If you’re reading this article then you absolutely understand the power of social media, yet why are so many of us scared to turn the camera around and share our views of the world?
Perusing the Instagram feeds of many radical female business leaders, you’ll only find photos of their children and perfectly filtered images of friends and family. Why is it so challenging to share our authentic selves? Why do we, as individuals, shy away from the camera? Is it fear of failure? What must we do to overcome these mental blocks to embody our true selves and contribute to the world?
As women, we are unfortunately accustomed to being under constant scrutiny, and it starts from an early age. Our parents and teachers, unknowingly, used emotional manipulation to encourage “good” behavior. Although their intentions were in the right place, when our caregivers said “I’d be so proud of you if…” and “I’ll be sad if you don’t….” we subconsciously learned that it is our responsibility to influence and control the emotional state of those around us.
Fast forward forty years and grown women are scared to post on social media because others might misunderstand their intentions or make an incorrect assumption about the content. We continue to play small and withhold our unique perceptions and understandings by reliving our childhood programming.
How to Get Over a Mental Block
First, we must accept that we cannot control how others perceive us. Release these limiting thoughts. In fact, their perception of us reveals more about their character than ours. Hence the old adage, “Hurt people hurt people.” We can only see and value in others what we see and value in ourselves. If you share a video and someone thinks poorly of it, then we can safely assume that they experience negative self-talk and we can view them with empathy and compassion. It’s easy to get lost in the trolling comments, so don’t even look at them.
Secondly, we must normalize the mistakes. They happen. If we want every detail to be just right, we’ll never make progress. Perfection is the enemy of good, and our pursuit of perfection only slows our overall progress. Just press the publish button and get on with it. Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and author of Brave Not Perfect, encourages us to intentionally send low-stakes emails with typos as an exercise in normalizing mistakes.
Give it a try and notice the inner dialogue you experience around a simple typo. This simple activity reveals unnecessary anxiety about others’ perceptions of our abilities and worth.
I’d like to leave you with one final thought: the world needs to hear your message. Yes, yours.
There are no new ideas, only new ways of communicating them. So, get out there and start that Instagram account. Write that blog. Start the YouTube channel. Tell us your perspective on real estate, on teaching and education, on mothering, on being a partner, or being single, on tech and on business, on being real. Share your wisdom with the world, so that we can learn from you. We want to spend that time with you.
Are you experiencing a mental block or feeling stuck? Share with your thoughts and comments below.