When was the last time you posted a picture of yourself on Facebook, showing off your acne, or wearing that bathing suit you hate to put on? Have you ever shared a picture of how dirty your sink and bathroom toilet really are? Of course not!
We always want to put our best foot forward, especially when it comes to social media. You see everyone else’s perfect lives flying by on your newsfeed and wonder how your life can measure up.
It’s not just a problem with social media though.
When you go out with your friends, or when you are with your family… are you being transparent and vulnerable? Or still trying to act perfect? Our authentic selves are getting lost in our attempt to meet some ridiculous expectation and impress the people around us.
Even as I write this blog I worry about it being the perfect blog and message. That thought immediately hinders me from writing another word. But all I need to do is be real, and the message will be there. It doesn’t need to be perfect to reach people.
We are all a mess in our own way… and that’s ok!
You don’t have to hide from it, and you don’t have to fake anything.
Just be real.
I had to remind myself this recently. A few weeks ago, I found out that I’m having a baby girl. At first, I was thrilled. There is nothing I wanted more than a beautiful little baby girl. But then… dread hit me and I felt a familiar weight on my shoulders.
“I need to get my sh*t together!” I thought. I’ve struggled with body image my entire life. To this day… it haunts me, and I can see it take over my thoughts in an instant. I have a fear that I will turn my daughter into the self-conscious, body-bashing perfectionist I have always been.
When I started trying to get pregnant in September 2015, I also started seeing a therapist for body image. I wanted to “fix” myself so I don’t “break” my future daughter. I found out that I didn’t need fixed. I just needed to love myself. I grew so much through the therapy, uncovering things and healing parts of my life that couldn’t have ever been healed without it.
I’ve come to realize … I don’t have to be perfect for my daughter. I don’t have to overcome every one of my demons to be a good role model for her. All I have to do is be real. I have to be honest with her about what I’ve struggled with and what it has taught me.
If we could just be real about what we are dealing with, we could all learn a lot more from each other. We would connect with one another, empathize with one another, and love each other more.
Trying to be perfect does the exact opposite. It separates us from others, holds us back from doing anything for fear of doing the wrong thing, and suffocates our authenticity.
Your authenticity is loveable and unique.
If I try to be the perfect mom, I will never be a perfect mom. If I try to write the perfect blog post, I would never post a single blog post. If you try to be perfect, you will only feel like more of a failure.
So instead, let your mess be your truth. Let people see who you really are, and they will love you even more. Don’t be afraid to be open, to mess up, and to be less than perfect.
Just be real.