What do you usually post on social media? Is it a celebration post when your favorite team wins? Or your perfectly retouched photos from your last vacation?

 We all want to look our best. To fit in. The habit of posting only our triumphs and achievements has turned social media into a “highlight reel” of our lives –  a place to rant, to show up instead of connecting  with others. However, as captivating as the reel is, we know it is an illusion. The ‘perfect life’ we so desperately build drives people away. That’s why numerous influencers with millions of followers struggle from not having real and truested friends.

So, how should we show up on social media?

As we are. Dare to drop the veil.

“But what if I am self-conscious of my weight?” “But what if I don’t have perfect pictures?” Good. Neither do I. Our stories, struggles and accomplishments, our talents and hidden gems can be shared with the world as they are. The moment we embrace our blessings and shortcomings is when we start building meaningful connections and improve our well-being.

The well-curated image of ideal life on social media does us no good. When we exaggerate our highs and hiding away the lows of our struggles and failures, we sacrifice our ability to reach out to others and be open to new opportunities. Once we stop putting too much effort into building a completely different persona, we can begin to perceive the world realistically. Authentic people are thoughtful. They are not afraid of expressing their emotions and opinions freely. They do not judge and at the same time are not afraid of judgment. Authentic people are attractive because they create a safe and mindful space.

So how can we be more authentic on social media?

Be honest. Not everything has to be perfect. Opening up about issues we care about can help us discover communities of like-minded people. And we’ll feel less alone knowing we are not a single person going through challenges.

Stop and think. Before posting anything, take a moment to reflect on your content. How does it represent your identity? What message do you want to convey with this post? Being self-aware is a crucial step towards embracing being authentic.

Use your voice. When you engage with people and followers online, use your voice. Don’t just post what is trendy or what others want to hear. Write how you genuinely feel. But be respectful of course. And engage honestly. Your responses and content are public so remember – you take ownership of everything you say, even genuine mistakes. Be real and be conscious of what you put on social media.

The image you share  doesn’t have to be immaculate, but it should reflect your true self and represent what you stand for in a truthful way.