MENTAL HEALTH: Is Social Media Doing You Harm?
I think we have a responsibility to our online communities to paint a more well-rounded picture. This doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice our personal privacy but as experts, mentors and coaches, when our brand is so closely intertwined with who we are, it’s time to hold ourselves to a greater level of accountability and make sure we aren’t fuelling the image of perfection that our community sees online.
I think we have a duty to our followers to make sure that our content isn’t setting people up to fail when they try for unattainable standards that not even we are maintaining; yet they think we are. Whether it’s creating a brand that’s all about fitness, health and wellness, productivity, or spiritual alignment, I’m yet to meet anyone who has managed to stay on track and never slip up in any of these domains – although some choose only to share the highlights, while others share their difficult past but act as though they haven’t experienced challenges ever since.
Despite what you see – or don’t see online, remember this: Sometimes, even the most productive of us get burned out. The most spiritually woke can feel lost, sad or fearful at times. The most energized and physically fit can feel unmotivated. The most successful of entrepreneurs succumb to self-doubt and can feel like their accomplishments still aren’t good enough.
It’s the authors, coaches and experts that share their wealth of knowledge while also reminding us that they are still human and face their own challenges that I relate most to.
I’d much rather follow a successful entrepreneur that also shares their harder days and setbacks, than one who pretends that they only experiences ‘wins’.
I’d rather follow a spiritual teacher that talks about how they manage to move back into alignment faster and more frequently, than one who never shares that they fall out of alignment.
I would also much prefer to follow someone in health and wellness who is honest about the days when they feel tired or drained and what their successful recovery or self care looks like.
I don’t expect experts to be perfect. I expect them to live with greater awareness and proactively use the tools they teach us, to help themselves and set an example.
We are all human and when you give yourself permission to be vulnerable, you’re encouraging me and everyone else to feel safe to be vulnerable too.
Don’t tell me what to do to be successful. Tell me of your struggles and what you did to get through it. Share your hero’s journey with me and then I will be more inspired, not to mention more trusting of my own journey.
I’m not here to share a perfect life online. My intention is to share the tools, techniques and wisdom I acquire in my life and hope that it helps you along your journey too, because it’s proven invaluable to me.
Over the years, I talked about my mental health and the tools and techniques I use; both in my book, videos and on this platform. Still, I could do a better job of sharing those moments when I don’t feel particularly motivated, where I feel overwhelmed by work or when I don’t feel enough and how I show up in my own life and work through it.
It’s my duty to live by example and teach you how to fall to your knees and not your face, to learn how to better steer your ship when the seas get rough and how to bounce back into alignment faster and sooner each time life knocks you about and you find yourself in fear’s domain.
Just know this. I fall to my knees. My seas get rough. I fall out of alignment. But I can teach and share what I do because I am someone who knows how to get back up faster, steer through storms and find my way back to my centered self sooner and with a greater sense of resilience and newfound level of self compassion.
I don’t intend on sharing a crying selfie but I do promise to do my best to paint a realistic picture and join you on this journey of life.
I’m not interested in perfection. I’m interested in progress and partnership.