There was probably never a time other than today that made it more compelling to try to be someone else. Thanks to social media, within my opinion Instagram and Facebook at the top of this phenomenon, having a sneak peek into other people’s lives has been very easy. This isn’t an inherently good or bad thing. As with almost anything in our lives it depends on our relationship to it and how we make it part of it. Unfortunately, many people struggle with this. You have more and more people feeling depressed when they go through their Facebook feed, you have a rise of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), distorted body images (for female and male, young and old) and nutritional disorders. It also creates a mindset of following in people, never really becoming who they want to be, as they keep chasing other people’s goals. This article tackles this last part and I want to encourage you to break free of this caterpillar butterfly situation and turn yourself from a caterpillar into a butterfly.
You can see those holiday pictures, before and after changes, fancy fashion lifestyle and what not. The perfect life can be easily portrayed online. I shared a few thoughts on this a while ago.
Caterpillar Butterfly: The Social Media Cocoon
To me, it feels that this trend has accelerated quickly. And it’s ruining so many lives of people who could be otherwise perfectly happy with themselves and their way of living. Those pictures are snapshots of more often than not completely staged moments, and when it hits the topics of nutrition and fitness, enhanced by filters and what you don’t see.
Sure, it can be exciting to follow those social media influencers and if you can handle the staged part of it, you can even use it as an extrinsic source of motivation; only do this if you know your “why” and have intrinsic motivation too – otherwise you risk being miserable in the long run.
The problem is, as hinted above, that you don’t know – and that is by design – what happens offscreen.
I use social media a lot and I aim to be as honest and unfiltered as I can. This means that
- in case I use filters, I make it obvious
- if I share my food intake, I share mostly all of it (I am not going to post every glass of water or mug of coffee), including the “unhealthy, unclean, unfit for 1m followers on social media foods”
- when I crushed a day, I will tell you
- on the days that I feel weak, miserable or simply had a bad day, I will tell you too.
Real Fake, Or Really Real
In other words, I try to be real and not fake. The cost of this is that you will lose many followers that you might have gained or that you won’t gain many in the first place. There are exceptions to this, of course.
Being honest and real is, in my opinion, the way to go. But it’s a difficult path as it includes also being vulnerable and showing weakness. This is especially true for men who often never learned or early in their lives were forced to unlearn this “unmanly” behavior.
Caterpillar Butterfly: Be real, Be Yourself
This isn’t a post about me being bitter. Would I like to have more followers? Absolutely! The reason being that I get the chance to make a small dent in people’s lives with something that I consider being “good, positive and healthy”.
Being real is hard and I learned this over the last three decades more than once. You pay a high price for being yourself and the reward, once your reap it, is outstanding.
The simple fact that I can fully participate in this social media driven world and simply be myself is so rewarding.
I never have to look for the perfect #InstaPic, I don’t need to worry about what to eat for the sake of my follower base.
- If I feel like having cake, I will
- If I want to fast, I will
- Or If I want to eat clean, cut weight, gain some, add muscle, study, read a comic etc., I will and I show it.
You get my point.
None of that 24h #beastmode nonsense, none of that you suck if you’re not #vegan, #InstaHate if you have carbs or don’t like Bulletproof coffee.
Balance It Out
Balance is the key. I have said this so often and I will repeat it as long as I have to. Only if you balance out your lifestyle will you be truly happy with your life, your body, your mind and ultimately yourself.
Instead of mimicking or copying other people’s lifestyles, how about growing some confidence into creating your own lifestyle, based on your true inner wishes, believes, mindset and visions for your life? How about embracing the uncomfortable and making a step towards becoming a butterfly.
As you base your doings solely on what other portray you’ll stay a caterpillar forever, never fully be breaking free, never having the (scary) possibility of messing up and reaching greatness.
Caterpillar Butterfly: Grow Into A Butterfly
Take a few ideas of your idols, think hard about them. Why do you like those ideas, beliefs or way of living in the first place? What makes you admire it? Now figure out your own why and vision. With the why and the vision, create a life that makes you a caterpillar.
Don’t Be Like Everyone’s Else, Be Yourself Instead
Not everyone needs to have millions to be happy. Money doesn’t make you happy, moments do. Money makes your life easier, but without the proper use of it, money will make you miserable.
Maybe your vision is to reach a certain level of fitness and maintain it until you breathe out one last time. Maybe you want to have a family with a house at the sea, or a great circle of friends, or write a memoir based on your family and so on.
Your life vision doesn’t have to be 24h #beastmode, eat clean, raw vegan, Lamborghini, running 5 Fortune500 companies. Maybe your vision is being a candlelight in the distance helping people find their way.
As long it’s your own vision that makes you shine you’ll be the most beautiful butterfly out there. And I believe that’s much more desirable than being a lifelong caterpillar.
“Don’t Be Like Everyone’s Else, Be Yourself Instead”
I created a free seminar that helps you to create a daily routine. It will guide you through it step by step and explain how to establish this routine in a way that suits your life while getting the most out of the concept of daily routines. You can sign up here.
Let me know how you feel about this and share your thoughts in the comments.