I remember how scary it was to post my first picture on Instagram. Not of a random dog… but of my FACE!
I felt scared, and I felt like the whole world was watching: I had Instagram Anxiety.
But I overcame my Instagram anxiety, and after this article… you will as well!
The Reason You and I have Instagram Anxiety
I never wanted Instagram or any social media account. Just the thought of my face being on the screen of people all over the world was terrifying.
I always had some sort of social media anxiety.
Do you know why?
Because people never liked me, as I was a shy kid who preferred to stay home. So why would they want my face on their screen? It didn’t make any sense at all.
But the moment I went to high school and made some friends, people kind of “pushed me” towards social media.
It was 2012 when social media conquered the world. I decided to install Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook in 2015 (very late I know).
I even remember the moment people came to me and said:
“You should download Whatsapp, it’s a new app so you can chat with anyone you like.”
And I was like…
“Shhh… I have Skype.”
Just the feeling of being online in a thousand ways was frightening and made me scared of more rejection.
And when I decided to post my first picture, I felt very scared. Not once: every time I uploaded a picture on Instagram I felt stressed.
Do people like my photo?
Do I have at least this many likes?
I am quite ugly. Do I look too fat in this picture?
I was afraid of people’s opinions, but the funny thing is that I was probably more judgemental of myself than all the people who saw my photo on their timeline. But besides social media, I was also afraid of people’s opinions in real life. Whenever I was on the streets or in the city, I had thoughts in my mind like:
“Is he looking at me. What am I doing wrong this time”.
I was craving external validation… and do you know why? Because I didn’t validate myself internally.
I never felt good enough.
Not Good enough for love, not good enough for friends, not good enough for being on someone’s screen… you name it! But the fact is, people who don’t feel good enough and have low self-esteem, unfortunately, WANT other people’s approval to feel validated… and that is SO risky.
Why you have Instagram Anxiety
The reason why you are afraid of posting that picture on Instagram and keep worrying about it, is because you are probably very insecure about yourself. Maybe a little bit, maybe a lot… but the fact is that you want other people’s approval from that picture.
I know a girl that posts the same picture of her face every single day. It seems like confidence, but she is actually very insecure and craves those likes to feel good during her day, something which is VERY dangerous to do, because you shouldn’t let your mood depend on the opinions and likes of others.
Nevertheless, it is very normal that we crave external validation, because when we were living in tribes a long time ago, we had to be accepted by others.
We were born with two human needs:
(1) avoid rejection and
(2) find connection.
But why am I so scared of uploading that picture!? Because your primal mind is scared of being “rejected” and also scared of losing “connection”.
It sounds simple: but stop thinking that way! Stop thinking you live in a tribe and that you need the acceptance of others in order to not be fed to the wolves. We live in the twenty-first century!
One way to overcome this way of thinking is by asking the “and then what” question several times.
It works this way: You have a picture that you want to post on Instagram, but suddenly you are very insecure about whether you should post it or not.
“Am I too fat? I look like a wizard in this picture! My cheeks are too chubby.”
When you start saying those things, ask yourself this:
“If I post this picture and people don’t like it… then what?”
I know you might have some worst-case scenarios playing inside your head… but be rational. What happens when you post a picture and some people don’t like it? They don’t give it a like… they… don’t give it a comment… not a lot can go wrong, right? And if they don’t give it a like… and then what?
You see… nothing happens.
When you post a picture and some people don’t accept you for who you are, that says more about them than about you… you’re strong, they are not. You dare to show yourself to the world, they probably don’t.
Those people are more busy with themselves than they think about you! And if you still don’t feel confident posting a picture, read this article next where I show you how to embrace your feelings of anxiety the right way!
So… I have a few more tips on how to overcome this fear of rejection, so you can post your photo’s on Instagram and become more confident on social media.
You have to silence your inner critic to overcome Instagram anxiety.
You talk to yourself all the time. ALWAYS. Sometimes it is in a positive way, but most of the time… we are real assholes towards ourselves. Imagine that little voice inside of your head as your best friend:
“Frank, you’ve never been as fat as today”.
“Lisa, you’re unworthy of love, remember that”.
“Luke, nobody wants to hear your voice… idiot!”
This is how we often talk to ourselves. We look in the mirror and say the most terrible things. If you had a friend that said those things to you… what would you do? Would you stand with him in front of a mirror and every time he said: “you’re fat as hell,” accept his opinion?
Or would you confront him and say:
“How dare you say things like that. Look at yourself first. Never say those things again.”
Ditch that friend, let him not rule your life. You have to switch your self-talk from negative to positive and become a cheerleader to yourself, because nothing in the world boosts your self-esteem more than praise.
Praise yourself more often, because we all deserve that.
If you are scared of rejection, READ THIS!
Yes… I have always rejected myself and said those mean things.
Because I wanted people to like me, to be accepted and to be validated… and saying those mean things maybe prevented me from being rejected in the first place.
Never make the mistake of being mean to yourself, in the hope you become a better person. Embrace yourself with acceptance.
All the time you are running after that ideal, perfect version of yourself, but why?
“I just have to lose some pounds, earn some more money, be more humorous and should exercise a little more and X.”
That is fine, I don’t mean you have to sit in a chair without goals? But pursue them, because you like to pursue them and not because you hope more people will like you after you attain those goals. Because what happens when you attain those goals and have lost all the weight? They say:
“Oh… poor girl… she is anorexic.”
It never stops…
Try to accept yourself the way you are, your perfect and imperfect parts. People love imperfection because we are all imperfect.
Being perfect makes people think: “yuck, he is way too perfect, I don’t like him”.
Recommended to Read Next
- Use this 3 Step Response to overcome anxiety
- Does caffeine cause anxiety? Here’s the Answer!
- Morning Anxiety? 5 Steps to Fix It!
The most important message from this blog article is that you have to remember the following: nobody can reject you, only you can. People can only reject you if you agree with them. But if you stand firm and don’t agree with them, they cannot reject you.
The next time you have the urge to post that picture on Instagram, remember this blog article. Never let your worth be determined by the outside world. And NEVER believe that you will be rejected, because that only happens if you agree with them.
If you want to take the next step in freeing yourself from anxiety, then watch my limited-time training down below!