If you’re looking to become more authentic, unapologetic or vulnerable in real-life, social media is a great place to start.
We’re inundated with reports of how toxic social media is, and it’s partly true — at worst, social media transforms all of us into observers instead of participants, ogling other people’s seemingly perfect lives and leaving us feeling horrible about our own.
But at best, social media is an opportunity to share and shape our own stories, become the leading star in our own lives again, and help us own how we feel. It connects us with like-minded people and provides a platform for unfettered self-expression.
Like anything else in life, social media is raw potential — intention determines whether it’s toxic or nourishing.
Sharing my story on Instagram changed my life, not only because it gave me the courage to start a blog and find my life purpose of helping people heal their heart and love who they are, but also because it helped me realize I wasn’t flawed.
The thing is, we all lament society — society’s wrong ideals, society’s tumultuous fall from grace, society’s materialism.
But we ARE society. Everything that you post on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter influences everyone who follows you, regardless of whether you have 20 followers or 2 million.
Sharing every crevice of your heart and soul isn’t for everyone, but when you commit to sharing authentically, you can heal your heart while helping to heal the world.
TIPS FOR HEALTHY SOCIAL MEDIA USE
1. Be conscious of how much you create versus consume.
Consuming information has never been easier, with cell phones, tablets and television never more than an arm’s length away, constantly beeping for attention.
Yet to live fully, to understand ourselves and to live our destiny, we must create. We are creative beings and thwarting this natural desire — whether to create a tangible piece of art or intangible social movement — can result in depression and lethargy.
Over-consumption makes it too easy to compare our efforts to others further along the path and judge our own efforts as inadequate. To achieve the consistency required for success, we must keep the fire of self-belief burning brightly.
A big part of my ability to continue blogging and posting consistently over the last several years has come from a technique I call “putting the blinders on.”
Jockeys place blinders on racehorses to keep them focused. I (try to) do the same with social media and the Internet, essentially limiting my exposure to other creators.
A lot of people say they feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of people doing the thing they want to do. This feeling prevents them from jumping into the game. The simple answer is to stop looking around at what everyone else is doing.
It’s good to receive inspiration from others, but even better to receive inspiration from the universe itself, the ultimate source of inspiration.
2. Social media validates how you already feel inside.
Everything outside begins within. If feel not good enough, you’ll seek external circumstances to proof that belief, such as spending time comparing yourself to others on social media with seemingly perfect lives.
In reality, people with big accounts spend hours taking the perfect shot, and often post pictures from professional photographers. When I was in Kauai last year on vacation, I remember scrolling through Instagram pictures of the island.
Soon, I found myself jealous of people in Kauai WHILE I WAS IN KAUAI.
Their pictures looked better, so they must be having a better time, right? I had been judging myself for my inability to take lust-worthy pictures, and Instagram was right there support me in this toxic activity. I mean, who doesn’t want the perfect yoga picture on the most heartbreakingly beautiful beach?
So insane. In reality, this experience only highlighted a tendency to think that my vacation is not good enough because I sometimes feel I am not good enough.
Comparison is a sure sign to disconnect from technology, tune in and reconnect to through mediation, journaling, yoga or walks in nature.
p.s. My phone ultimately went swimming while I tried to take an Insta-worthy shot, and it was the best thing ever for my trip.
TIPS FOR SHARING YOUR STORY AUTHENTICALLY
If you feel inspired to share authentically but are held back by fear, I truly encourage you to feel the fear and do it anyway.
Sharing pieces of your story will help you own how you feel. If you’re having trouble being vulnerable in your real-life relationships, or feel unheard, writing about how you feel and then sharing could be wonderful soul medicine. No one can interrupt you on your own platform!
Articulating how you feel in writing will help you later articulate how you feel in real life. Sure, you could just journal, and I often do, but the alchemy of putting things into the real world feels very different. You giving yourself permission to feel gives others that same permission.
You sharing how you feel in the real world is your ego acknowledging that these feelings are valid and normal and worthy of consideration by others.
Doing this makes your soul soar. And when people say those magic words — “I can so relate” — it’s the most healing thing in the world. You finally realize that you’re not flawed, you’re human.
In this way, sharing on social media can be an integral part of your spiritual journey and contribute to collective healing. Your authenticity helps others understand that they’re not alone.
How to make your story resonate, connect and inspire.
Sharing authentically doesn’t necessarily mean sharing all the gory details. Write more about the feelings behind the situations, and less about the worldly ins and outs. More about the heart and less about the he said, she said.
Personally, I’m very careful about what I share, writing about the topics I know many people grapple with — love, loss, depression, the desire to heal. Whenever I write, I ask myself what the human connection behind it is, and use the details that underscore that shared humanity, leaving others out.
If you’re looking for pity, you know your heart isn’t in the right place. If you’re looking to express yourself, it probably is.
Know that whatever you’re going through, others are, too, or have in the past.
Even if you don’t share the depths of your heart and soul, I truly encourage you to ask yourself how you can be more real with the things you do post.
Approaching social media this way transforms a potentially mindless activity into something deeply meaningful and healing, not only for you, but for all the world.
Now it’s your turn! How do you use social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
All the love,