I don’t know about you but I’m feeling like social media is on steroids lately.
And what I mean by that is, transparency and “internet stalking” is at an all-time high. It’s easier than ever to not only find or learn about someone, but we’re sharing and then getting immediate feedback about how it’s perceived—likes, comments, shares, exactly who is VIEWING it (!!!), and even if people screenshot it.
- If you’ve dabbled in Instagram Stories or Snapchat, you know that you can see a list of the people who have watched your story (and they can see if you have watched theirs).
- On Snapchat, you can even see if someone took a screenshot of your photo
- Facebook Messenger has the “Seen” receipts on, as does Instagram DMs and Twitter DMs.
- My own personal text messages have “Read” receipts on (yes, I finally went through with it, you know, in the spirit of radical honesty)
- I can even see exactly who opened my emails, and exactly how many times! Ha!
I think the only thing that isn’t giving people immediate feedback about our behavior is our phone calls. Lol. (Although I personally feel that text messages are now becoming the new email—as I am currently sitting at 63 unread text messages, yikes lol, and I do believe that the phone call is making a comeback—you can quote me on that ;)).
The whole point of going through all that is to point out that it’s becoming easier and easier to watch what people are up to, and for them to know what we’re doing. We get instant, real-time access to the “story” of someone’s life. We “know” people before we’ve ever even met in person.
But often, as is the case with social media, we get the curated version.
We see only what people want us to see. We see the good stuff. We see the best stuff. We get access to, yes, more than we ever have before and I do think transparency and authenticity are very “in” right now, but still, it’s cherry-picked.
And as a result, and by extension, it becomes easier and easier … to compare.
Have you ever felt annoyed, resentful, deflated or even just straight-up triggered by watching someone else’s life on social media?
This is a weird thing to experience. Because the reality is that that other person is actually just living their life—and sharing it—and we are left feeling not-good-enough or like things aren’t fair or who does she think she is.
If you’ve ever said, “Gee, must be nice!” then yep, you’re doing it.
I’ve done it, too.
It’s embarrassing to admit, but yeah, I’ve been triggered by people in the past. Someone is in really great shape, and all of a sudden it makes me feel fatter. Someone is killing it in their business, and all of a sudden my success seems inadequate. Someone is getting married to the love of their life, and gee, I’ve never felt so single. Someone is having a new baby, and good lord they look happy. And I’m … not?
These feelings are disorienting because on an intellectual level, we know that someone else’s happiness or success doesn’t take away from our own. We know that life isn’t a zero-sum game. We know that there’s enough to go around. We know that we’re just as capable of creating and experiencing success and happiness as the next person.
But in those emotional hijack moments, our insecure feelings are still real.
Admittedly it’s been a long time since I have been truly triggered. Mostly now I feel inspired or even just neutral when I see people who are quote, “more successful,”—it doesn’t really phase me. But, I do know it’s a slippery slope, and I do think, for whatever reason, I can trigger people. So I’ve been working on this for a while, and thinking on it for some time, and I wanted to share some insights with you today.
How can we start to block out—or even better, actually enjoy—someone else’s success, and not make it mean that we’re not good enough?
How can we quit with the obsessive watching and judging someone else? ‘Cause I don’t know about you, but when I’m mentally out of my business, worried about what someone else is doing, judging it, getting worked up about about the unfairness of it all, it immediately takes me out of my power. I am in full-blown victim mode.
And that’s no way to life. It’s certainly no way to create the life I want.
Two quick tools for you:
1) Double down on your own stuff.
What are you excited about? What can you create or take action on to put you back in your power? Can you learn a new skill? Take a trip? Read a new book? Sign up for a conference? Start that book you’ve always wanted to write? Take up a new hobby?
This is about engagement.
When we feel engaged in actively creating our life, we feel in our power. And the things that other people are doing to create their lives don’t seem as threatening. We’re now all on the same get-busy level. And that feels good, better.
Remember, engagement in pursuits that put us in our power means also giving up the things that make us feel stagnant and incapable. Maybe you need to cut back on TV. Or, dial back the online shopping. Maybe spend less time on social media in general, or stop hanging out with people who like to gossip or even enjoy living in their victimhood or martyrdom?
I posted this meme, below, on social media a while back, and it bears re-sharing here. How can you become more obsessed with your own life, so much so that you don’t even notice what others are doing? And also tune out the noise that isn’t helping your productivity?
2) Put yourself on the hook.
A little secret about me: I hardly do anything ahead of time. Not kidding.
If I am launching something, I often create it in real time. If I’m hosting a webinar, I’ll know what the outline will be but I’ll rarely create the presentation until after I’ve already filled the webinar. If I’m doing an e-course, I’ll know what I want to talk about, but I write the emails in real time.
And it’s even how I coach my girls—jump and then trust that you can follow through. If you’ve ever been to a conference I’m hosting, you know that I’ll often challenge the participants to “get a BUY button up” on their site by the end of the weekend.
Telling the world (or in this case, the interwebz) is a huge productivity tool.
It forces us to actually follow through on the things we say we want to do, and by extension, it holds us accountable to get busy—aka become engaged in the creative process—which helps overcome the distraction and comparison that can happen when we’re idle.
What will you announce this week? Maybe it’s that you’re going to host a Facebook Live steam later in the week. Or maybe you’re going to be writing a killer blog about XYZ. Maybe that you’re going to share #30DaysOfGratitude on Facebook? Or, that you started an Instagram account for that hobby you love?
What will you put yourself on the hook for … and then … wait for it … follow through on?!
Whenever you’re feeling stagnant, engagement is the move. Creation is the cure. Action is the antidote.
Some tweetables for you: