Lately I’ve been feeling extra pressure.
Pressure to look a certain way.
Pressure to act a certain way.
Pressure to portray myself a certain way.
I’ve been burdened with not looking like other girls and not having their hair and clothes and their perfect (ha!) life. I’ve overwhelmed myself with jealousy and inadequacy.
And I’m tired.
I’m tired of spending hours a day soaking up loads of information and pining over someone else’s [portrayed] life. I’m tired of keeping up with follows and likes and shares and retweets. I’m tired of stressing over how others see me and what they think about me and my life.
Sick of not feeling good enough.
Sick of feeling like I’m lacking something that everyone else has.
The other night I was scrolling through the discover tab on Instagram and I came across this really pretty girl. I scoured through her pictures (girls, don’t judge me. I know all y’all do this too) and she had really fun looking pictures and she had adorable short hair and cute clothes and I found myself wishing I was more like her. And I found myself growing more, and more unhappy with my own life. I didn’t even know her!
And then I got on Pinterest and I started scrolling through hair tutorials. And I started thinking: I wish I had her hair. Why can’t my hair look like that? Or that?
I started becoming so unhappy with myself. Like not with just the big things, but with every. tiny. thing. i. saw. And I thought why?? Why do I get so down on myself? Why do I feel like I’m not good enough?
And then, like, duh: social media.
I’m trying to keep up with someone else’s standards of life. We all do. All of us- we look for validation in all the exact places we’ll never find it. You will never be good enough in the world’s eyes. There will always be someone prettier, with cuter clothes and hair, someone with more friends, or someone more successful than you. We make ourselves miserable by searching for our worth in followers and likes. It creates so much insecurity and research has shown that social media negatively impacts our self-esteem. And all this insecurity is damaging. It hurts your spiritual life, it obviously steals your joy, and it hurts your relationships with others.
And it’s just exhausting.
So I’m taking a break. Not for good. And not for long, because I have long distance friends that I care about keeping up with.
But it’s time for a shift of focus. It’s time to center my attention on becoming the woman that God tells me I should be, instead of the woman the world pressures me to be.
It’s time to find security in what my Savior did for me on the cross and in who God tells me I am, instead of who the world tells me I should be.
I’m not a number: of followers, of likes, retweets, shares, or whatever else there is.
I’m Betsy. And there are things I like about myself and things I dislike. But I’m tired of allowing a fake internet world determine those things. I want to allow God’s word to tell me who I should be, not Instagram trends.
I’ll still be writing and maintain this blog, so some social media may be used, but for blogging purposes only. J
I’m ready for some peace of mind. I’m ready to declutter my soul and free my mind of the burden of inadequacy and jealousy. I’m ready to stop being tired.
Restricting your use of social media puts a portion of your mind at ease. To me, feeling disconnected from the rest of the world made me feel as if the world was no longer watching me with judgmental eyes.
After re-evaluating my reliance on social media, I’ve gained a greater sense of confidence and more peace of mind in who I am. God is my only judge, and in His eyes, I am valuable and beautiful. I’ve grown stronger in my belief that His opinion is the only one I need.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:3-4