One of the very first things I do with my clients is talk about the impact and effects social media has on us and I give them a nudge to unfollow anyone who doesn’t serve their highest good when it comes to self love and body positive. Think about this - when you jump online, maybe its Instagram, maybe its Facebook. Do you feel like you go down the rabbit hole of self judgement, criticism, envy and/or comparison?
Then all of a sudden, 2 hours have passed you by, your thumbs numb and you feel pretty average about your somewhat currently mundane, unexciting life or lack of six pack and fit body. We have all been there, myself included, where we are bombarded with glamorous babes who have seemingly perfect bodies and perfect lives along with perfect relationships, which in return can leave us feeling pretty unattractive and not so hot!
Can I just quietly remind you or maybe you won’t mind if I shout it to you :
SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT REAL.
Its a photoshop of your body, your life and your relationships. Its edited, its highlights, its all the good parts in one place. (Well most of the time, although it seems more and more we are becoming a little more real)
Social media is good at cropping out the unwanted, messy, tangled parts of our lives. Leaving us just with the good, none of the bad. None of the real.
So whats happening when you’re scrolling, you are actually comparing your ‘normal’ real life to the most exciting part of others lives. Ignoring that last night was a pizza binge, tears of saddness, pimples, active wear, fights….. When we only reveal the good parts, we are literally photoshopping our lives so they look neat, fit in a box and are attractive to others.
We all hate when the media photoshops models and celebrities bodies because ‘they’re not real’ yet we are using social media to do the same with our entire lives. From cellulite free thighs (thank you amazing lighting), #transformationtuesdays, #throwbackthursdays, #motivationamondays and the selfie that only took 98576 attempts to get it perfect, bombard beautiful women like you on a daily basis leaving you to feel inadequate, unsuccessful, fat, ugly, self conscious about our bodies and our lives. We literally compare our every move. This is sabotage. Self induced, social media fuelled sabotage.
The truth is we all have good days and challenging days, exhausting days, we look better today days, and hey thats real life!
So what happens when someone only posts the perfectly planned photoshopped moments of their life on social media?
COMPARISON - PERFECTIONISM - ENVY - REPEAT
We’ve all been there! Why don’t I look like that? Why am I not as successful as her? My life is so boring, why can’t I go on holidays to those places. How does she even look so good after working out? How does she know how to dress so well? Its not ok, and it literally steals our happiness. When we compare our real life roller coaster with all its messes to the best parts of others it stops us from being able to fully appreciate what we have, our own joyful moments and successes.
Stop the comparison - this only leads to lack of confidence, feeling less than and like our life is one big epic fail.
The reel of unrealistic expectations. A place of perfectly groomed bodies, relationships and lives. Suddenly our lives seem so messy, real and chaotic. We set so many unrealistic expectations on ourselves that in order for us to have a happy life we must look a certain way, we must be free of sadness, stress, annoying jobs, pain etc. However what is actually a perfect life is one where we learn to balance all those things and to live a life thats real and full of beautiful little moments. There is so much more in being able to show up as you are, whether you have a soft belly, pale legs, washboard abs. Live your life just as you are.
When we compare the ‘perfect' lives of others we suddenly find ourselves feeling emotions of envy, jealousy. This is a barrier to genuine authentic connections. People tend to put others down or speak badly of those they are jealous of in order to make themselves feel better. We need to learn to celebrate peoples greatness not hate on them.
So the tips that I give my clients when they start with me and they want to work on self love, self confidence and all thats in between. I ask them to put themselves to the test.
Next time you are scrolling through a newsfeed try these 3 tips :
Ask yourself - does this person or brand make me feel self conscious, jealous, inadequate or a desire to be perfect? If you said YES to any of them, UNFOLLOW them!
Explore new accounts - ones that make you feel happy, confident and offer positive value to your life. Slowly watch as your newsfeed transforms.
Search new hashtags that your favourite accounts use to find other great accounts to follow.