4 Ways Some Influencers Lie To You

Here are the 4 major ways that influencers lie on social media, intentional or not. I'm opening the kimono to help you spot it and no longer be triggered by it.

Manipulation and faking perfection have become prevalent on social media for the sake of marketing and selling programs and products. I’m opening the kimono on the coaching industry, network marketing, and personal brands.

Read the beginning of this article over on HuffPost here.

Painting A Picture That’s Not Real

Please understand, I am not trying to poke holes in your dreams and tell you that an amazing life isn’t possible. Of course it is! My intention is to pull back the curtain and help you to be able to see things from a more empowered perspective.

I’m also not saying that influencers aren’t skilled. They very well may be able to help you get exactly what you want in your life, because after all, it really does help to have someone there right by your side as you make your way through uncharted territory.

What I AM hoping to convey is that sometimes, intentional or not, influencers exaggerate, oversimplify, suggest extremes, and fake perfection in order to convince you that they have what you want.

And I honestly believe that this level of high pressure to perform and reach these standards — that are so high and unrealistic that Superwoman herself couldn’t even sustain them — is part of why people are running around stressed out and unhappy so much of the time.

We are ALL (even influencers) measuring ourselves against a standard of perfection — that we think we need to be in order to be happy and successful — that isn’t even real.

We are chasing a dream that is all made up. It’s sad really. To tell you the truth, it’s also exhausting to try to hold up a facade of perfection all of the time when behind the scenes you have challenges just like everyone else but you are afraid to talk about them.

Afraid?! What could they possibly be scared of? They have everything! The truth is, they are afraid of failure.

And because of that fear, they have convinced themselves that it is okay to lie to you. Because, “it’s for the greater good.”

Really… it’s for THEIR greater good. I know that sounds so harsh. Honestly, I think that in many cases they really don’t even know that they are doing this. They started with good intentions, but then the race to keep up took over and so did their ego, and the rest is history.

Isn’t it silly when you think about it? Wouldn’t we all benefit so much if we stopped pretending so much and just got real with each other?

I’m not sure if or when that might happen. For that reason, I want to help you know what to look for so that you don’t fall into the trap of feeling bad about yourself because of one of these posts.

Below are 4 major ways that influencers lie on social media, intentional or not, so that you can spot it and not be triggered by it.

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that we’re all doing the best we can with what we know. Let them do as they please. You know my motto is #DoYou.

However, from now on, you will have the power to make conscious deliberate choices on whatever they are offering rather than taking action out of desperation and fear.

1. They suggest (or flat out say) that extremes are necessary for success.

Hard work is not the key to success yet it’s so common to see people post on social media boasting about how extreme they are as if it’s something to brag about.

Extremes create massive stress emotionally and physically and they are not sustainable. Extremes in our work life lead to burnout and health issues, disconnection in our relationship and family life, and ultimately, unhappiness.

Living a life of extreme stress also causes you to age FAST. Have you ever noticed how whoever is the president looks 20 years older when they leave office?

I can almost guarantee you, people who consistently flaunt their hard work and celebrate how extreme their life is, are not actually happy and healthy. How could they be?

The human body cannot sustain extreme emotional and physical stress and pressure without periods of rest. It’s not realistic or healthy to expect yourself to sustain extremes. And I promise you, a life of extremes does not lead to happiness, no matter what influencers tell you.

When you see these posts ask yourself, “What is their intention behind this post? To make me believe I need to sustain this level of extremes too? To justify their life? To prove something?”

Once you have this awareness, it’s interesting what you will be able to see through.

2. Their life is picture perfect and you can have this too.

Nobody is perfect. Any anyone who is ONLY posting images of themselves with captions of how blessed they are is holding back the realness of their life... for some reason. Ask yourself why they might be doing that.

Maybe it’s because they don’t want to add to the negativity that is also prevalent on social media. I can applaud that.

However, if they genuinely do have a heart of service, wouldn’t it serve people better to also post about how they too have challenges and share how they have worked through them? It’s common for coaches and influencers to post about challenges from the past (like, 10 years ago) but why is it not okay to talk about the challenges they overcame last week?

I was talking to a friend who is also a coach recently who shared that she faces these fears around taking off the mask of perfection. She said, “It’s so fucked up. As a coach, in order for people to want to work with you, you have to portray this facade of having it all together. You can’t show that you don’t have it all together because then people won’t trust that you can help them succeed.” She’s right.

We’ve created a culture where, because smoke and mirrors have become so prevalent, it’s become normal to believe that coaches and influencers don’t face big challenges or fear.

We all face challenges and are scared on a regular basis. There is no finish line that you cross where you no longer have problems. As someone that is a coach and a forever student of personal growth, I think we’d all benefit from taking the masks of perfection off.

