We are all so independent… so we think.
Guilty. I have considered myself to be empowered and independent my whole life. I don’t need anyone’s acceptance, right?
I dress for myself.
Wear makeup for myself.
Get my hair done for myself.
Write for myself.
Teach for myself.
Over the past several months, I have noticed that I have a weird mental tick. Maybe you do, too.
I will put something up on social media that I consider to be clever or thought provoking. And then I keep returning to it.
Because I am seeking acceptance.
I mean…. I may not be able to hear myself needing acceptance, but when I really pay attention to my very actions, I can then see my patterns.
Who saw it?
Who liked it?
What if he/she/they judge my outfit, eyebags, gray hair, or aging skin?
When I track my own actions and then listen to my own thoughts about it, it becomes very clear.
I get a hit of dopamine on a like, or even just noticing people in my sector reading what I wrote.
So… now I’m thinking “am I really that independent?”
I don’t think I’m alone in this, and I don’t think it’s as simple as my adult social media behaviors.
I start thinking about my younger life and how badly I needed acceptance and acknowledgement over achievements. Like it didn’t count until certain people said it did. Like I wasn’t enough until I heard from people I ranked highly in the rolodex of “cool” or “smart” people. And that was before social media, blogging, etc. That was in the 90’s, when our circle of influence sat across the cafeteria.
And now, just pour on the gasoline of worldwide content marketing… putting stuff online that literally anyone can see or read.. and it can be a toxic habit.
So, listen, I am going to be a work in progress here. I am going to work on myself a bit and I am going to start breaking this cycle of needing to check my posts for acceptance.
Here are some of the new behaviors I will adopt:
- Reading on self acceptance and assurance
- Posting and letting it go
- Limiting my “check the phone” time
How about you? Do you notice this tick? Can you see any of this ringing true for you? And if you’re younger or older than me (I’m an Xer), do you think that makes a difference?