I just wrapped up the most amazing weekend masterminding with 300 other entrepreneurs and I had the honor of being the emcee for the conference. Literally hundreds of women said the same thing to me over and over again. “Thank you for showing up every day and being real,” / “You are exactly the same in real life as you are on the internet.”
And it’s amazing to hear those affirmations from others - I know I am showing up authentically and I am so glad that others see that. But I’m a little scared. Because if you feel the need to praise me for SHOWING UP AS ME, then I am worried you don’t feel allowed to show up as you.
Our culture revolves around the highlight reel and comparison. It’s perfectly curated selfies. It’s instagrammable moments - but women are hungry for connection. And when they see that Suzy is looking fresh and perfectly coiffed and her kids are well behaved and clean, and her house is spotless and her business is thriving and SHE MADE DINNER for her family, that is ISOLATING. And it’s a lie. Suzy DID do all those things. But she did them one at a time. One day, she got dressed up. One day, she made dinner. One day, she cleaned the house. I would be willing to bet you a lot of money that Suzy’s life is not all sunshine and daisies. Someone pooped their pants in there somewhere for SURE. She just didn’t tell you.
So you know what happens? Suzy feel like a fraud and a liar, because if only her friends knew how hard it was to clean up the living room for that one stupid photo. If only her friends knew she hasn’t slept through the night in months. And Suzy’s friends feel like “Suzy would never understand what I’m feeling, she’s got it all figured out.”
BUT EVERYONE LOSES HERE. Suzy is alone. Her friends are alone. Everyone is making assumptions and everyone feels lost. Imagine if Suzy shared what was on her heart? Imagine if Suzy showed the messy living room and the sounds her children made while she was on a conference call? Imagine if Suzy shared the moments where she was crushing it, AND the moments she had to struggle across the finish line?
Do you think Suzy’s friends would feel LESS PROUD of her crushing it if they knew she was bad at laundry? No. Her friends are just so glad to know they aren’t the only ones. They still think Suzy is a boss. Do you think Suzy’s friends expect perfection from her? No. We don’t want to be friends with someone that makes us feel bad about ourselves! THIS PERFECTION / COMPARISON TRAP is death to your self-confidence.
Your community does not decide to like you because you have your shit together. Your community decides to like you based on how you show up in the world and how you treat people.
If you feel like you have to “craft” your life on instagram, then I want to remind you that you’re losing the magic when you do that. The magic happens when another mom messages you and tells you their toddlers are “also going through that phase.” The magic happens when another mom shares her heart and then strangers rally around her to support her. The magic happens when you drop the curtain.
How will we ever feel true and meaningful connection if we’re always trying to hide the hard parts? I want to see your laundry pile. I also want to watch you toast with champagne when you sign that big contract. Can we do this for one another? Can we dare to let one another behind the filter?