The internet and social media is a funny place. I remember being 15 (12 years ago), in 10th grade, and using one of the very first "social media" platforms, Xanga. Around the same time as LiveJournal but right before MySpace. It was like an online blog/diary, and all of my friends (and enemies) in my social circle used it. We would publicly share about our day and read about our friends lives.
I remember reading my classmates posts thinking "wow, I can't believe they wrote that...they don't act like that at school...they really fake who they are in person, because this look into their true feelings online is so different..."
Compared to now..."wow...look at what they post on Facebook...look at that photoshopped pic on Instagram...they really fake who they are online because when I've hung out with them in person, they are so different..."
"But not ME. I am all me, 100%, authentic, can't be tamed, true to myself ONLINE and OFFLINE."
Ever find yourself saying that to yourself? Ever thought you were a little EXTRA cool because you convinced yourself that was true?
I recently realized I had.
In business and entrepreneurship and life in general, there of course are a lot of ups and downs. A lot of risks to be taken to get to amazing destinations. A lot of surprises and challenges. I recently ran into a challenge where I felt uninspired and unmotivated to do what I “usually” do as far as my “hustle and grind” and a few other business & life challenges and instead of SHARING it with my loyal audience, I kept quiet about it because I like to keep it positive.
I like to keep it motivational.
I like to keep it inspiring.
I like to make it look effortless.
I like to make it look like my filtered Instagram pic with 10 of my favorite happy emojis.
I like to look and act perfectly imperfect.
And people have been receiving that.
I know because they told me. Dozens of people. In person to my face.
I was used to getting the positive comments and emails online of "Wow Rachel, you are killin it, you are crushin it, keep it up, very inspiring".
I was even hearing it to my face when I get off stage at events I spoke at. A little awkward, but I could get used to it.
But when I decided to visit my old home in Northern California for awhile this summer to decompress, reset, reevaluate my goals and passions, welcome spiritual breakthroughs, get some business things straight, and take a break from the LA city life, I had no idea I would hear it in person so much when I went out in public.
I literally felt like Princess Diana...or Kylie Jenner... Why would this praise come to me as a surprise? I SHOULD be expecting it because it’s almost like I ASKED for it because of all the "positive" "successful" things I typically share on social media.
I had to dig a little deeper to find out why it came as a surprise to me and why it triggered me so much...why it made me feel upset...why I didn't want people saying to my face multiple times in a night "you're killin it, you're crushing it"...why I felt like a fraud...
And that was just it...I felt like a fraud. If I am making it look online like I am "killin it" and "crushin it” but at the moment I do not feel like that... it is a major misalignment.
People WANT to feel authentic. People WANT to feel aligned.
I realized how POWERFUL my words and posts on the INTERNET is and how much of a responsibility it is to not give out false information or false inspiration.
Of course I want to motivate and inspire people, but I do not want to give off the false notion that business, entrepreneurship, and life is EASY.
Before you take that RISK and quit your job, ask your HEART and your BRAIN if it is the right thing to do. Don't get convinced by some ugly Instagram quote graphic or pretty selfie of RACHEL.
It was always my real intention of keeping it REAL with my audience but with our phones attached to us 24/7 and the social pressure of having more "followers" than your peers, it can be easy to get blinded.
Did you know you can buy 50,000 Instagram followers for just $200? The fake followers would go great with your fake social media presence ;)
Anyway, back to the story...what did I do after I started realizing the "killin it" and "crushin it" complements became an EXPECTED PATTERN and made me want to cry every time someone said it to me but I just kept nodding and smiling until they were finished and said "thank you"....??
I took a short break from posting to social media and the internet. I had to get my thoughts together on what social media meant to me and what is important for me to be sharing to the public...to my loyal friends, supportive audience, spying haters, and curious lurkers...
What an AMAZING break. You gotta feel some pain to really appreciate the pleasure of life. Through some various audio, video, and reading material, I quickly got the spiritual breakthrough I was asking G-d for. The answers came to me clearly and keep getting clearer each day that I ask for them.
Business is getting back into flow to. Things change and you have to take a step back every so often to realign them. I am so grateful to have close friends to support me in everything I do, whether it's hustling and grinding, or chilling and meditating, and everything in between.
Through this challenge, break, and breakthrough, I learned a lot about patience and presence. I let go of control and left everything up to G-d. It so SO FREEING when you do that.
My “plans” not going to plan finally became expected and the adventure finally became EXCITING and not filled with anxiety or fear.
The Universe uses your challenges to develop your character….To realign you on the path to fulfilling your purpose on life...To give you a wake up call of who is really in charge...To remind you that you are always safe and held if you continue to be a good person…
And through your challenges you can come back better than ever. I hope this message can positively and “inspirationally” and “motivationally” help you, and I would never have this message to share if it wasn't for the challenges.
I am going to shut down for spiritual maintenance more often now because keeping it a daily practice helps prevent a crash and burn(out) and empowers you to live your best life where your gifts are most powerfully shared, energy wisely spent, and purpose most greatly filled.
- Rachel S. Lee www.rachelslee.com
Woah I totally related to this blog in so many ways I had to share! Rachel and I met through a mutual friends. We are also both co authors in the book Passionistas: Tips, Tales and Tweetables From Women Pursuing Their Dream. Thanks for spreading so much inspiration and positivity into this world and being authentically you, Rachel.