In the wake of social media opening the curtains to one’s life on mobile display, one is privy to certain details of public figures and friends, be it through a Facebook status or Instagram photo. Nowadays, at least on Instagram, I’ve noticed a trend of users posting photos of their professional success, mostly within the realm of entrepreneurship.
I find it inspiring to read posts that describe the journey embarked to channel one’s entrepreneurial spirit. It is also an honour and privilege to be recognized for endeavours undertaken, and more especially if they yield financial stability. Actualizing ideas is a form of self-expression made tangible through investing emotional, financial and physical resources. In other words, it can be an intimate journey of discovering oneself.
Although, as a young, millennial adult, I sometimes wonder if we’ve become too immersed in a state of hyper-individualism, or the relentless pursuit of happiness in an effort to protect one’s individuality. It is a question of whether these successes have defined the identity of our generation, with social media seeming to validate our worth by broadcasting our professional feats to people who equate achievement to individuality in a similar way.
In my early twenties, I used to define myself within the parameters of my ‘success.’ I was known by others for what I did within a professional context, not necessarily for whom I was, which was completely admissible by me. Since not everyone can learn of your character personally and may only perceive you based on your achievements, I thought it was important to only continue focusing on my goal of self-expression.
Even now, it is important to hustle for yourself. It is also understandable and empowering to want to share your hard-earned success with others as a means of encouragement. But what happens if you’ve been stripped of the means to pursue your goal? What if you simply don’t know what to do next?
If there is a will, there is a way, as many would regurgitate. In the meantime, while everyone is frequently updating their accomplishments on social media, where does that leave you feeling when you currently have nothing tangible to show or work on? What can you say for yourself? What value do you bring, then?
Simply, remember that you are worth more than your productivity. This is a reminder that your hustle and journey are not bound by social media and the present – you have the rest of your life to refine your craft and seek more opportunities. In this temporary time of uncertainty, consider it a lesson in what it means to bring value without displaying it to others, and that there is value in knowing that your lived experiences and strengths are doors to new, greater encounters.
In practice, I want to always reflect on my vulnerability and be cognizant of how I frame social media posts that describe my wins and losses. I hope we aim to uplift people with our shared experiences, and remember that we are valued for more than our accomplishments.