May 14, 2022

F*ck External Validation: 15 Ways we can use Social Media to Empower Ourselves.


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I wanted to take some cool, fancy poses for Instagram but I just couldn’t do it.

I am personally tired of the social media algorithm trying to turn us into a number by the way we have to curate ourselves to get “likes.” Living this way for me drives me to feel depressed and anxious and I personally just can’t live that way.

I often wonder how hard I have to work to be recognised and to be worthy enough to be sponsored by a company. I have skills like many others who are sponsored. Yet every company I write to says I do not fit their profile or they have no spaces. I wonder what I am missing when I see those companies sponsor a new athlete or yoga teacher not long after.

The self-doubt takes hold and I begin to feel unworthy. But then I remember I was never here to be validated by others; I was here to share myself and hope my light helps another.

So, with every “no” I receive, I keep on creating and working on my own terms to build my brand. However, it is hard and these changing algorithms don’t support hearts that aren’t supported by big brands or non-monetized accounts.

These new algorithms make once a social app become stressful and riddles us with anxiety and cause us to feel unworthy.

Personally, I work hard to have a job, raise a kid, and pay the bills. I am not rich (people don’t realise this behind numbers) and I feel saddened by this world that reminds us that if we don’t fit the mold, we can’t be supported by others on social media. This also limits us as hard workers to build ourselves in ways we need.

I know many feel this and we need to have more real conversations about it. Not just conversations on how to get flexible, what to wear, what this celebrity is doing, what we should do, or what someone is doing wrong, but real conversations about how we feel and about who we are. We, the people, create this world, and we, the people, can change this world by doing a little more of us, a little less validation seeking, and a little more self-believing.

For now, I am loving that social media is reminding me where I place my value—not on the externals, but on me. It shows me how badly I want what I do and I hope others can see the value in the adversity of “likes,” teaching ourselves what we truly want, and the value in self-belief over external belief and validation. There is always a positive in everything.

I hope one day I will be in a position to be supported more and also be able to support more people with my offerings. For now, I know that numbers/algorithms will not stop me. They will keep reminding me how badly I want it. I hope this perspective helps another to help empower themselves rather than feel disempowered by the current social media algorithms.

I just want those who are struggling to feel supported. And to those who feel like they are struggling, please know you are not alone—someone feels you. And I also feel you when people do not answer messages, people promise to help or connect, and they do not deliver.

This 24/7 world is overwhelming and we need to learn how to not only navigate it better but also respond to it better so we do not get lost in anxiety, depression, or feelings of unworthiness.

At the end of the day, the best belief is the belief you have in yourself—not the belief of others validating you. It is never easy to make things happen but when the going gets tough, the tough gets going and that is when you know that you are on the right path. Those challenges make you stronger. They remind you how bad you want it.

I personally love seeing people rock on social media, but I also love seeing real conversations and real people connecting, learning, growing, being accountable, and authentically sharing.

So, this is why I am sharing this realness today. I hope we can all share a little more authenticity and help each other to not feel so alone.

Here are 15 ways we can make the use of social media a better experience:

1. Make sure you are posting what you value—not for likes or numbers and external validation.

2. Know that what others are posting are highlights; it does not show the work they put into those skills.

3. Understand people on social media are not robots. We work, have families, and pay bills, so we cannot be there for everyone, nor can everyone be there for us. We must stop mistaking free time for someone’s availability. We need to respect others’ time and manage our time to not feel overwhelmed.

4. Understand we choose who we follow, mute, and unfollow, and this makes us enjoy or not enjoy social media.

5. We choose to be kind or create fear by how we comment or post.

6. We choose the time we place on social media or not. We must be more present with our time.

7. Others are not our problems to be solved. They are posting for them. If we do not resonate with their post, we can let it go. We must also hold compassion when someone is triggered by our content.

8. Let us support our friends, family, and small business—shout them out.

9. Let us focus on what really matters to us and the reason we are posting, rather than numbers or comparison. Helping one person joyfully is much more productive than feeling overwhelmed and stressed from not enjoying social media or helping anybody.

10. We do not need to be perfect or shame others for not being perfect.

11. We must choose to be real with our content and share authentically to help us connect better and feel less alone.

12. We must remember to change our perspective when we feel disempowered.

13. Behind every perfect social media post is a human who is not perfect and has struggles, too. Don’t compare your 90 percent to someone’s 10 percent. Always be kind to yourself and others.

14. We must learn to become accountable for our own actions and thoughts rather than point the finger at social media. It is a great trigger and teacher. It is not bad or good; it’s just how you define it to be. Define it wisely. Choose love.

15. Most importantly, remember it is a gift to connect, learn, and grow. There are always going to be negatives, but it is all about how we use it and what we focus on.

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