We have been talking about self-confidence on this workshop for a few weeks, so it is timely now to address an elephant in the room: the effects of social media today on our self-confidence.
I recently saw an exceptional documentary called “The Social Dilemma” that shared a staggering statistic: since 2013 when smartphones became widely available, suicide in girls between the age of 10 and 14 has risen by 189%.
The world is intense right now. There is a heavy energy present that I call undertow. It is as though a tide pulls at us with a hungry desire for us to get absorbed in anxiety and despair. It is everywhere, regardless of whether we use social media. However, apps and websites that cultivate a drive in us to seek attention, connection and validation outside ourselves can fuel this undertow, leaving us more miserable than ever.
Feeling deeply moved by the devastating rise in suicides and self-harm, I have been working on a new song called “Undertow”, dedicated to MAPS, and have poured love into it to support whoever listens to it to stay afloat, especially in challenging times. I would also like to share the following thoughts with you that you can integrate and share right now to help stay clear from undertow. This Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, my wish for you is that you feel a deep appreciation for the light that you truly are.
1. Reconnect with your true value. Healthy self-confidence and self-esteem are anchored in remembering the love that is your true nature. If you get caught up in negative or ungrounded ideas of yourself, take a few deep breaths. Let your mind be cool and your heart be warm. Try this guided practice to connect with unconditional love.
2. You have a shadow and that is okay. We all cast a shadow. None of us is perfect. We all have aspects of ourselves that we love, and other aspects we may wish we didn’t have. We can spend a lot of time and energy trying to deny them while we present a false self to the world. By trying to hide or play small, we give power to our small beliefs and we sink into the undertow. But when we face our shadows with open-hearted humility, honest and self-care, we deepen the peace of our spirit. By saying how we feel and expressing ourselves, we find a freedom that transcends adversity and removes undertow’s power. This gives us strength and natural buoyancy.
3. Open to the moment. I grew up in Montreal, the French part of Canada. There is a saying from there that marked my childhood, which keeps me afloat even today: “When you smile at life, life smiles at you.” I interpret that not just to mean smiling with a fake grin, but opening to the moment in presence and with heart. I feel like all the goodness of life is waiting for each one of us. All we need to do is open to it and say “Yes!”.
4. Turn off your phone. If you find yourself struggling to make changes in your social media use, remember that we are all imperfect—and that you are using something that has been deliberately engineered to be as addictive as possible. If you need help to break the habit, there are apps that you can install on your web browser or your phone to limit your social media use, such as Serene, RescueTime or Cold Turkey Blocker. Do whatever you need to do to humbly care for yourself.
From my heart to yours,