Updated: Oct 4, 2019
So as many of you know, I took a break from Instagram for a little over a month. So of course I am calling this podcast:
Instagram Straight Flexin
I found myself constantly trying to keep up with everything posted around me…
“Oh she made a million from an eCourse, so will I!”
“Oh she booked a 5-figure client, so will I!”
“Oh she’s speaking at this upcoming conference, so will I!”
And though I have already taken steps to accomplish these things by investing in myself, with all the comparison I realized I was actually losing myself (more than anything)—I was forgetting that I am on the pursuit of my own purpose and not that of others.
If you think about it, I was trying to force God to make things happen for me, that he was making happen for all those around me. You know?
I wasn’t consulting Him.
And I wasn’t praying for His will to be done in my life.
It was more like my Will and then going back to God like “what you think?”
I literally was using scripture like “He said he would give me all the desires of my heart” to justify me moving without God. Or pretending that I was moving with God.
So... I had to stop and ask myself—is launching a million dollar course even my desire? Do I even care about booking 5-figure clients? Do I even think this conference is in alignment
with my overall mission?
Am I fully present in my life?
Will I have regrets?
Am I aware of what’s really happening around me?
Are the relationships I have of value?
Not being on Instagram for 35 days (I mean it’s not a lot of time) but it’ll allow you to think and hear more clearly.
You’ll see things differently.
And you’ll learn how to consult with God, and not with your feed.
Before I got off IG I was posting and scrolling for what seemed like hours! And you know Screen Time will tell you...so I am not even going to share how much time I was spending on social media...
But I had to ask myself am I doing all of this stuff for social recognition? For likes? For followers? For money.
Or am I doing this because I love it?
Yes I love branding! Yes I love teaching. But making an impact is way greater for me than any blue check, PayPal notification or recognition.
I believe that once you’re in your purpose the rest will happen naturally...and according to God’s will.
You know, I knew something was wrong with me when the success of others actually bothered me.
Not so much me not being happy for people, but more so like “dang, when is this crap going to happen for me?”
That right there is a slap in God’s face!
He’s done soooo much for me!
I have hit 6 figures for the last 3 years.
I have acquired skills in design that I didn’t go to school for.
I have met people from all walks of life across the NATION.
And here I am like “God, why are you not making things happen for me?” The nerve.
During 35 day break from Instagram, so much has happened—
I applied for a senior designer position with a well-known individual—that I knew I had in the bag...but didn’t get it.
I lost and had to bury one of my closest and coolest uncles…
And I got food poisoning like no other...
And during these times, no amount of likes, followers or booked clients even mattered. Those that knew my struggles were actual people that I know...and love.
Some folks really showed up…mailing cards, shipping flowers, and dropping money in my Venmo for me to go have a “good lunch”—and take care of myself.
And others, well they didn’t—because that relationship doesn’t really go beyond social media or business. Or perhaps those people in my life are so blinded by being present in social world, that they’re not in touch with reality.
Man...life is way more than that...I mean for me anyway.
I recently watched a movie called, “Ready Player One” with my family, and it was such an eye opener. If you haven’t watched it, I encourage you to:
In a nutshell, the film is based in the future (maybe 2045) where all people play in this world of virtual reality aka the Oasis. In this world you can be what you want to be, do what you want to do, and frankly build the life that you desire to have.
Pretty much everyone logs into the OASIS daily to escape their terrible lives—lives affected by overpopulation, unemployment, and energy shortages.
But what happens is folks get lost in this world unable to distinguish the Oasis from their true authentic reality.
Immediately, I said to my husband, “this is just like social media!”
We are all out here flexin’ for the Gram when the reality is perhaps:
We might be unhappy, but putting on for others to make them feel like we have it all together.
We might be lonely.
Struggling with purpose.
And confused about what’s next….
We might be heartbroken.
And even broke
But it’s more important for us to flex for the Gram….you know the Gucci belt, the red bottom shoes...but our rent ain’t even paid...we don’t have furniture in our homes, and sometimes our basic needs are not even met!
But who cares, right?! As long as the Gram showcases the complete opposite we’re fine…
Social media doesn’t allow for us to share these vulnerable moments. Especially, when everyone else seems to have it all together, right?
To me... it’s just not healthy. We’re not even in tune with reality, man.
We keeping up with the Joneses—but virtually. That’s it.
It’s not healthy to share with the world your personal moments, but forget to tell your closest family and friends!
Like..we’re quick to post an Instagram story, but take forever to answer a text, make a call of pay someone in need a visit.
We’re all the way off! We’re all the way off...we’re jacked up.
We wake up...and immediately we scroll through Instagram as if it’s our morning paper. When that 30 minutes to an hour can be spent with God. Getting your day straight. Asking him to order your steps. And I’m GUILTY.
Social media has caused us to lose sight of what matters most…family, relationships, conversations with freakin’ eye contact! That is so basic...but eye contact people…
Sounds so simple...but we no longer have or value these things!
We’re so locked in to the constant scroll of IG, that the approval of others now outweighs the need for us to become one with our own reality.
That approval is more important than:
Our relationship with God
Tuning in to the needs of those around us
Enjoying the lives God has blessed us with
But instead giving us the desire to:
Have what others have
Do what others do
And be what others put on to be...
We’re no longer present. We’re no longer living...but yet we’re existing.
Existing for the next like, follow or PayPal notification—and who wants that?!
During these 35 days I realized how many less selfies I took, how less I photographed my food and drinks...how more aware I was of things happening around me.
In this month alone I’ve stopped to say:
“Wow Taylor is soooo big these days.”
I cooked more.
I hung out with my mom. I did her hair.
I practiced eye contact when talking to family.
I rode a bike guys! I rode a bike as Taylor screamed, “watch this mommy!” And nothing caused me to be distracted!
I played games with my family last night...laughing until after midnight…
And not once did I need to pick up my phone to show people what we were doing.
This Christmas I didn’t need to take photos of all the gifts we opened.
All the food we ate…
There are people in need!
And here we are ready to brag.
Ready to show off, instead of lending a hand…
My uncle died and you know what my friend Tash did...she sent me FLOWERS! All the way from Seattle to Atlanta...west coast to east coast because she was PRESENT enough to know I was hurt!
When you’re off social media, you realize how much extra time you have, how much better it is sharing news with people you actually have phone numbers for, how much more you get done, how better a friend you can be, how the validations of others really don’t matter, and how tapping into self means so much!
You also notice how often you pick up your phone for no apparent reason.
For once, I wasn’t distracted by the posts and highlights of others! But yet, I could focus on me!
My mind was so much clearer! Freer!
I could ask myself, “Britney what now?” And not have to find the answer through the post of someone else.
In 2017 Pierre lost his job...causing me to put my degree back into action! I got a job...yes I got a job. But the social world told me to be ashamed of that. So I was embarrassed to tell people I had a job!!! How dumb is that?
Combined with my business I was making well over $160k, but here I was ashamed because the creative social entrepreneurial world tells you that having a job means you’re a quitter.
I say all this to say, 2019 is looking different for your girl!
No this is not a resolution, but I’m training myself to see social media for what it is. To use it to market, and to market only.
I’m no longer scrollin...trollin...none of that! I got to be present!
I can’t get wrapped up in everything going on around me...because frankly I’ll lose focus on my own journey...and I’ll miss my own moments you know?
So if you want me to know text me. Call me. Email me.
I’m encouraging everyone of you listening to this podcast to take a break. For a day...a week...a month...and write down all your observations!
I promise you’ll feel totally inspired and in tune!