courage word handwritten on chalkboard with heart symbol instead of O

They say communication is key.

Yet we use our words so freely and often without thinking about what message we are sending across. Reviews, opinions and likes take first place ahead of good old fashioned conversation. Today’s communication has taken a different form. It’s no longer face-to-face yet everyone seems to know what we are up to. 😉

That’s the power of online.

We live our lives through social media. This is especially true for young people. We seem to prioritise our positive online image over face to face interactions, the only route that allows forming meaningful relationships.. Sadly, as we all know, this obsession with digital is not good for anyone… We feel increasingly more lonely, isolated and misunderstood. What we miss is a true human connection.

The ever growing impact social media has on people’s lives is impossible to avoid. Words are cheap. And so is online abuse. So, is there a way to reduce the damaging effect social media has on our lives? How can we protect our youth, especially bearing in mind how easy it is to influence them, how easily they follow trends and how important peer acceptance is to them…

These are all big questions today’s parents need to ask themselves…

Little boy acting like a superhero on top of the mountain at sunset with copy space

Austrian philosopher Alfred Adler believes it’s not our problem if someone doesn’t like us. In fact we have nothing to do with it. There is no point trying to change it either! He believes that the only way to be free and happy is to separate your tasks from other people’s tasks and focus on your own purpose. 

Sure, this attitude comes with a level of maturity and a very ‘’grown up’’ thinking, but I think it’s worth asking ourselves what we gain by acting in this way? Well, it turns out quite a lot! 

With time we gain peace of mind, internal balance and freedom to live our lives as we wish. 

The last one sounds very appealing. Losing our freedom in the way we live our lives is a very high price to pay. 

This freedom to choose, this courage to pursue what our heart is after – Isn’t this something we should be teaching our children? Shouldn’t we be promoting resilience, self-confidence and self-acceptance, rather than feeding their growing need for gaining social approval?  

Social media gives us a platform to create a very attractive but often fake self image and create a cool but fake world around it. It gives us a chance to be perceived by others as more attractive, more interesting and more happy. Some of us create this new world or go one step further and start believing in it. Others use social media purely for business purposes and don’t share any personal details with the world… Or decide to leave it all together. The key  is to have a balanced approach. 

A key thing to remember is that: Having courage to be happy means having courage to be disliked. And that goes for online and offline world.

So, this key lesson about courage we teach our kids should also include being true to ourselves and freeing yourself from the opinions of others. Teaching your kids self-acceptance and building positive self esteem will go a long way..

The subject of courage, social approval and honesty will certainly not be exhausted in one blog post.  

However, the key ‘’takeaway’’ remains:

If someone dislikes you – it’s proof that you are exercising your need for freedom and living in accordance with your own principles. CONGRATULATIONS !! KEEP ON GOING

 

Most of us don’t lack competence, we are lacking the courage to be happy.