I am one of social media’s biggest fans. I could get lost in the abyss of beautiful Instagram feeds, and the humor on Twitter keeps me laughing for days. I think it’s a fantastic tool that allows us to connect to the rest of the world in a way that’s never existed in human history. I’ve met some of my bestest real-life friends through social media. It gets a lot of hate because of the problems it seems to create in our lives, but here’s the deal. It isn’t creating new problems in the world. Social media is only magnifying what’s already within us. It’s not social media that needs monitoring. It’s ourselves we need to monitor.
Recently, I decided to start a podcast (that in and of itself is a big deal for this introverted girl), but the student that I am, I decided to follow other successful podcasters to see what they’re doing that I could learn from. Wow! Let me tell you. Some freaking amazing people are doing some freaking amazing things!
Then, the other night, I was in a big funk as I tried to come up with something to post on social media. After several minutes, I paused and paid attention to where my funk was coming from, and that’s when I realized my mood had shifted after spending the previous 30-45 minutes scrolling through my Instagram feed. Looking at the beautiful and successful podcasters had tapped into MY insecurities. They were all funnier, prettier, or better speakers, or had so many more followers than me, and it left me feeling that I could never measure up so what’s the point of even trying.
My insecurities weren’t their problem or social media’s problem. It was MY problem. Without even realizing it I had allowed my thoughts to slip from a creative space into a competitive space, and it was time for me to remove myself from any of the distractions that were keeping me from creating the podcast that my heart desires, in my unique way. All social media did was magnify and reflect the fears and insecurities already within me.
So, I unfollowed them all.
When it comes to living an abundant life full of happiness, joy, and contentment, it’s my responsibility to pay attention to the areas within me that I need to heal.
You see, still to this day, at 42, I feel super insecure about starting my podcast. Probably because my whole life, I’ve been ashamed of how quiet and mild-mannered I am. It takes me longer than average to process my thoughts and respond in conversations. And when I’m nervous — forget about it — my brain freezes up and I can’t even think of my name when asked. I’ve always adored the witty and funny extroverted girls who could capture a room with their easy-breezy charms. For years, I convinced myself that there wasn’t any space for me in the realm of influence. I didn’t think I had a voice that people would want to listen to.
In recent years, I’ve changed my inner dialogue. I no longer allow myself to believe the lies that quiet isn’t good enough or that there isn’t any room for an introspective voice. I’ve begun to heal my wounds of unworthiness, and I’ve started to show up in my average, quiet, and quirky way. I’ve learned to shut down the self-sabotaging voices that I’m not allowed to write or speak in a big way.
But those lies are still there and on the days when I’m not paying attention, they slip in the back door, they crawl through my window, and they start their taunting me again.
And that’s when I get in a funk. My funk is my friend tapping on the door of my heart, whispering, “Hey, pay attention. The lies are back. It’s time to kick them out.”
That night I captured the voices and I unfollowed everyone who triggered those still wounded places within me. I’m focusing my energy not on looking to what others are creating, but instead, I’m looking at what I am doing and creating and enjoying.
Maybe I’ll refollow those people again one day when I feel more comfortable in podcasting skin.
But for now, I unfollowed them all.
Pay attention to what social media is magnifying in your life. Do you find yourself getting into a funk after being on social media? Do you feel inadequate, not enough, or just plain jealous scrolling through certain people’s feeds? Pay attention to that funk. Funk is your friend because he’s showing you what lies you’re believing about yourself. It’s time to unfollow and heal.
Who do you need to unfollow to allow yourself the freedom to create more of the abundant life you desire? Go unfollow them now.