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Never Let Social Media Stiff-Arm Your True Potential

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post was written in an effort to reach out to those who may have experienced similar feelings and emotions. I use social media every day to promote my business, connect with friends and family, share my podcast, and develop new relationships with complete strangers. Technology as provided us with an unmatched resource allowing us the opportunity to enlarge our social circle to a massive radius. I love it! But what I am about to reveal is one of the pitfalls.

It was a Tuesday morning and I was feeling a little less than stellar. I had a rough Monday and my motivation was tapping on “E” as a result.

Nothing really bad had happened. Everyone was healthy and happy, but Monday proved to be one of those days where nothing seemed to go my way. I was struggling to draft a single blog post, spent way longer than I should have inching my way through the editing phase of a podcast, and was doing my best to avoid a not-so awesome conversation with one of my clients. On top of everything…I spilled coffee on my white button up shirt. Fan-Freakin-Tastic!

So now it’s Tuesday morning, and I’m already exhausted. I didn’t sleep well at all. As someone who’s jam-packed with Strategic Thinking themes, my body is always willing to call it a night, but my mind never wants to follow its lead. I tossed and turned, drank some water, and flopped around some more wishing I could doze off into a deep state of blissful rest. But no such luck.

I’m up, I’m tired, slightly irritated, and feeling sorry for myself. But then…I drove the last nail in the coffin.

I checked Facebook!

There were pictures of people on vacation, sharing pics of their new car, selfies at a Chicago Blackhawks playoff game, and public speaking friends of mine talking about how AWESOME their huge presentation went! As my thumb raced through the feed, I began feeling an emotion which I often try to suppress.

JEALOUSY.

Have you ever known someone who one day, seemingly unprovoked, went through their list of Facebook friends and deleted half of them because they were “tired of seeing their posts?” When that happens, chances are pretty good that they did so because they were feeling unfocused, unmotivated, jealous, and tired of feeling stuck. When we’re moving forward in the world, taking strides to help others and make a difference, we feel satisfied and have a strong sense of self-worth.

But when life tosses us in the line of fire, we crawl into what I refer to as “The Dark Place.”

The Dark Place is real! Some people setup shop there, while others visit from time to time. No one is safe from its grasp, but we all have the ability to leave. Unlike the Eagle’s Hotel California, we can checkout or come and go as we please.

On this particular Tuesday morning, with the help of social media, I left the sunscreen at home and took a little trip to the Dark Place. Did I want to go? No way! But I was drawn into it.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I sometimes lose focus of my own path by spending too much time watching others achieve their own heightened levels of success. Social media has made it easy for others to share their pinnacles and joys, but there’s something I learned along the way; something that I had to force myself to remember during those early morning hours on a Tuesday.

People use social media to share their favorite moments, their successes, and the times when they are at their best! Very few people share their failures, flops, or missed targets. No one wants to tweet out their recent blunder, struggle, missed appointment, or embarrassing brain fart! But we all have them.

Every book that I’ve read on success, leadership, and even strengths is designed to help you get from the point where you are now, to the place where you want to be. That journey is full of peaks and valleys. The distance traveled is short for some, while for others it takes years if not decades to attain some level of success. We all swing for the fences, and are often left tapping the dirt from our cleats as we walk with our heads hung back to the dugout.

Your journey will be different from my own. But that’s the cool part! We are all striving for our own unique version of success. No single person shares the same vision of the end point or final destination.

I am on my way! So why did I let a social media site like Facebook make me feel like crap? The truth…I don’t know. I chalk it up to bad timing. It was a perfect storm of emotions, and I was envious of those simple posts, images, and 140 characters of self-proclaimed awesomeness. Luckily it was a hiccup; a bump in the road. It didn’t take a long for me to (just like Stella) get my groove back.

Sometimes social media is a like a Disney movie compiled of nothing but happy endings. But the real, and more impressive story lies scattered along the cutting room floor. The struggles are real, and the people living them feel just has tired and frustrated as you do. Know that you are not alone. Know that you possess a massive amount of strength and talent that no post, tweet, pin, or selfie will ever take away.

Social media a great way to share a message, build a brand, and develop a massive audience. Be sure to compliment and acknowledge the success of others, but never let social media stiff-arm your own true potential.

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P.S. I always appreciate feedback. When I write posts like this it’s nice to know that others have experienced something similar. Please leave a comment below in an effort to keep the conversation going. Thanks! ~Andy

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About The WOO Warrior

Andy is a GALLUP-Certified Strengths Coach, and the owner of UnleashStrengths. He lives with his wife, Marlana, and two children, Adelyn & Drew, in the small Midwest town of Clinton, Iowa. he can be reached at andy@unleashstrengths.com View all posts by The WOO Warrior

Discussion

4 Comment(s)

  1. June 19, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    Don’t worry, Andy, you are certainly not alone in experiencing this.

    I’ve certainly had those days where everything seemed so dark and I started comparing my life with those in my news feed and twitter timeline.

    Luckily, I’ve become more aware of when that feeling creeps in and am able to regulate my feelings, intentionally looking at all the good (big or little) things happening around me.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. June 19, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    Thanks, man! Like you said, become more aware of when you’re vulnerable, and you’ll learn to avoid actions that induce negative feelings. I appreciate the follow-up comment, Coach Rye!

  3. July 28, 2015 at 6:13 PM

    It’s all true, Andy. Social Media brings us both falsely close to others we don’t even know and genuinely closer to people we would have no other way of connecting with. Here’s to posting some “valleys” as well as the “peaks”! Thanks for sharing.

  4. August 2, 2015 at 12:18 PM

    Thanks for commenting, Becky!

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