I was stopped in my tracks by a provocative image last week.
A high-dollar entrepreneur, beautifully coiffed, elegantly dressed and perfectly groomed was sharing her secrets to success.
It seemed a little too perfect and a little too trite to be real.
And of course, it wasn’t real. At least, not 100% of it.
A lot of what we see online is a “refined” version of truth.
An altered visual reality through airbrushing, filtering, angling or simply redoing.
An altered verbal reality through cutting, editing, rephrasing or downright rewriting.
These mirrors & windows are rarely honest.
Almost everything we’re seeing is a glimpse, a small fraction, of someone’s world being projected onto our screens. Even when we gaze upon a raw, “untouched” moment, it’s still one moment among millions.
To level the playing field, a healthy mindset conversation to have with yourself might begin with…
Do these images make me catch my breath because they create a visceral connection that lights up my core and ignites my potential and possibility?
Do these images make me run out of breath because I’m constantly chasing an illusion of worthiness and success as defined by some arbitrary image on my screen?
Do these images make me feel understood, connected and accepted?
Do these images make me feel worthless, confused and alone?
From there, enrich this internal dialogue by then asking yourself, What do my answers reveal about my internal state, and how might I next create what I need most?
And it isn’t limited to what’s on your device.
In “real” life when we look across the grocery aisle, watch someone crossing the street, rest our gaze upon another diner, or meet someone at a networking event, all we get is a snapshot of their story. And it’s so easy to fill in the rest of their narrative as a projection of our own backstory or through a filter of our own design.
The next time you find yourself gazing upon a “flawless” picture or witnessing a “perfect” scene – level with yourself – that picture, that scene, is a single entry in their whole diary. And most diaries require a lock and key.