Why I Stopped Treating Social Media Like an Online Diary

authenticity blog leadership mandy b. anderson personal leadership Aug 21, 2023

It’s been over a year since I stopped treating social media like a digital diary. Here’s what has happened…


1. I’m more clear on my messaging and my focus.


This was a big struggle for me for years. I started my Instagram profile back in 2012 after I almost died from cystic fibrosis. It truly was my digital diary of finding myself again and fully living life after that experience.

I posted about everything! My dog, creativity, inspiration, family and friends, writing books, starting a business. My health. Everything.

The result of that was that I created some great friendships with people online and began to feel needed in some sense. My mindset back then truly was this: If I wasn’t there to encourage people, who would be the light in the darkness!?! (Wow. Total co-dependant savior complex right there.)

That feeling lasted for years. And then things started to crumble. I realized that people were constantly telling me how “inspiring” I was, and even buying my books, but then they would hire a different coach. Or a different speaker. The underlying feedback from those actions was this: I was inspiring but not enough to get paid for my work.

To be completely honest, I felt taken advantage of. Often.  

Eventually I realized that I had to make a change. So, I hired my own Coach and started working on the problem. I stopped talking so much about my life in an inspirational way and STARTED talking about leadership. Constantly.

The result? Less engagement on social media, but way more clients. More money. And honestly… making more of a difference than when everyone felt inspired by my posts.


2. I have more contentment, better mental health, and an overall better sense of self-worth and confidence.


In her song, Dear Reader, Taylor Swift writes:

”The greatest of luxuries is your secrets.”

Over the last year I’ve discovered how true that is. I’ve learned the valuable lesson of letting myself go through hard things without immediately turning it into an inspirational opportunity for the masses. Giving myself permission to process things privately with a Coach or my Counselor has been a game-changer for me in the most positive way! My closest relationships are healthier because of it, too.


3. The biggest lesson I’m learning from this experiment is that leading authentically - in real life or online - doesn’t mean you have to let people into every area of your life.


Yes, be honest about the struggles.

Yes, be clear on your story.

Yes, stop copying everyone else and shine by being YOU. Share the unique message and insight that you have; not the regurgitated fluffy inspirational crap that everyone else constantly forwards on social media. That’s not value. YOU speaking up and sharing your insight is the value that’s needed!

Before you do all that though, give yourself permission to process it all before immediately charging ahead as the example. You don’t owe it to anyone to tell your story before you’re truly ready.

You DO owe it to people to make sure that you’re clear on your message so you disrupt their time-wasting habits with value that compels them to **start thinking** instead of scrolling through the inspirational black hole.

This is where personal leadership matters most. And honestly, I’ve done it backwards in the past.

I’ve talked about hard things online WAY BEFORE my heart had healed from the hurt.

I’ve shown myself looking awesome to cover up the pain just so the creepers - the ones that knew me so well they could recognize my laugh anywhere - could see that they didn’t hurt me as bad as they really did.

Which means the “inspiration” I shared came from a place of bitterness and revenge instead of a place of love and learning.

I did it wrong. And I’ve spent the last year doing it better. 🥰


Dear Leader: Leading authentically matters, and you can’t do it until you fix the problems that were created by the leader in the mirror.


But I promise you, it’s worth it.

~Coach Mandy