Last week, I decided to leave Facebook.
I’d been considering this for some time. The turning point came when a brilliant coach asked me to make a list of 117 things that would feel like winning the lottery… and it took me by surprise how close “Never having to be on Facebook again!” was to the top of the list.
Higher than actually winning the lottery, in fact.
While I love the potential Facebook has for connecting people, for me, it had become an unhealthy comparison trap.
A source of chronic unease and overwhelm.
Pressing the “Deactivate Account” button felt like tiny, radical act of freedom.
Reactions were mixed.
One friend immediately texted me and told me she was proud of my decision. Several affirmed me, wishing me well or saying that they secretly wished they could do the same thing.
Others questioned my decision, asking if I was ok. Asking how I would still keep in touch with important business relationships. Asking how I would stay in touch with everyone without Facebook.
Truthfully, attempting to keep in touch with everyone was starting to come at the cost of keeping in touch with myself.
Serendipitously, the right book just happened to cross my path at the right time. A quote from The Crossroads of Should and Must, which, dare I say it, you must read:
If you want to live the fullness of your life—if you want to be free—you must understand, first, why you are not free, what keeps you from being free. The word prison comes from the Latin praehendere, meaning to seize, grasp, capture. A prison doesn’t have to be a physical place; it can be anything your mind creates. What has taken ahold of you? The natural process of socialization requires that the individual be influenced by Shoulds in order to function as a part of society. However, as you grow up, it is healthy to be self-aware about the Shoulds you inherited. You might value and keep some Shoulds, while others you might choose to discard. If you want to know Must, get to know Should. This is hard work. Really hard work. We unconsciously imprison ourselves to avoid our most primal fears. We choose Should because choosing Must is terrifying, incomprehensible. Our prison is constructed from a lifetime of Shoulds, the world of choices we’ve unwittingly agreed to, the walls that alienate us from our truest, most authentic selves. Should is the doorkeeper to Must. And just as you create your prison, you can set yourself free.Elle Luna, The Crossroads of Should and Must
Deep down, I knew that it wasn’t really about Facebook – it was about giving myself permission to do what I needed to do to care for myself.
It was about giving myself the freedom and permission to do what I actually wanted to do, even if it meant risking the disapproval of others.
Even if it meant loosening my grip on some of the ways I’d been measuring my success: likes, comments, friends, readers, subscribers, followers.
You have permission to take care of yourself the way that you need to be taken care of.
Even if others don’t understand or approve.
Even if there are sacrifices.
When we discover that we don’t actually need the approval of others, we discover that we are more free than we thought we were.
I’m not closing the door on ever coming back to Facebook, but if and when I do, it will be because it has become a Must – not just a Should.
My wish for you this week? That you choose a Should to let go of. To lovingly kick to the curb. To find freedom from.
And let me know what you choose!
P.S. I’m so excited to share a brand new menu of coaching offerings with you. Curious about coaching with me? Have a look!