I have been meaning to share this blog post for a while now and I think it couldn’t have come at a better time. There have been SO many comments that have been buzzing around on social media since JLo and Shakira took the stage during Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show (in case you’re wondering I LOVED the performance and didn’t think TWICE about some of the topics being discussed). I think social media has affected all of us at some point or another. If you are one of the lucky ones who it hasn’t personally affected in some way, shape, or form, I can almost guarantee it probably has affected someone you know.
There’s definitely an upside and a downside to social media. I’m so grateful that my job is directly related to the internet and all things social media. I mean, I get to share beautiful photos with you, share my world and thoughts with SO many of you. My job is to be real and authentic and to make things look “pretty” (this is probably a good time to sneak in one of those “Instagram versus Reality” photos lol). But the truth is, seeing all of those beautiful, perfect, light and airy photos may NOT inspire some people. While it is my intention to always try and inspire or make you smile … I can totally understand when things might come off as unattainable or unrealistic looking. As Theodore Roosevelt says, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.
Don’t be fooled! LOL! Believe me, when I say that I also am not perfect and neither is our team! We stack our plates full and take on wayyyy too much 99.9% of the time. I have a crazy busy household with two kids, two boxers … Justin and I argue like any other couple out there … people are constantly coming and going, there isn’t a REAL balance around here. I have my own business and just launched a new business. I rarely stop thinking about work, I’m stumbling and figuring things out as I go, just like everyone else. Finding that perfect balance between being a partner, a mother, a friend, aunt, boss … and business owner is basically impossible!
I have had MANY people ask me why my Instagram stories are so real and raw and why my Instagram feed is so polished. To be perfectly honest, I love the balance of both but first and foremost, it looks like that because it’s what I LOVE! Team Jilly and I love to make things look pretty, welcoming, and inspiring. We like to find beauty in the simplest of things and sometimes brands also pay us to make things look beautiful! Just like a pastry chef spends hours perfecting a cake, or an artist spends hours making sure that tree is “just right”… for us it’s an art and we are so passionate about that! That’s also exactly why I love to incorporate the real and raw photos into my feed and truly the reason why I show you the good, bad, and the ugly in my Instagram stories!
And yes, the truth is, my bed isn’t always made, my white sheets do not stay white, sometimes it takes a bunch of tries to get a photo you personally “like” and I too have crazy hair days. LOL! (well you guys know that too!).
There was a point in my life and early on in my career where I too let all things on social media get to me. For example, I have always been (and STILL am!) a massive fan of Monika Hibbs. I’ve always looked up to her style and poise … but … back in the day when I was mainly focused on Love It Or List It, I remember scrolling the ‘gram and feeling envious of her photography, her content and her ability to have this stunning creative outlet. I was jealous.
I felt jealous because deep down inside, I wanted to be doing that … I wanted that creative outlet … I wanted to make things look beautiful and share them with the world. I was so busy with filming the show that I didn’t have time to be creative or start something new so instead of doing something about it … I was just JEALOUS. I remember feeling feelings of doubt in myself, and also negative feelings towards her, which is SO not like me. I didn’t like the way this made me feel. It was such an uncomfortable feeling to feel this way and so I really started to dissect it (I KNEW that I couldn’t advance in my life and career if I was stewing over SOMEONE ELSE’S life!!!).
I have told this story to Monika and we still laugh about it to this day. I don’t feel the same way anymore because not only have I found my creative outlet but I also don’t let social media affect me the same way it used to. Ultimately, what other people are doing on social media has NOTHING to do with you. How YOU feel (and how I feel) is OUR responsibility, not theirs.
Now being 40 and in the biz for over 10 years, I have gotten to the point that other people’s social media and the things I see on the internet do not affect my self-esteem. I don’t look at their hair, weight, clothes, home, cars, etc and feel envious of it. I can dream, I can awe, I can love something and admire it … but I stopped comparing myself because it was only HOLDING ME BACK.
Don’t get me wrong, this is something I had to learn and work on every single day and it kicked the shit out of me but here I am! I kept on telling myself that what others were doing, had nothing to do with what I was doing, and I had to focus on my own damn sh*t if I wanted to succeed.
We have all struggled, we all deal with crappy things here and there and we are all uncomfortable with certain things! It’s just the way it is and it’s up to us to manage our thoughts and feelings around these things that make us feel insecure. If someone TRULY is making you feel unhappy or insecure on social media … unfollow them OR look to them for inspiration. I think it depends on what it is about them or the situation you are seeing that is bringing these insecurities out.
It’s the same in ALL aspects of life … for example, if horror movies make you feel scared or threatened, don’t watch them. If you don’t like bungee jumping, don’t go bungee jumping. Accept things into your life that make you feel full. You will come across so many different types of people and personalities on social and it’s up to you to control what it is that is filling your feed. There is MORE than enough space for all of us. If we all had the same values, visions, and all dressed and looked the same, that would be pretttyyyyy boring, wouldn’t it??
Embrace other people’s success. You never know their story and the struggles they have faced to get there and don’t forget, their success may not be as awesome as it appears! The internet is a place where people are trying to express themselves, make themselves happy, maybe even sometimes escape the imperfections of their life. Not everything will resonate with you but that doesn’t mean you have permission to tear them down because it doesn’t fit who you are as a person. Be proud of who you are and your journey because if you don’t you will put way too much pressure on yourself to become a specific person and attain ALL of the things you see online. Well, you MIGHT be able to but that also doesn’t mean it will equal happiness.
Here are a few final thoughts …
1. Follow people that inspire you.
A perfect example, I follow Cara Jourdan who is petite, put together, has a perfect feed and seemingly perfect life. I am inspired by her ability to photograph, edit, style her hair!! OMG!! I know I’ll never have hair like that but I can still “oooo and aweee” over hers! There are things about me that are different than her, and maybe she looks at those parts of my life and does the same thing!
I also follow Meg Boggs who also has a beautiful feed, an amazing ability to style and photograph and edit. But she is RAW, she speaks about weight, realities of motherhood, she battles with body size topics and conversations daily. I am in awe of her strength and confidence, and also her ability to communicate and show all of her imperfections (which we all have) … both of these women are SUCCESSFUL influencers, both of these women are beautiful, both of these women are an inspiration. Just because their appearance is different, I don’t “feel” different when looking at their feed. I am inspired equally. But that was MY decision … not theirs.
2. Always Assume goodwill (that someone had good intentions)
A post might make you feel icky … but did that person intend on making you feel that way? Or is that something you need to look at in yourself? Listen to your heart and give it what it needs, unfollow anything that doesn’t make you feel happy, inspired, loved, and creative. Find accounts that you know are going to make you HAPPY or bring you closer to your goals!
And LASTLY … you are unique, beautiful, and awesome. You are an individual and different than EVERY SINGLE PERSON on the internet … and so if you are feeling self-doubt on social media, remind yourself that YOU are NOT them, you are your OWN PERFECT person.