Self Love in the Age of Social Media: 5 Ways to be your own "Engaged Follower."

"Engagement" is the technique online content creators use to convert followers into buyers for their businesses. They often use a "call to action" where they encourage their online tribe to keep the conversation going to create a buzz around them and their product. To get you to be an "engaged follower," they say things like, "If this resonates with you, then share, like, and comment below." The goal is to get you pushing a button or re-posting their content in order to develop rapport, and establish themselves as a trusted advisor in their field, which leads to, you guessed it, sales. I have spent many hours "liking" and "commenting" on other people's work, and I'm not knocking giving much-needed praise to those that are deserving. But Self Love should come first. And we can exercise it by using the same "engaged follower" skills we learned on social media...on ourselves. Here are 5 ways to become your own "engaged follower." 1. "Follow" you: Don't just leer on your own content. "Subscribe" to you. How? Think of your life like your own channel or page with a series of posts or videos. And decide that you want to be present for all of them. So, don't "click away" halfway through. Turn off your phone at dinner, look people in the eye when they're talking, and give your loved ones the most valuable thing you can give them - your focused attention and time. Use all of your senses when you're experiencing your own story to stay attentive. You won't regret being truly engaged in as many of your life's precious moments as possible. Your life is your content, so really show up, then "hit the bell," and "notify" yourself of the upcoming events in your world as well. This can mean making to-do lists, setting reminders, making voice memos, calendar-creating, or anything that gets you focused on the exciting planning and preparing for the future for your life, family, and career. 2. "Like" you. Nowadays someone posts a photo of some sushi they had for lunch and boom, 57 likes. Do the same for you by offering yourself kudos. The secret here is that praise doesn't just have to be for major successes, it can be for even the small victories in life that make you feel good. So give yourself some emoji's. You finally folded those towels in the dryer? "Thumbs up." You just finished your first 4-mile run and only stopped to walk twice? "Hands in the air." You told a joke that got your "too-cool-for-school" kids to LOL? "Hands clapping." You don't have to win an Oscar today to celebrate like you did. Milk the good feelings of your mini-successes and they will propel you towards bigger wins. "Engaging" with yourself is about you acknowledging you. So give yourself a "hug" when you need it, send yourself some "hearts," acknowledge those times when you are truly "fire." If you did it for someone's California Roll, you can do it for you, right? 3. "Comment" on you. If your life is like a series of social media posts, then what you write in your own "comments" section is crucial. This section is like your inner monologue that runs constantly during your waking hours. You are living your life, and meanwhile, there's another you that's up in the peanut gallery watching and "commenting" on it. Often this inner voice can be filled with self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and destructive self-talk. When that inner voice is nasty, it's almost like being your own "troll." Don't be your own troll. Be your biggest fan. This is your chance to verbalize those kudos with affirmations, scripting, journaling, or automatic writing. Let the story you tell yourself about yourself be a good one. Start a "chat" or conversation with the peanut gallery. Use meditation to ask your Higher Self probing questions and get answers about how you really feel about something, and what steps to take next. Use your comments section for as much positive self talk as you can muster. 4. "Promote" You. Do you downplay your recent wins, or omit discussing the vacation you just booked because you are afraid it will sound like bragging? Is it hard for you to gracefully accept a compliment? "Share" your content. with pride. Exercise your Self Love skills by "promoting" yourself to others. Sometimes we refrain from "endorsing" ourselves because we don't want to appear egotistical. Certainly there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. But seriously, if you don't champion you, then why would any else? Our outer worlds are a reflection of our innermost thoughts and feelings about ourselves, and people are much more intuitive than we realize. So, practice speaking only kind words about yourself to others and they will see that you see yourself as a high-value individual, and will treat you in that same manner. Love yourself enough to "promote" yourself, and others will follow. This also works in the reverse. If someone is belittling or attacking you, feel free to set up a healthy boundary and "block" them. 5. "Convert" You. A conversion is when a user's follower has turned into a "buyer." And on your Self Love journey, this represents you "owning" up to your own stuff, "buying" into your own story, and going "all in" on who and what you are. Think: The Serenity Prayer. Accept your past. Forgive yourself for your "mistakes." See that you were never "wrong," just growing and learning as part of your soul's expansion in this life. When you ignore your struggles or hide them, it actually makes what you've overcome seem like a waste of time. Re-label your perceived "failures" as the much-needed resistance that built your "life muscles." Release any shame and embrace those lessons as your superpowers. You are wise in what you experience. So call upon this wisdom to guide others who may be going through something similar. Don't hide your past, use your past. Implement this with meditation, shadow work, breath work, inner child work, or heart-opening. Acknowledge and integrate your shadow aspects, and make friends with your monsters. Accept yourself. So, what did we learn? Marketers will tell you that followers "engage" with products and people with whom they have deemed worthy of association. Deem yourself worthy and get fired up about your "subscription" with you. Sure, it can feel good to get positive feedback on social media, but seeking love and approval outside of yourself will always leave you wanting more. You can have millions of followers online, but when it comes to true self love and fulfillment, the only "follower" that really matters is you.

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