She runs a minimalist-centered blog called The Fun Sized Life, hosts the Unstuffed podcast that inspires people to pursue a life that is bigger than stuff, and has 500K followers on social media as a #nostuffinfluencer.

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