There are a lot of inspiring people in my newsfeed. I should know, because I purposefully curated it to be that way. I have always loved motivational quotes, vision boards, and self-help books. I even remember reading my dad's copy of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People as a 6th grader. Most days I love checking in on my favorite social media sites to see what these successful people are doing or saying. It often gives me the spark I need to get started on the thing I've been procrastinating, whether that's working out, writing, or doing the dishes.
I have days, though, when I feel a strong pull to shut my laptop and hide my iPhone in my closet so that the motivational voices can't find me. Maybe you feel this way, too? Some days, I'm just not measuring up to what the motivational voices are encouraging me to do, and all I feel is guilt and unworthiness. Because some days, no matter how much you do, you're not going to accomplish what you set out to do, and you're definitely not going to live up to what other people are doing. For awhile, I thought that was a reflection on the inspirational people in my newsfeed. I felt defensive because they were being too pushy, too unrealistic, or flaunting their success in my face.
Here's the thing, though. How I feel at any given moment is not a reflection on anyone but myself. I realized that my feelings of defensiveness and unworthiness were simply a sign that I was running low on spiritual batteries.
When feelings of inadequacy start to surface, that's my cue to step away from the motivational voices to spend time in the real word. It's a cue to back off from the hustle and grind for a day to connect with the people in my life and in my home. It's a hint that I'm not in touch with my own values, and that I need to tune in to the only voice that truly matters - my Creator's. Only in Him do I find true comfort, rest, and worth.
Every once in awhile we all need a day to live our lives without reading someone else's opinion about how to live our best life. I find that if I'm not careful, other people's priorities will rub off on me and subconsciously become my own, only because their voice was loud and frequent. Life should not be spent passively collecting other people's values, but actively deciding each day what our own values are, and keeping our eyes fixed on those values with laser focus.
Social media has many benefits. I love it and use it almost every day. But social media also makes it far too easy to compare ourselves to people we don't even know, and to accidentally acquire priorities we don't actually want. Step away. Take a day of rest. Do some soul searching. Learn to distinguish between your own voice and the beautifully arranged quote graphics and carefully crafted status updates you scroll past each day. Then when your purpose is strong and your convictions are real, come back and be inspired once again.