Taking off My Mask
Last week I shared with you how I’m taking 40 days off from social media, podcasts, celebrity gossip, and TV.
First of all, I’ll admit that I have done a horrible job at this. I’ve totally been checking Facebook, with a little smattering of Instagram and even one late night celebrity googling bingeathon (Oh Miley, why do you fascinate me so??). But I’ve stayed away from podcasts, unsubscribed from all my mailing lists but one, and haven’t watched anything on Netflix (we don’t have a TV so that’s my only option). And my Facebook viewing, while still there, has been significantly less.
I even took a big step yesterday when I removed both the Facebook and Instagram apps off my phone.
My 40 days isn’t over yet but something has become glaringly clear to me.
24 days in, here’s what I’ve realized:
Honestly, it’s embarrassing to have to admit this. I like to think I’m above it but I’m so clearly not.
What is it?
Comparing myself to everyone else.
And more than that? Changing my behavior to try to fit in.
Since stepping away from these various forms of media, I’ve been able to see how clearly I’ve been taking in all these messages of “My life is so amazing. Don’t you want to be like me!?” and how it’s been making me feel a) really crappy and b) like I have to hide parts of my life that don’t look good on social media.
For someone like me, who has never been able to be anything other than who I am and who has always felt like something of a misfit, trying to make sure I don’t post anything online that doesn’t work with my “brand” feels a lot like wearing a mask. Although maybe my brand shouldn’t have ever been anything other than Truth.
Now that I think about it, I’m just going to make that my #1 business – and life – strategy: Tell the Truth.
Anything less than that just doesn’t feel right.
Everything I’ve shared with you has been my truth. The posts I write are exactly what I believe. But they haven’t always been the whole truth. I’ve left things out. I’ve written posts I’ve never shared because I just didn’t have the guts. I’ve created programs that were like 80 percent in alignment with my truth but I’m working on revamping them so that they’re 100 percent in alignment.
Oh, and as for media? We’ll see how I feel in 16 days but for now I have no intention of going back to where I was. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that reading about people whose lives look perfect and who seem to have all the answers doesn’t make me feel good about myself. And it doesn’t help me with my own desire to stay true to who I am and what my life is about.
So from here on out, no more masks, starting with next week’s post, which I wrote months ago and never thought I would share. It’s about kindness and also about something I felt ashamed of for a long time.