Happy March 1st!
Happy new month, and happy spring-is-just-around-the-corner (at least here’s hoping!)
This week I attended Speaker Slam, a monthly event where 10 brave speakers share their story around a particular theme. This month’s theme was overcoming adversity – and each and every story was deeply moving, super inspiring, and required some real vulnerability. Moreover, they spoke from their hearts and touched mine. I may have even shed a few tears.
It certainly shifted my perspective on some of the so-called challenges in my life.
Yet these brave individuals stood strong, shared from their scars and not their wounds, and are making a bigger impact in the world as a result.
One of the speakers included this line: it’s time to remove the instagram filter from our lives.
Oh so true!
And it got me thinking.
We are currently living in a crazy epidemic of filters, false pretenses, and faux lashes, tans, breasts – you name it.
But even worse than the fact a friend recently suggested I use some filters and editing to up my online dating profile (yup, being brave here and admitting to the fact I finally got online!) is the fact we’re hiding something even bigger behind those filters.
I’ve had quite a few deep conversations recently about what is really going on behind those perfectly posed and primped photos… and it’s never what it seems.
Now I’ll be the first to admit I use filters, too.
I answer ‘fine’ when I don’t really feel like getting into everything.
And I look at others’ lives and make assumptions and judgements about how they must have it all figured out.
Here’s the thing.
Filters may change how things look on the outside, but they do not negate what is actually going on behind the scenes.
And when we compare our reality to everyone else’s highlight reel, we can end up feeling pretty awful about our life.
It’s time to have braver conversations. It’s time to get real with ourselves, get real with each other, and get real with what’s actually going on.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
~ Brené Brown
And when you are brave enough, vulnerable enough to be seen exactly where you are, as you are – the authentic, imperfect, beautiful being that you are – only then will you truly connect with another. Only then will you truly show up in your power. And only then will the world truly benefit from all you have to offer.
Putting it into action:
If you’re ready to let your guard down, and allow your real self – your whole self – to be seen and to shine, try on one or more of these ideas this week:
Be the first.
Be the first to share something a bit more uncomfortable, a bit more vulnerable, a bit more real. When you self disclose, you give permission to the other person to do the same. And self disclosure is the birthplace of true connection.
Take a selfie.
Take a selfie, don’t use a filter, and share with someone you know. Or, take it up a notch and share on social media. Feeling even more daring? Post without any make-up. You are beautiful exactly as you are. Remember that.
Next time someone asks you how you are, answer a little more honestly. I know, I know, ‘you’re fine’ ~ but more than likely there’s something you’re struggling with, or something you’re celebrating! Big or small. It’s all relative. Let them in. Don’t be ashamed to share the bad stuff and the good stuff.
Use your voice, share your story.
You have one. We all do. Perhaps it’s time to come out of hiding. Because every time we use our voice to share a little bit more about who we are and the journey that got us here, we have the power to help another. And likely it’s someone who is only a few steps behind. Maybe it’s with a colleague at work, a sibling, a neighbour. Start small, and you’ll see how liberating it is.
Don’t get caught in the trap!
If you find yourself getting caught in the social media vortex, comparing your reality to someone else’s highlight reel, or getting down on yourself, STOP THE INSANITY! Turn it off, breathe, shift your perspective. Remind yourself there’s more than likely one or more filters on that stuff!
This morning I put this idea into practice. I gently, but intentionally, opened up and shared one of my current struggles with a colleague. And then BOOM! out came the tears! EEK! I wasn’t expecting that to happen! I immediately turned around and went for the door. But instead I stayed. He held the space, and we’re now closer as a result. Plus, he ended up sharing an extremely helpful tip that may actually be a gamechanger.
Be brave enough to lift the Instagram filter from your life this week. Open up a little more vulnerably, share a little more honestly, connect a little more deeply.
Life is way more rich when we get real with one another.
Have a FAB week!
P.S. My interview for The Confident Woman interview series goes live TOMORROW! It’s not too late to sign up so you can listen in! REGISTER for your complimentary spot HERE!