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Success Dysmorphia

I read a phrase in Pamela Slim's "Body of Work," a great book that looks at maximizing your lived experience. The phrase was "success dysmorphia.” Pretty much, success dysmorphia is any kind of skewed vision of one's views of success-- particularly as it relates to someone else's.

Upon reading, a few thoughts came to mind-- particularly about social media. We're all looking to make great things happen and often social media is a major source of inspiration. Through social media, we can connect, learn, and grow. But just like any good thing, if used poorly, social media can actually fuel insecurities and anxieties. With that, take a look at my seven tips to squelch your social media success dysmorphia:

1. Respect the unglamorous times. Before your brows are on or when your shape up has shipped out, know that it’s okay. You’re human—you’re supposed to have human experiences. Just because your Instacrush looks perfect doesn’t mean he or she is. And what’s more—celebrate you.

2. Respect your insecurities. You follow fitness buffs for motivation and business gurus for inspiration. But oddly enough, this barrage of visuals of goals you have yet to meet can actually have an opposite effect. It’s only so many perfect marriage memes you can look at before you start reaching for the whiskey bottle at 10 a.m. An overload of visuals can be exhausting. Give yourself a break sometimes.

3. Invest in yourself. I once heard that when it comes to time, you can either spend it, waste it, or invest it. So when it comes to social media, which are we doing? Sure we’re getting the latest vegan mac and cheese recipe for our YouTube channel, but when do you go from viewing and screenshotting to planning and doing? Yes, social media is a resource, but so is your time. Apply accordingly.

4. Don’t covet others’ success. Yes, your mix tape might be better. Yes, your jokes may be funnier. Yes, your styling is more bomb. And yes, that person still has more likes, more customers, more money. Don’t worry about that. Worry about you and yours and what you want to see next for you. I once read that “talent isn’t rewarded, tenacity is.” And social media reinforces that daily. Be consistent and worry about what you’re doing. Now do that well and keep doing that.

5. Measure your success using your own framework. You aimed to record every week. You wanted to get 10 more views on your posts. You wanted to post everyday. And you did. Let that be the yardstick for your success. Set goals, reach goals, repeat.

6. Celebrate accomplishments. Setting goals is one thing. Reaching them is something else. That’s worth celebrating! Don’t let what somebody else is doing keep you from celebrating what you’ve done.

7. Own your choices. You are a recipe blogger. You enjoy recipes, but gossip blogs seem to get all the attention. So you start a gossip blog, right? Wrong. Stay in your lane. Don’t let what the next one is doing get you to doing too much or things that don't drive you. Claim your lane and own it. Public interest will come and go, but passion—when nurtured—will never leave you.

You're doing you and you're great. Don't let Snapchat, Instagram, or anything else allow you to take away from your greatness and your journey. Be motivated, but continue to check your intentions along the way. Hashtag you got this!

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