Instagram

When Instagram Cultivates Unworthiness: Shifting Perspective

I don’t typically talk about myself or my story. I like to focus on how I can help my clients transform their lives. And then there are moments like I had this morning, moments I need to share, moments that humble me, moments that remind me that we are ALL HUMAN. We ALL struggle. And we ALL have the ability to become the people we were created to be, to live the life we were put on this world to live, to live our best life OUT LOUD.

I want you to know (even those of us who have done the work), we ALL experience negative thought gremlins creeping into our minds from time to time… and it’s absolutely possible to will them gone in a few seconds. It’s absolutely possible to live your life without allowing the negative thought gremlins to dictate, how you are to live your life.

Because if they got their way, you would feel… be… and live… small. And that’s not what you were put on this earth to do… to live small… You have gifts and talents and amazing things to offer this world. To live BIG. To live whole. To live the life you want to live.

 

Instagram

This morning I was checking my Instagram account for comments; I really do enjoy engaging with my followers. And yet, the social media world can be disappointing at times. I don’t know how many times a day I receive inauthentic comments from accounts that set up auto-responders. It’s fairly easy to identify when someone comments “sick” ie. “cool” to a post about my new Bison Meatloaf Recipe. Say what? My new Bison Meatloaf Recipe is “sick”? Seriously?!

And then there are those moments, glimpses of true connection that make this whole instagram, social media thing worth it. When someone responds that they were inspired to pick up a pound of bison meat at the store so they too can nourish themselves and feel their best, that’s what makes this whole social media crapshoot worth it! And yes, I totally called it a crapshoot. haha

 

 

The “Not Enoughness” Social Media Creates in Us

So back to this morning… I was reviewing my comments feed and noticed a comment that teetered on inauthentic so I clicked through to view their profile. It was the profile of a registered dietitian (nutritionist) who has 141 THOUSAND followers. Yup! only… oh, say,  140 THOUSAND more than mine! 😉 And as I started to move through her feed, I felt that sinking feeling in my stomach. Please tell me you know this feeling.

She’s svelte, beautiful… crap she looked like a run way model. She actually had posts of her sitting down to dinners with 3 star Michelin chef Guy Savoy. She travels the world capturing breathtaking pictures of herself in yoga positions on the side of rock formations (stock image, not hers!), kayaking in Caribbean blue waters, and drinking her morning lemon detox water on a rooftop terrace overlooking Paris.

Everything about her is gorgeous. Her posts were thoughtfully and intelligently written. She seems lovely, truly lovely.

 

Negative Thought Gremlins

And that’s when that very human, visceral, sinking feeling started…

that small, thankfully fleeting feeling… of “not enoughness”,

that feeling of “why try, clearly, there are people out there doing this so much better than you!” feeling,

“I sure don’t look like that!” feeling,

“She has it all figured out and I still struggle!!” feeling”,

“Bottom line: I AM A FRAUD; how am I supposed to help others when clearly I don’t have it together like she does!!!” feeling.

The thought gremlins of “lack”, “guilt”, “shame”, “fraud”… they flooded my body in about 3 seconds… and for those 3 seconds, I felt small… really, really small.

In 3 seconds, I felt the unworthiness. I felt the shame of my “imperfectness.”

 

overcoming NEGATIVE THOUGHT GREMLINS

Then something shifted in me, those feelings of inadequacy that washed over me receded like a wave in the ocean. Those negative thought gremlins didn’t get the best of me, not a chance. You see… I’ve done THE WORK!

I’ve fought to overcome those negative thought gremlins. I have fought so hard… struggled… had so many face down moments… found the courage to pick myself back up… dusted my ego off… and made it out to the other side. No freakin’ way was I going to let those negative thought gremlins of “lack”, “guilt”, “shame”, “fraud” dictate how I WILL LIVE MY LIFE!

I do not stand tall at 5 foot 10 inches, nor do I have legs for days, nor do I have the luxury of traveling the world or detoxing my liver with lemon water on a rooftop terrace overlooking Paris. I say this not to reduce this other dietitian’s seemingly luxurious, full of ease and comfort type of life. NOT AT ALL! I’m sure while she seems wildly successful and living a life of ease, she is STILL human. And she probably struggles like the rest of it. She is also simply living the life she wants to live and I am living the life I want to live. Neither is better than the other—just different.

It’s just… Her life is NOT my life. It’s not even close to the life I want for myself! So why was I even feeling “less than”, the “not enoughness”? My life is full of simple pleasures, non instagram worthy moments that fill me up in a way that no 5-star dinner can. The answer is because I am human. And if you have ever felt this way, it’s because you are HUMAN too.

Even though the seemingly successful life she leads isn’t what I want for myself, it doesn’t doesn’t change the fact that there are definitely moments, split seconds, that make me question my success in life, my worthiness.

Ever feel like this? Ever feel those negative thought gremlins creep into your mind? Ever wonder how you are going to turn off all of that noise they create?

 

REal LIfe: Doing the work

When I say I have done that work… I have worked really hard on reducing the influence negative thought gremlins have in my life. You see… doing the work doesn’t permanently rid you of negative thought gremlins. Afterall this is REAL life. Life is messy and challenging at times. Doing the work doesn’t mean that you will never, ever experience feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness. That your life will suddenly become rainbows and unicorns.

When I say I have done the work… when you do the work…

It means that when you experience that brief moment of inadequacy or unworthiness, it’s just that, it’s brief, fleeting; you have the ability to pivot. You have the ability to shift your thinking in seconds. You have the ability to remind yourself that you are indeed, VERY worthy, you are ENOUGH, you are SUCCESSFUL in so many ways, you are an AMAZING human, and you have a lot to OFFER this world.

Here’s the real kicker… and this is what I was briefly hung up on. This is what causes us all to feel small and think we need to live small. There are always going to be people that are on a similar journey as you whether it’s your role as a parent, professional, volunteer or even your relationship to food journey. Others may appear to be wildly more successful than you. Some of those people will appear to “have it all together” when you feel you are just trying to survive.  This is NOT a “pink slip” to give up and live small because somebody is already “offering better”, “doing more”, “living larger.”

Remember this: What you have to offer in this life is COMPLETELY unique; nobody will EVER be able to deliver YOUR gifts and talents in the way you do.

Doing the work means I celebrate that other dietitian’s success but know that my own success isn’t defined by hers.  It means that I FEEL moments of unworthiness and inadequacy but I don’t let myself be defined by that. It means I have the ability to CHOOSE how I want to feel, how I show up in this world and how I want to live my life.

You can do this work too! You CAN CHOOSE how you want to feel, you can CHOOSE how you want to show up in this world and you can CHOOSE how you want to live your life. That’s your right.

 

Take-away

So the next time you feel those negative thought gremlins creeping into your mind… dictating how you should live your life, wanting you to live small, consider this: Gratitude and Appreciation. You can NOT feel immense gratitude and inadequacy at the same time. It’s harder than patting your head and rubbing your belly. 😉 Be grateful for who you are. Appreciate all of the goodness you have to offer the world. And those negative thought gremlins will recede like a wave into the ocean.

 

 

 

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