Say you were to die right after you read this article. Instantly, you’re standing face to face with yourself, like a full body mirror. The image in the mirror is the version of yourself that lived your 100% potential. The you that worked with extreme ethic, took every opportunity, strove for maximum effort, never settled for mediocrity, kept a positive attitude, and ultimately exhausted every mile of the path chosen. Would you recognize that reflection of you? The person you have potential to be, and the person you are, shouldn’t be complete strangers given the circumstance to meet. The goal is to strive for identical twins of this “ideal self”.
We live in a global society that’s public and easily accessed. Creating and maintaining an online presence has become the most relevant tactic in self establishment for friends and followers. In a world of social media, perception is everything. We all have a perceived version of who we see in the mirror every morning. Our “ideal self” is who we feel we should be, that is more commonly what we show to the world. Our profiles delivers snapshot samples of our existence to all that view. Much like a sports highlight reel. Are we really presenting who we are or are we presenting a hyper-idealistic version of ourselves? The authenticity we deliver to the world allows us to look our “ideal self” in the eye with confidence.
I have dozens (on top of dozens) of poor habits, anyone that knows me personally can surely vouch. I fall short of my 100% potential on a daily basis. Ultimately, my goal with social media is to exhibit how much I love my kids and my career. I’m extremely proud of both. I try to spread positivity through showing the fun and exciting moments of my life. But there’s a hidden side. A behind the scenes, everyday life side. The side that doesn’t find affection among the multitude. Sometimes I’m improper and fake, I have tendency to be lazy, I have lied, cheated, stole, and judged. Anxiety of failure cripples me on a weekly basis. I’m far from perfect. This blog is a balancing act against the “highlight reel” of my social media that reveals the underbelly of my experiences. This is where I confess my reality and write to readers as if I’m writing myself words of advisement. Giving myself solutions to my own problems. Allowing lessons learned to be documented and read to hold me accountable to my advice. I know by the reaction of so many people who have contacted me since I’ve started this project, that we all have similar experiences. We all have untold circumstance that compel us to filter our image.
There’s many factors that contribute to why so many of us advertise these quintessential identities: pride, perfectionism, and status quo to name a few. I believe there is two deeper motives that are worth more investigation. Insecurity and anxiety.
Insecurity driven by judgment of others
Like most people, I am my biggest critic. I constantly worry about whether my posts will derive judgement from my circle. It frequently causes me to suppress some of the content that I reveal. To repudiate this it’s important to practice self-approval. We are under no obligation to be the same person we were yesterday. If we stop comparing ourselves to everyone else as well as seeking approval from others and start focusing on rivaling our former self, we are bound by nothing.
Anxiety of failure or being rejected
Anxiety is a result of fear. Fear isn’t always a bad thing. A dose of fear keeps our senses keen and sharp. That edge defeats complacency and maintains a ready state for action. The problem lies when we allow fear to manifest from things that we don’t have to tolerate controlling us. Failure and rejection is consistently top sources of anxiety. Realization that we undoubtedly will fail in our endeavors allows us to plan contingencies, it allows us to learn lessons and grow in wisdom from the experience, and it allows our mental state to become more resilient for future failure. In hindsight, failure should be welcomed because it’ll give us an opportunity to grow.
The reasons we hide behind our accentuated illustrations on social media are the same factors holding us back from unlocking our truest potential. Let that soak in for a minute. The reason that we aren’t living the honest, efficient, successful form of who we can be, the reasons that we aren’t achieving everything we desire in life, is because we have applied the same filter to our lives that filters our internet display. The moment that we can throw insecurity and anxiety to the wayside, is the moment that we can show the world the authentic person we are, and achieve what we desire the most. Now if that doesn’t light your fire, your wood’s wet.