Why Giving Up Instagram For A Year Was The BEST Decision I've Ever Made

Photo: instagram / @mytrueworth
What I Learned From Giving Up Instagram For A Year
Self

I’ve always loved Instagram and the visuals it always has to offer.

Almost two years ago this month, my mindset was completely different from where it’s at now. Little did I know that making a few adjustments in my life would seriously impact me…and change me and my life for the better.

You probably already know where I’m going with this, but it’s so much deeper than that.

So what did I do?

 


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My husband Anthony and I got married, talked about expectations and wishes we had for our marriage, and immediately, social media came up. We thought it would be best to give up using our social media as a means of honoring and strengthening each other our brand new marriage, and though it was tough, we did it…and reaped the benefits right off the bat.

Anthony had never really used his Instagram before that, but for me, it was probably the hardest to let go. I’ve always loved Instagram and the visuals it always has to offer. Aside from feeling connected with my friends and getting to share pictures of my life, something else, over time, had crept up on me that gained a foothold: comparison.


Subconsciously feeling less than. Once I deleted the Instagram app, all I was left with was the lingering feeling of inadequacy I had stored away, piece by piece, that had actually become something.

I remember sitting at home one day still feeling the weight of that trap I was unknowingly in without even having a single app to open up and look through. It was then I realized that something had to change. No, someone.

I was the one needing change. I didn’t feel worthy; I was exhausted of all my worth.

I didn’t feel good enough, at all. I even felt like I wasn’t enough for my husband of only two months. I grew bitter towards social media, but it wasn’t until that August where I found a tiny spark still giving off light inside my soul.


 

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I was sitting at my desk working when I heard a small voice inside of me say: “you need to start a blog.” A what? And no, not ‘should’, need. I knew it was God speaking. It had to be…that thought was not my own. 

That August, my blog was born. Out of sheer desperation to find a purpose for myself, I took that step of faith. I was still confused with God, though. Why would I go straight back to what caused the insecurity in the first place?

But God, as usual, answered my question. My mind went back to when I came to myself and thought ‘no, I need to change’. My whole perspective needed to be different if I was going to run a blog and jump back into social media. I needed purpose behind my actions, to be the runner-up for everything I do and how I view everything else.


I thought about people. Constantly. I thought about how there were millions of other women just like me, feeling the same exact way. I’ve always had a heart for encouraging people and a loving spirit, but I simply didn’t know how to properly exercise that. If I have my faith, and I carry the hope of Jesus in me, then I have an obligation to shed that light. Even if I only gave offered a minuscule amount of that light at the start, still, that’s how wildfires begin.

 

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I was completely inspired to change my focus, perspective, and step back into social media with eyes wide open and heart on my sleeve. I reached my small, seemingly unimportant hand out to a small group of people and soon, hundreds more.

Since then, I’ve grown to numbers I never thought I’d reach, and that brings me here today.

Through months of prayer, growth, and posts centered around our true worth in this crazy world, my message has been directed out to so many who have needed to hear it.

God didn’t call me to live a life of mediocrity or aimlessly wandering around not knowing who I am. He’s given me a calling, a dream that seemed far greater than what I could accomplish on my own, and I can honestly say I have social media back and it no longer dictates how I feel about myself.

Besides, it’s all a façade.

Through one simple act of obedience, I’m now able to provide hope and encouragement on people’s feeds. Listen. I wasn’t going to do it. But the reality: everything is centered around our mindsets. Taking that step back allowed me to take huge leaps forward in the right direction…truly an arrow being pulled back, only to be shot forward.

 

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Shelby Leinbach writes for the one who gave her His words. Follow Shelby on Instagram.

 

This article was originally published at Thought Catalog. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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