Is what you’re doing for someone else or for your ego?
In this world of 24/7 connection, where so much of our everyday lives is shown on social media, it can be easy to get drawn into the dopamine rush of it all.
I know I was.
Let me preface this by saying, I am not slamming social media. I love social media. Well, I did. Since the great hacking incident of 2021 though, I have found it hard to find my groove with it again and have been a lot more discerning about what I do and do not share.
I’m getting there and these thoughts are partly what has helped me.
It’s not just about social media either. It’s about why we do what we do. Why we strive for a certain goal. Why we have that big dream in our hearts?
Chances are when you were little you did something – let’s go with the basics of walking, and you were given praise.
Then it was that so called ‘play’ you put on in the backyard. Best thing we’ve ever seen, people said.
As a teen, you started to wear clothes that would garner attention. Wow, you look amazing you would crave to hear.
When adulthood hit, this praise may have been harder to come by. So you would push things to the limit to find it, leaving your boundaries checked at the door and doing anything for that rush.
Along came social media.
Now that praise is out your fingertips.
All you need to do is post a photo of you in your new suit, starting your new job and the hits of love start coming.
So, do we do what we do because we want to, or because we want to share it and get that lift from others?
It’s a big question and I think it’s important when we are talking about our goals.
I’ve always believed that if a goal is in your heart and on your mind then it’s yours to go for. Now I look back though at some of the ones I’ve gone for, and I’ll be honest. No, it wasn’t always about what I really wanted to do. Sometimes those ones to get acknowledgement have snuck in there. It’s not like I did things I really really didn’t want to do, but my desire for the actual goal was less than my desire for being seen.
I work with my clients on goals all the time. Big and little. From wanting to have a tidier house to wanting to smash $1 million in turnover. Ironically, often the goals that seem big to some people are small to others. No judgement here people!
Now I want you to think about if you still want to achieve XYZ if nobody knew you did?
So, I’m asking it of you.
Right now, grab some paper and write down the 5 goals or dreams in your heart.
Next, list 5 – 10 reasons for wanting to achieve the goal or dream.
Remember goals are what you can work on step by step now, and dreams are those undated future visions, which hopefully will be easier to attain as you achieve more of your goals.
Then ask yourself the question:
Do I want to be / do / have XYZ even if nobody knows about it?
It’s interesting. Trust me. Try it.
I can hand on my heart say that the goals I am currently working on, I want regardless of anyone knowing about them. It feels good.
Some goals are about other people by their nature, like wanting to start a charity to support better day care conditions for working mothers, but there’s a difference between a goal being for the betterment of others and being for the acknowledgment of others.
Don’t get confused and think I mean you can’t tell anybody about them either. Not what I am suggesting at all. I stand by the belief that having someone to help support your goals is important – we all need cheerleaders (especially those ones in our heads), and I think acknowledgement of how far you have come is amazing. I also think it’s our responsibility to share our accomplishments to help others see what is possible.
BUT don’t go for whatever it is you’re going for with getting that dopamine hit of recognition as a motivator. It will never be enough to get you through the tough times when working on your goal. That strength can only come from within.
Back to the social media thing.
It’s totally up to you.
Do share what you want to share.
Don’t check your likes.
Do respond to or acknowledge comments (ignore the trolls & negativity).
Don’t be refreshing every 2 seconds to see that you matter, because you do already.
Do be mindful of your scrolling and interactions.
Finally, each day as you look at your goals, or rewrite them as you journal, take some time to think about why it’s important to you.
I believe in me.
I believe in you.
This month in The Samantha Leith Show I dive deeper into managing our mind so check it out.