Are you comparing yourself to a catfish?
What is a catfish? Well it’s both a small, sharky type fish with big whiskers and it’s also a person who creates a fake persona online to lure you into a relationship.
Someone who pretends to be who or what they’re not.
We’re all being catfished a lot of the time!
In this context I’m not really talking about the romantic relationship cat-fishers.
I’m talking the personal brands,
Of COURSE there are plenty of lovely, authentic, genuine people out there too. That goes without saying. But they aren’t the problem.
And the people I AM talking about make it even harder for the people who ARE being genuine and authentic.
As I’m always trying to get across to you, not everything is always as it seems. Including our own thoughts and stories.
So we need to be astute when we’re trying to compare ourselves to someone else and making ourselves feel bad about ourselves. We need to take things with a pinch of salt and know that we’re never going to have the full picture.
Social media and tik tok or instagram influencers are the first to consider.
Danae Mercer (@danaemercer) and Alex Light (@alexlight_ldn) are amazing at trying to dispel myths and the tricks that people use online. Danae lets you in on SO many of the posing tricks that people use and Alex is all about body positivity. They’re also both incredibly lovely.
First of all let’s take how people look on social media. The vast majority of people these days don’t even look like their own photos! So if you’re comparing yourself to that image, you’re not even comparing yourself to something that is real!
You can have a whole new face, new hair, new lips, new cheekbones, new abs, no cellulite, a nip here, a tuck there and all the things in the click of a button now.
How many celebrities have been caught out by the distortion that photoshop sometimes leaves? So just because some people are better at hiding it, doesn’t mean what you’re seeing is real.
Most people use filters on their face too. Even me! I tried to make sure that I use one that doesn’t change my actual face but I’m still catfishing you ha!
You don’t even have to put makeup on these days with the filters getting more and more sophisticated, it does it for you at the click of a button.
Then you’re trying to recreate a makeup look that wasn’t real in the first place!
You’re amazing exactly as you are. Please know that the majority of what you see isn’t real.
Then we have the lifestyle piece of the puzzle. Again, a HUGE amount of what you see isn’t real. I love the Instagram vs reality trend, it’s always quite the eye opener.
People have been caught out changing the backgrounds of images to places they haven’t been. People have been caught out hiring fake private jets and paying to pose next to a car they don’t own, all in an attempt to make you believe something about them that isn’t true.
Often to get you to part with your hard earned money.
Pinch of salt!
So, so many lifestyle entrepreneurs are using these tactics.
They’ll talk about income claims that aren’t true. They’ll make up testimonials. So many shady tactics and it’s one of the reasons I’ve been slowly pivoting my own business to one that’s able to keep me in my own lane and not having to see so much of it because it drives me bananas.
It’s so painful to know how many people fall for the tactics and are left feeling like they aren’t good enough. I was caught out too, more than once, at the beginning of my journey into my own business.
It’s SO easy to do. These people know what they’re doing. Please don’t ever blame yourself if you’ve been caught out.
There comes a point when you become more aware of this catfishing that you do start to question if things are really as they seem and although it can sometimes feel confusing to not know who to trust you will find yourself making far better decisions.
There are lots of people out there who ARE trustworthy and do walk their talk. You just have to find them. Talk to other people. Look underneath the messaging.
Are they using false scarcity?
Are they forcing your nervous system into a dysregulated state in order to get you to buy?
Do you have evidence that this person is for real and has got the results they’re talking about?
Have you heard the testimonials that aren’t just about the financial goals?
Use your discernment and look at the nuance in every situation but most importantly please don’t compare yourself to the cliff notes or fakery of someone else’s life!
The other thing to talk about where we’re being catfished by marketing is before and after pictures. Oh my goodness!!!
Again, it tends to be things where self esteem is involved so weight, skin, hair, body etc.
Companies are airbrushing skin before and afters.
They will use light and makeup, poses and all sorts of other things to create before and afters that aren’t real.
They will even use hair extensions in hair product before and afters.
So please, if something seems too good to be true it probably is!
Before buying anything like that check the testimonials (these can be faked too so look for ones with images and read the negative ones too. I actually like to look at 3-4 star reviews most because they tend to be more honest in my opinion.
They’re pretty much saying, ‘it’s good, could be better’ or ‘it’s good, but I didn’t like this element’.
When you really start to look out for this stuff you’re going to save yourself so much money ha!
It’s rocky out there peeps!
Catfishes are everywhere.
BUT, so are the good eggs. The genuine people. The authentic people. The people who have your best interests at heart and they are easy to spot.
Notice how a person makes you feel in your body.
Do you feel anxious and on edge?
Do you feel not good enough?
Or do you feel safe?
Do they feel like a warm and cosy hug on a chilly day to your nervous system?
Your body is always communicating with you. You just need to listen.
Don’t attach something you see online to your own self worth. You are good enough and you have always been good enough.
Fill your feed with authenticity.
Mute, block, delete anyone who’s triggering you into comparison.
Create your very own social media safe space and know that you are glorious.
Fran Excell, Success Mindset Mentor at www.franexcell.com – Helping Business Owners & Executives Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage so they can get back their time, get off the emotional rollercoaster and feel more in control.
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