This is one of the most amazing TEDTalks I’ve seen. In 20 minutes, social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows you how to use body language to make you more powerful. She doesn’t teach you how to appear more powerful to others, she teaches you how to become more powerful for real.
Blogging puts our best qualities in front of the world. In some people, maybe even most, seeing perfection put forth by others who have similar lives to ours leaves us feeling inadequate and insecure. We wonder: “If she can do this while raising a family and working full-time, then what’s wrong with me?”
I love reading blogs, but I admit I have quit reading many blogs once they hit a certain level of success. For example, I read “Pioneer Woman” years ago, when she was a regular woman writing a very funny blog that had a very small (but growing rapidly) following. Now she’s a celebrity with her own television show and a published author who travels the world promoting her books and brand. I stopped reading along the way, when her blog lost the persona touch. I don’t hold it against her; when you start getting hindreds of comments on each post, you can’t respond to each one, nor can you reciprocate blog visits for your visitors.
The cyberworld is chock full of websites and blogs that portray perfect lives and we are in danger of feeling inadequate if we compare ourselves to others. Was that what happened when Ree hit the big time? Was I jealous because my blog was still struggling to gain 20 followers and I didn’t even have comments on each post?
Probably. But. These people are not perfect. They put the pretty parts of their lives on display. But most of them have parts of their lives that are just as messed up and dysfunctional as yours. If you think about it, there are parts of your life that could pass as perfect if it were presented on a pretty plate with a smothering of photoshop.
I don’t believe the perfectionism displayed is all bad. It may put others in danger of comparing and criticizing their own lives, but for the individuals who run the sites and blogs, perhaps this is their way of focusing their efforts on their strengths, wishes, and hopes. This kind of positive focus will program the mind for success. If we use our blogs to complain, criticize, and nitpick, we will bring ourselves even further down by focusing on what we lack, not on what we have in abundance. If we believe we already have in abundance, then we will align our minds to paths that bring that abundance into being.
This sort of faith is crucial to freeing yourself from drudgery. Our thoughts become our reality and grow to define our reality.
For the past several years, I have lived by Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
My entire family has joined the effort. My husband will catch me when I say something critical of someone else. I don’t like it, of course, but he’s totally right to reprimand me and I appreciate his honesty and desire to keep me positive.
This simple practice has transformed my mindset and my life.
So by putting forth my best efforts, my best thoughts, and my best hopes for myself on this blog, maybe I can inspire others, instead and shame them. Just remember my life is pretty screwed up in some ways. I am SO not perfect. But by being positive, I am representing my desire to aspire to something greater than what I have. I am claiming my independence and freedom from a life of drudgery.