Main question floating around in my head = why are we so afraid of becoming vulnerable?
I am almost finished reading Melissa Ambrosini’s Mastering Your Mean Girl (& no, this mean girl isn’t the type that you see in the movies…)
The mean girl that Melissa dives into in her book is the inner negative voice in our head. Call it what you want, but the message remains clear – it can be your harshest critic.
To start off, I am not going try to sugar coat things – this past semester I experienced some super hard and challenging moments. Even though I’m only 20, these experiences have opened my eyes to some very important learning lessons. Not only have I learned more about others, but most importantly, I have learned so much more about myself.
Time at home has been so soothing and good for the soul. I have been having so much fun delving more into my passion in design work and bracelet making, and I have loved having the opportunity to reconnect with one of my ultimate past loves – reading for fun! (I sound like a nerd, right.)
Along with my experiences at school this past semester, Melissa’s book has opened my eyes to some super important lessons and food for thought. So let’s start this chat, shall we?
First, vulnerability. I would have never thought of sitting down and writing this post, unless I had read Mastering Your Mean Girl. When you truly consider it, we are often so hesitant to opening ourselves up to others, let alone via the web! I took a chance last summer through my social media cleanse post, and I can honestly say it felt so good to write and click publish. Not to mention, it was one of my most engaging posts viewership wise.
My social media cleanse post and this one go way deeper than the usual “summertime essentials” and “skincare routine” posts. And in no way am I bashing these types of posts AT ALL. I personally love them and read / watch millions of them in my free time. But, I think that mixing in some vulnerability enables us to open up to others and engage with the real truth. Which is what we are really trying to do in life, right?
In her book, Melissa states, “Being vulnerable makes people lean in…humans are hardwired for connection. We want to feel like someone gets us. We don’t want to land on a person’s website and feel like she / he has a ‘perfect’ life. – (which, by the way, what even is perfect?) – people can’t relate to that-they relate to real people and real life situations.” (page 213 for reference)
Ugh, I could not agree more. Lesson 1 – stop comparing! We are all so guilty of it and I will be the first to admit it. It is so easy to make our lives look amazing within the space of a grid of tiny squares on our smartphones. Do I love Instagram? Yes. But I know when it is truly making me happy versus when it is not.
Personally, this is definitely something I need to work on, as well as something I want to explore this summer. I honestly do not know if I will try the social media cleanse again, but what I do know is that I want to truly live in the moment this summer, spending less time on my phone and hence, less time in “comparison mode.”
At the end of the day, Instagram and our presentation on social media is a teeny tiny piece of our overall worth and value as a person.
Again, I LOVE Instagram (& other social media) and I do not want this to sound like a social media hate party at all. I just am taking the time to open up to you guys and tell you – I’m there too. Only when we open ourselves up can others lean in (and that’s when unity happens.)
These apps are neutral gateways for us to express ourselves. It’s how we receive and interact with these expressions that vary from person to person, and they can either be positive or negative at times.
Let me know how you guys use social media for the positive. Personally, I love creating content for my feed and adding stories / highlights to my profile. These are just some of the small ways that Instagram adds a little happy in my life.
And the next time you are scrolling on the gram or other social media and think someone has it all – they probably and most certainly do not. Everyone is going through their own ish and in no way does one photo or a grid reflect it alllll. Let’s be real.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and are inspired to be a bit more vulnerable – there’s nothing to be afraid of!
PS – stay tuned to see if social media cleanse part 2 happens – it’s good for the soul