STOP TRYING TO LIVE A PHOTO SHOPPED LIFE
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
It’s time to get real! We all too often compare ourselves, our parenting skills, our businesses and everything else in between to those around us that we see on Facebook. Stop it! Stop trying to measure your success by the ruler set out by the others around us. You are only seeing their highlight reel, not all of the things they left lying on the editor’s floor.
How often have you heard “if only I was as good as that person”, or “if only I was a successful at business as this person”. The one that really gets me is “I will never get to be where they are”. The only reason you can’t achieve for yourself, what they have achieved for themselves is they didn’t quit but you are.
When you look at the pictures of me on my website or in social media, most likely you aren’t going to notice the flaws that scream out to me like a fog horn blaring. We are always our own worst critic and it’s time we take notice and take back our self-worth. I can’t tell you how many times with my host agency, we get headshots done for our team members; I’m blown away by how stunning each and every one is. I immediately notice how this one’s eyes just captivate me, or that one has a smile that you just can’t look away from. Yet without fail, I get the email saying if you’re going to make me use one of these pictures can you please crop out my arms, or my chest or can we not use that picture I look terrible. Why can’t we see in ourselves what others see in us?
There is a reason why there is usually only one parent in most family vacation photos even though it’s a two parent family. One parent always seems to vote to be the photographer rather than the subject. I’ve been guilty of that many times in the past. I have always feared how I would look on camera. I remember for my sister’s wedding in Los Cabos, hating the way I looked, yet I am 85 pounds heavier now than I was and would give anything to look like that. Why can’t we just appreciate ourselves in the moment? Recently my husband and I travelled to South Africa; we went to a local preschool to meet the children and get to know how they lived. We had a wonderful time learning from them. One in particular became quite fascinated with my camera; I was taking his picture and showing him. Little did I know my husband was taking pictures of this interaction while I wasn’t watching. After we left and got back to the hotel, he showed them to me. The first thing I noticed was all of the fog horn blaring at me again of my imperfections. That day was a different day though, within minutes of looking at that picture and seeing the imperfections, I went through the pictures I had taken. The ones with a little boy with eyes filled with curiosity that had stared up into the lens of my camera took me back to that moment. I looked at the picture of myself and suddenly the personal criticism gave way to the emotion of living in that moment. It was the first time I didn’t have to wait years to appreciate a photo of myself wholeheartedly. It was the first time I published a photo that was not photo shopped, edited or otherwise perfected and instead was selected simply for the story it told. It was truly one of the most authentic photos I have ever shared publicly. Since that day I have a whole new appreciation for living in the moment even when there is a camera around. You never know what moment will capture you in a way you may not have considered before. More importantly you never know who you will inspire by being brave enough to be authentic. Since returning from that trip and sharing that photo, our travel professionals have received numerous requests for African journeys. Perhaps in that moment, that photo told them a story that they could see them self in. Perhaps in that completely non-photo shopped photo, they could relate and wanted to experience something similar.
Stop trying to be perfect, instead be purposeful. Stop living in perfection paralysis and instead live with Inspiration and Action. Stop being the biggest barrier that is holding you still. Choose to live the life you choose, not the one that ended up on someone else’s highlight reel.