In the last 12 months, I have:

  • worked with a well-known life coach
  • met and interacted with some of the top CrossFit athletes in the world
  • made new friends in a city I don’t even live in
  • had meaningful conversations with people that I look up to in the fitness space
  • traveled to more cities than I thought possible

And all of this happened through building meaningful connections through Instagram.

One year ago, a good friend of mine moved to Indiana. Her family was from there, but she didn’t know anyone. Somehow, by the time she moved there though, she had started building connections with people…. through her Instagram!

I remember being so shocked and impressed that she was bold enough to comment on people’s posts and mention that she was moving there. She would ask them to hangout or ask if they had recommendations on places to rent, etc…

As blown away as I was, it got me thinking… how much of my life am I not taking full advantage of because I am not using this tool in my hands to its fullest extent.

Over the course of the last year, I did a deep dive into self-reflection and realized that I didn’t think that I had a right to take up space in the world. This was affecting the lens through which I viewed social media. I was there as a consumer, not a contributor because “Why would anyone want to hear from me?”

Most of us approach social media with that same consumer mindset. We want to be entertained and we don’t really see the people/accounts on it as “real.”

We are scared of rejection and scared that people will think we are “dumb” or “lame” if we show what we are really thinking and its not perfectly curated or filtered.

Once I had the realization that social media was MADE to CONNECT people, it became a lot more fun.

I am a HUGE people person, so when I started actually adding value and seeing every person who I interacted with as a real person who was also there for connection, my world changed.

I got over the whole “don’t follow someone unless they follow you” thing and followed the people that I felt would add value to my feed, whether they followed me back or not.

We get so caught up in thinking that Instagram is not real life, that we forget that it’s real people (most of the time) on the other end of the phone also craving connection.

As human beings, we crave connection, so why would we not utilize this new form of it. Obviously, there is something to be said about spending time with people who are physically present with you, but if you use this tool properly, it can and should, lead to a physical connection at some point down the road.

It’s crazy how life works out that way. Once the ball starts rolling, there is no stopping it!

So how has this year changed my life?

It has taken away my fear of not being “good enough.” It has given me boldness and confidence. I know my value and am not afraid to speak up. I feel more empowered to establish connections with people in person. I realize that we are the only ones who are limiting ourselves and what we can accomplish in this life.

So I challenge you, comment on a stranger’s photo if it speaks to you. DM someone if you have a question for them. Be persistent about using social media to foster actual connection, not comparison, and you will be surprised how your life will change too!