Glenn's Weekly Motivational-Are You Living a Lie?

February 5, 2020

Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus

I had a friend recently post on Instagram about how social media is killing her. Not necessarily the posts she sees, but trying to live up to the expectations of what people expect from her. Have you ever felt that way?

I get it. I see parents post all the time about their kid’s accomplishments, their grades, their sports.. how many a’s, how many goals, and how many awards. How in love they are, how their marriage is so amazing.. When done in moderation, it’s good to feel proud, but when it becomes what we’re known for, it is quite clear it’s ego-driven. As parents, we want validation that we’re doing a good job, that we have it figured out, that our kid is not average, but extraordinary..That we figured out marriage..and it’s because of us. Because we have it together.

Except we don’t...and the more we showcase the good, the more we, our kids, and our friends feel the pressure to compete...and the problem becomes exponentially bigger.

Getting back to my friend. She actually had people tell her what they wanted to see on her page. What was motivating to them, who and what they feel she should be. Can you believe that? It’s HER PAGE! She’s actually gone to therapy over it, because she became motivated by certain comments on certain topics, and lost her identity.

How many of you have lost your identity because you are trying to be someone you’re not? Trying to compete with your Facebook friends and their perfect lives, perfect smiles, and perfect kids with perfect grades and athleticism?

My wife decided a while ago she didn’t want it anymore, and at first I was mad. “What will people think if you’re not posting pics of you and I,” I say with irritation. “ I care what you and our kids think,” she says..”Yeah, but I’m in the public eye and people will talk. You’re not gonna post pics of Madelyn’s soccer goals? What about Cooper’s artwork that no one cares about but us? The other parents will talk about us behind our back..The other parents, the other parents, the other parents”....

“We are not perfect, and our kids are not perfect, far from it,” she replies. “I don’t wanna fake it and feed into the pressure we are all putting on each other”..and so she doesn’t. I gotta be honest, her internet ways are something that I struggle with at times. Sometimes I want her to publicly admire me, especially when I see it happen for others. Is that really where I should get my source of validation? Or, should I get it from her directly? I will still post about the people I love and the places we go, but what I do is rooted in spreading love, kindness towards one another, and positivity.. I know my validation should come from God and knowing I'm doing the right thing, not my number of likes. My work is not done here, but I'm certainly trying for authenticity in my life.

Have you lost your identity? Are you trying to compete instead of doing what is right for you and your family? Are you creating unreal expectations on the people you are trying to raise? Do you feel it motivates them to reach their potential, or drives them into a feeling of inadequacy?

When we stop putting our effort into the illusion of perfect lives, we can actually focus on our real lives and how to address those problems so that they can be resolved. That should be the ultimate validation, not an empty like from someone who doesn't really care anyways.

All my best to you as you figure out your life and the relationships and people in it xoxox Glenn