In 2019, Lets Be Real With Ourselves.

We all follow influencers on social media sites. You know the ones. They have perfectly filtered pictures, seemingly candid poses, and tens of thousands of followers. They’re always doing something cool and trendy in really amazing places.

HOW ARE THEY SO PERFECT?!

Truth is, they’re not. They’re just like us. By looking at their Instagram, you wouldn’t think that though. People only show the things we want them to see about us. Using photoshop apps to enhance those brief moments of ‘perfection’.

As time goes on, the impact social media has on us can shape our self esteem and the way we view ourselves, the way we view others in our personal lives, but also –  how we “market” ourselves. From using the right filters, to captions, the time of day of posting, the overall message that we try to send, our ‘likes’, and who we follow all influence how we market our social media presence versus how we present ourselves in real life. Somewhere along the way, our physical appearance became the most important thing about social media. I myself am guilty of this. Who I am on social media does not match who I am as a person. How much we show is what they know. 

Sometimes, I feel like my life isn’t anything special because I only have a thousand followers on instagram and my pictures aren’t perfect (now that I write that thought out I realize how ridiculous it sounds -BUT IT’S TRUE) Sometimes, I’ll have my boyfriend take hundreds of pictures of me only to hate all of them because I feel they’re not good enough for me to post.

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Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash

Last year, however, I decided to write about my struggles. It helped me cope with everything and then I decided to publish them. One of the scariest part about it was that people would see that I have flaws, not just externally, but internally.

Which one is worse? The “flaws” we can see, or the ones we can hide every day?

Lets dig deeper into this.

I’ve been modeling since I was 12, and it’s a tough industry.  All the rumors you might have heard about it are most definitely true. So I would only show pictures from photoshoots instead of my life. When I published my blog, that facade was broken. The pretty girl I posted was severely depressed and has crippling anxiety; no one knew. Not for lack of caring but for lack of sharing. Now, my “marketing strategy” has changed, I went from “the pretty girl” to “the girl who’s not just a pretty face”.

Now, my story is an extreme one, but it happens all the time. It’s a cliche, but it’s true when they say you don’t know someone’s story until you know them. If we’re honest with ourselves, everyone has their own internal struggles.

So how do we break the cycle and not let social media get the best of us?

1) Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

Easier said than done, right? Being vulnerable is one of the most amazing things we can do. Let your feelings come to you! Are you sad? Are you angry? Are you anxious? Don’t fight your feelings because you feel like you should. Being human means we can feel, we have emotions, and sometimes those emotions are raw and hit you when you least expect it.

2) Be optimistic & have faith!

Did you bomb an exam you thought you were going to ace? Has your work ethic seemed to be at an all time low? Don’t pretend like it doesn’t matter, but don’t let it consume you either. Keep moving forward! Your future is still bright and success is still achievable if you have faith and believe in yourself.

3) Be Honest. Be Real. Be True!

Have you ever been afraid to post something for fear of the reaction?

  • “what if I lose followers?” – WHO CARES. ‘THANK YOU, NEXT!’
  • “what if it’s controversial” – We’re all entitled to our opinions. 
  • “what if no one likes it” – Do you like it?

Moral of the story: you get to decide how you want the world to see you, and you also decide what you want to see from the world. Just like your friends, choose who you follow wisely. And make sure what you post represents the real you.

This article was written by Andi Tolbert. Follow her on IG at @adriannadt and read her blog at http://www.prettytruths.wordpress.com

*Featured image Photo by Josh Rose on Unsplash

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Work Woes

If you’ve watched HBO’s Insecure, you’ve seen the horrors Issa was experiencing at her job. She was removed from the field, her boss digs at her every chance she gets, and when Issa offers her advice her boss disregards it. I’m so glad she quit. It was beyond time! And chileee, things were getting rough!

Anyone who’s had a job for more than a day knows that sometimes your boss just can’t get it together! And for those of you in school, for every teacher/professor you like, you have two you can’t stand. But before you jump ship or drop your class, Here are a few ways to combat issues with your professor/supervisor, cause you know I got yall!

1) Boss reprimands/demotes you/you fail an assignment

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image credits:pastemagazine.com

You forget to study and bomb your test. You miss a deadline on a project. Or maybe you mess up BIG time. Luckily you didn’t get fired or fail completely, but the sting is there. Our actions have consequences. Messing up makes you want to quit the job and/or drop the class. It happens to the best of us, but grade in class or your reputation at work can both be salvaged if you take action ASAP.

First, talk to your professor/supervisor. If you screw up at work, your supervisor is probably going to approach you first (hooray?). Depending on the situation they will create an action plan as a disciplinary measure or they might put you on a probation period.

On the other hand, Working with professors might be different. Visit your professor during their office hours to go over where you went wrong on your assignment, project or paper. If you did poorly on a test, ask them for support.

In either scenario, convey to your supervisor/professor that you understand where you went wrong, and that you are going to work to ensure better results next time (and apologize!). Whether you’re completing extra work, getting their input on upcoming projects, asking for extra credit, or going to tutoring; prove that you are working hard to turn things around. Rebuilding trust your grades and rapport takes time, but it can be done.

2) Boss/professor favors coworkers/classmates over you

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image cred: http://www.hollywood.com/tv

No matter how hard you try, your professor never seems enthusiastic when you answer a question in class. When your supervisor comes in every morning, they speaks to your other coworkers, but when they walk past your desk all they do is wave. You start to feel some type of way.  Even though you haven’t done anything (or did you?) you can’t figure out why they don’t vibe with you! If the thought of your boss hating you really bothers you, it might be worth it to set up a meeting with them to make sure you are hitting all your duties well. Listen to their feedback and make adjustments in your behavior or performance. If after you’ve taken these steps and nothing changes, remember that you can’t make everyone like you; and you shouldn’t have to. Whatever you do, don’t kiss up to them; no one respects a brown noser. As long as they are treating you with respect and aren’t discriminating against you, do your best work, keep a positive attitude and keep it moving. Further, focus on the professional relationships that have opportunity to flourish (those are the ones that will provide you with great references and recommendation letters!). Not every professional or superior is going to be your bestie and that’s okay!

3) Boss/professor is disrespectful

The most direct approach is to talk to them about it. If you are comfortable, talk to your professor or supervisor about what they said or did to you. Be honest and provide an example of what was done or said and why it was inappropriate or offensive. Give your boss or professor a chance to respond. Just like us, bosses and professors make mistakes. They might apologize for what happened; or they might not even realize that how they acted was wrong. If you aren’t satisfied with the conversation, if you begin to feel uncomfortable or if the conversation turns into an argument, remove yourself from the situation. Resist the urge to pop off! Whether you speak to them about the incident or not, Document what was said when it happens, and each time if there are multiple offenses. Be as detailed as possible (include dates, times, and the names of persons involved), as this will come in handy when you talk to HR or your dean. Your dean, counselor or HR department can provide you with insight on how these situations are handled; and can stand in the gap and advocate for you when you’ve been disrespected. You do not have to go through struggles at work or school alone. It can also help to vent to a TRUSTED coworker or mentor. They too can give you advice if they’ve been in this boat before (and remind them to keep your conversations confidential).

4) Making your exit and moving forward

I hate not finishing what I’ve started. If you’re anything like me you’ve been raised not to be a quitter, to be strong, and work through whatever life throws at you. But there comes a time when leaving things behind is acceptable and smart. Your jobs and/or classes are supposed to bring out the best in you, not the worst! We all deserve to have peace and respect at our jobs and classes. If a job or a class is impacting your emotional/ mental health; let it go.

This article was written by Brooke Denham. You can follow her on Instagram @brookelynnheart