• Michelle Gardner

How to Feel Confident with Social Media: Finding Balance in this Photoshopped World

Imagine this ...you have this great selfie that you're super excited to post #livingyourbestlife

You open up Instagram or Facebook but right away you get distracted by a picture that someone posted. So of course you get swept up in the magic that is social media and keep scrolling through all of the other amazing pictures.


Really gorgeous girls with millions of followers that look like they rolled out of bed in perfection, makeup styles that you wouldn't dare attempt, and fashion that is 10x your budget.


After looking through all of these posts, you start to doubt the greatness of your selfie and pick out all the little flaws that you didn't notice before …so you just don’t post at all.


We've all been there, right!?


Maybe it's just me ...that's exactly what happened with this pict to the right. I took it ..spent hours editing it then but I get on social media and never posted it.


And this wasn't even the first ...often times 15 minutes turned into an hour or two of mindless scrolling through pages. I'd constantly compare myself with other girls ...and never measure up in my own head. At the end, I just felt really down about my appearance, successes or just my life in general.


So how can you change your mindset?


Become aware that something needs to change with your relationship to the social media world. Here’s 4 steps that I practice to stay balanced while still being connected:


1. Take a break: Even though it might not be realistic to completely give up social media ...I'd highly recommend taking breaks from constant screen time …and yes I mean completely, not just a few minutes (although that’s important too). Spend time where you are just present in the moment ...and make it more than a one time thing. Not sharing memes or pictures with friends. Not posting about where you are and what you’re doing. Not checking up on what everyone else is doing. Just be where you are and with the people around you in the moment.


2. Get real: I’m not saying that we all need to go and post pictures of ourselves when we roll out of bed with our hair a mess, pjs still on and no makeup. If that’s what you're into then more power to you! But take advice from a girl who altered her vacay photos so much that when I looked back, I actually thought I had gotten that tan. When you alter your photos or hide behind masks, you start to believe that is the real you. The more real you are around others and on social media…the more you’ll feel in tune with your authentic self and less like an online persona.


3. Praise, praise, praise: When you start looking through other peoples’ posts it can be really easy to fall into the trap of comparing, so instead start praising. When you find your mind running wild with negative thoughts, take a pause then replace it with words of praise for yourself and the other person. This can do wonders for transforming your mindset and not feeling like it's always a competition ...you both have beauty to offer.


4. Seek acceptance elsewhere: Stop obsessing over follows, likes, reactions and comments. Seeking acceptance on social media is like a black hole …that empty space you'll never be able to completely fill. When you practice self-acceptance and showing yourself love then your feelings of worth won’t be based on other people's acceptance of you.


Using these 4 steps, I’ve been able to continue staying connected but now I am able to limit my intake and still feel really positive afterwards. You can do the same, so give it a try!


Share your thoughts on this article in the comments below and any other ways that you've found more balance with social media.

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