Social media is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s a place to connect with friends, be introduced to new people, exposed to new ideas and inspire creativity. On the other hand, it can quickly become super toxic and leave you feeling like a giant pile of shit.
I’m keenly aware of that, and as such, I’ve become much more stringent with who I allow in my social media circle, if you will. I no longer follow accounts or people that I don’t like, that publish content I don’t enjoy and/or make me feel bad about myself. IMO, life is too short to willingly consume content that isn’t good for your mental health!
KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES’
I have spent a lot of time curating my online community to be a place where I go to connect with friends and feel inspired—and I am incredibly fortunate to have a plethora of kick-ass people in my life (both in “real life” and online)—but even so, I sometimes still find myself comparing myself to others and feeling very Holden Caufield-y, which is to say: like a phony. (p.s. Catcher in the Rye is one of my favorite books of all time and, no, I am not a serial killer).
I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. When we see other people sharing their highlight reel of accomplishments through rose colored-filters, it’s easy to feel like you don’t measure up. Couple this with the fact that, as a culture, women are constantly being pit against each other, it’s not difficult to understand how easily we can get consumed with the modern-day equivalent of “keeping up with the Joneses,’” and how that distorts our expectations of ourselves and others. Even when we use social media with the best intentions, it can be super easy to look at what other people are doing and feel jealous, insecure or inadequate—and wonder where you fit in on any given platform or in any given space.
SOCIAL MEDIA + IMPOSTER SYNDROME
For me, social media-fueled imposter syndrome often goes hand-in-hand with scarcity mindset, especially when it comes to marketing myself as a blogger or content creator. For a long time, I’ve operated under the belief that there will never be enough. Everything is a trade-off and if someone else is being afforded an opportunity it effectively means that something is being taken away from me. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized I even felt that way. In a weird way, it was a subconscious belief that was operating in the background but was, in part, shaping the way that I see the world. Now that I’ve recognized that feeling, and acknowledged it’s rooted in fear and not reality, I’ve decided to actively combat it by using my platform to highlight other people that I adore and admire in a new series I’m calling “In Good Company,” which I plan to start rolling out next month. YAY!
IF I’M SHINY, EVERYBODY GONNA SHINE
There are a few recent things that have a) made me come to terms with my own shit and b) got the wheels in motion to actively combat it. The first thing that happened, was joining west Michigan Diva Babe and Mindset Coach™ Topsie VandenBosch’s Facebook group. If you don’t already follow Topsie on Instagram, you absolutely need to. I started following her because my friend Andrea Kerbuski of Blonde Bedhead raved about her and I. Am. Obsessed. Every single time I watch her IG stories I feel like she’s talking directly to me, whether it’s hyping me up and reminding me that I’m 100% that bitch, or calling me out on my own problematic mindset and habits. I can’t say enough good things about her. She recently released a freebie (!) about how to “say #byefelicia to imposter syndrome” and it really resonated with me (clearly).
Another thing that solidified the fact that I want to be doing things to intentionally build community was meeting a local #LoveLansing business owner and long-time social media friend, Daelynn Shafer. We had brunch at the People’s Kitchen (which is amazing, 10/10 recommend) and one thing that we discussed was the idea of community over competition—and the cool things that she is doing to bring women together right in mid-Michigan. I left our meeting feeling inspired and reminded that the world, and specifically Lansing, is full of amazing, talented people—and that there is enough opportunity for everyone.
YOU CAN SIT WITH US
Building community is important for everyone, but it feels especially important for women. I am incredibly lucky in that I know so many awesome women who are busting ass in their respective careers, side hustles, passion projects and lives, and I can’t wait for you to get the chance to meet them, too.
Community over competition should be more than just a trendy catchphrase. The world is full of awesome people and there’s enough opportunity for everyone.