I have a deep seated need to be told I’m doing the right thing and that it is okay. My confidence fluctuates daily and being a hyper sensitive person it means that I can need acceptance from the strangest places. To be honest, since I have been getting older I have been letting it slip a little. Not by my own doing I might add, but being a mum to a couple of up and coming teenagers, there is no way they allow me to feel that I am doing the right thing by them and that’s ok (deep breaths, deep breaths!). Being a mum is the hardest thing because there isn’t a right way, well there is legally but you know what I mean! You just do the best you can and that admittance from someone who constantly needs approval is scary.
It’s not that I don’t understand why I feel the need for approval, I do. I know that it’s a bit weird and for some reason I don’t even realise I’m doing it half the time because it is so engrained in my personality but rather than fight against it and make it a negative thing – why can’t I use it to my advantage?
If you have ever looked at CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) it kind of works by making you face your fears, slowly and surely with tiny steps, giving yourself some little awards along the way. The mind.org.uk website says:
‘In CBT you work with a therapist to identify and challenge any negative thinking patterns and behaviour which may be causing you difficulties. In turn this can change the way you feel about situations, and enable you to change your behaviour in future.’
With this in mind I decided to challenge my negative thinking patterns by having a go at setting up something that I had wanted to do for a long time but never felt confident enough to do it. I was always worried what people would say and if they would tell me I wasn’t good enough. What if they didn’t approve or called me a fake?
The steps I set myself to do this were tiny and I often went back a few before I went forward, but that’s ok. I had to feel like I’m making a difference in some way and that’s the switch for me, making a positive difference to someone else’s life no matter how small is the best feeling in the world. The way that I knew would be best to get my message out there, love it or loathe it, was through social media.
Living in the society we live in today it is very easy to get stuck in the habit of having to check our social media accounts to see how many people like or love whatever it is we have chosen to share with our social media family, or check that we haven’t missed someone’s post that could be important. It’s mind numbingly fabulous to loose time randomly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram to feel, envious, thankful, self righteous, proud, jealous, happy, sad or whatever emotion you need to make yourself feel better or not depending on where you are sitting in your own mental health cycle that day.
So for someone like me who craves approval you have to be hot on your own mental health self care to navigate social media in a way that doesn’t automatically send you into a spin and that’s pretty hard. I can understand why people have social media breaks but they almost always come back rather than feel they can live without it. I think it’s the FOMO (fear of missing out) because quite frankly, you don’t engage in social media you can feel quite alone because it’s all people talk about and where most people share what’s going on in there lives.
For me using social media is kind of like my own therapy and can be used for good (we all know the bad and that’s another post in itself!). I post inspirational quotes, random photo’s and ways that I either manage my own mental health or how I support others with theirs. I love the thought that I may make just one person feel better that day or give them hope that they are not alone in their mental health journey. People can choose if they like my page or not and that is fine. I don’t fret about how many likes or views I’ve had and no idea about how to market myself to get more. I don’t care about ‘more’ it’s just enough to feed my need for approval and that’s ok.