Let me tell you some secrets:

  • The people who seem to have the perfect marriage have communication or intimacy challenges too.
  • The people with what seems to be the perfect body, have body-image or health challenges too.
  • The people with the most money still have money problems, they are just bigger than before.
  • The people who seem to have achieved overnight success have been plugging away behind the scenes for years.

3. Busy is better.

Have you seen the Instagram Stories where people list off all the things they did that day from phone calls to emails to meetings and then say, “Whew! Blessed to be busy.”

It’s funny to me. It’s so obvious to me that they seem to really need a pat on the back. Being busy is a badge of honor?

Why is it better to be busy? As if being busy has become the poster child for success or importance. That is what they are trying to say, right? "I am so busy therefore I am doing something important." Or, if they really DO feel blessed to have a jam-packed life... why do they need to tell you that?

This doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather measure my success by my happiness and connection rather than how long my to-do list was for the day.

And the truth is, those that measure their success by their busyness are eventually going to learn this too. Again, in most cases, I really do believe they are well meaning although rather than buying into whatever they have to offer, I just want to give them a hug.

Why do they think they have to operate this way? The reason stems from fear.

For those of you that are not business owners, you may not know this but when you start your own business you embark on a whole new adventure of pressure to succeed because having your own business is personal.

In society’s eyes, if your business fails, that means you are a failure. And failure doesn’t just mean going bankrupt. Each year you set new goals to surpass last year’s goals (because again, in society’s eyes, success = bigger, better). If you don’t hit those goals, then what does that mean? Yep, failure.

So what do you do? You keep upping the ante. What’s next, what’s next… especially if you run in circles with other entrepreneurs.

Everyone buys into this idea that they must constantly aim for bigger and better and they all hold each other accountable to that standard. And often, consciously or unconsciously, they begin to use fear of failure (and fear of what others would think if they didn’t hit their goals) as a motivator. Another one of my friends who is also a coach told me, “I’ll be honest, I totally operate from fear!”

Knowing that, it makes sense that even the most heart-centered influencers can get swept up in this need to measure up. Their ego takes over and they allow themselves to buy into the idea that using manipulation tactics in order to get people to buy from them is okay because… they are serving.

When in reality, what they are serving the most is their own ego.

4. Anything less than “change the world” type goals are lazy.

It hurts my heart when amazing souls come to me and say, “What’s wrong with me? I don’t think I have a purpose. I’m just a mom or I’m just a ____,” as if they should be ashamed of their desires and their own unique creative genius. I see them as rockstars, but because of the messages they see all across social media, they think their genius is not good enough.

Let’s get something straight. You do not have to have “change the world” type goals in order to impact lives and to be a good human being! And just because some influencer suggested that this is true, doesn’t mean that it IS true.

There is so much pressure these days to do something that matters or has an impact. Being a mom who is raising kids or an artist or a mechanic or a UPS driver or a housekeeper is just as noble as stepping on stage speaking to thousands.

In fact, imagine what our world would be like if we could all just give ourselves permission to do what feels most meaningful and perfect FOR US with our whole heart, giving it all that we’ve got because WE want to, not because somebody else told us we should.

Our society has gotten so wrapped up in changing the world that we have forgotten the importance of being present and connected in our daily lives.

So many of people are walking around with their phone up to their face documenting their life for all to see, texting, or checking in that they are not ACTUALLY FULLY LIVING right now. I don’t know about you, but it seems so weird to me when you see people posting videos of what they are doing when the person they are with (in real life) is standing around in the background looking left out.

They say, “it’s for the greater good, I’m impacting lives.” Maybe. I say, let’s put our phones down and instead focused on unconditional love and connection with the people right in front of us. Again, I do not speak from a high horse here. This is something I am working on and I have a feeling you are too.

You Are Enough

Ultimately, this is not about changing anyone, because we can’t. But I can share this peek behind the curtain of influence to hopefully help you have a more empowered perspective if this has been a trigger for you.

Hopefully this has helped you to release some of the unnecessary and unhealthy pressure you have been putting on yourself and any shame that you have felt for not measuring up to what you perceive you need to be.

Also, I’m committing to holding myself to consciously practicing the “light” side of influence and helping you to feel GOOD with everything that I post on social media.

My wish is for you to understand that there is nothing more that you need to be or do. If you desire to do something, great, do it. But you do not have to overwork yourself, sacrifice your family life, sacrifice your health, wake up every day stressed out, or prove anything in order to create your dream life.

And finally, perfection is not reality. We are all imperfectly perfect, despite what you see. We are all doing the best that we can with what we have learned. You can have the life of your dreams, but it’s probably not going to be perfect by society’s standards. It will be perfect by your standards.

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