Narcissism is defined as “excessive self-love; vanity.” Self-confidence is defined as “excessive confidence; poise.” The word “narcissism” has a much more negative connotation than the word “self-confidence;” however, when we compare the definitions of the two, they are remarkably similar. This is a very interesting realization for me.
Those of us that blog and post images to social media are displaying our self-confidence, certainly. We are proud of our athletic accomplishments. We work hard to maintain our training and part of the process of staying motivated is posting our progress.
Are we addicted to attention?
Are we self-important?
Are we boastful?
Do we need validation?
Do we suffer from low self-esteem?
Maybe the answer to all of the previous questions is yes; however, there happen to be quite a bit of good things to come out of fitness-related posts to social media. So the next few paragraphs will justify why we fitness blogger/posters post to social media.
Let’s face it, human beings like to take short cuts and get something for nothing. We like to cut corners and put forth the least amount of effort, but still see great gains. It’s human nature. Even the most disciplined, dedicated athletes out there suffer from lack of motivation at times. As silly as it might seem, posting fitness-related pictures to social media networks holds us accountable. We created fitness-related sites to have a place to share our accomplishments, be inspired and motivated by others, and to hold ourselves accountable. Through our sites we have forged connections with countless others like us and we owe it to them to keep fighting, just as they owe it to us to keep fighting. We are in this together. When I post my accomplishments I am reminded of why I started doing all of this in the first place. Posting keeps my passion alive and propels me to continue moving forward.
I follow many athletes on Instagram and Twitter. I genuinely enjoy seeing their fitness-related pictures and posts. When I am struggling to muster the tenacity to lace up and run, for instance, I take to my social media feeds and gather all of the motivation I need to suck it up and get myself out the door. It really works for me, and imagine if my fitness related posts could do the same thing for others? I recently had a social media friend tell me, “Dendy, whenever I need inspiration I go to your page.” That is so incredibly rewarding to hear. The fact that the silly pictures and words I am posting on my social media accounts offer inspiration to others is heartwarming. I rather like the idea of possibly inspiring others. Obviously, it makes me feel really good to know that I am impacting someone else’s journey; it certainly isn’t bad for my ego, in the least. But more than building my ego, it is rewarding to see someone else push themselves to achieve. To watch a person fight the urge to quit is a beautiful thing. This inspires me to keep going. Inspiration is contagious … someone inspires me to push myself, then my hard effort inspires someone else, and alas, a beautiful chain reaction is created.
Yes, I know that at times I am posting somewhat revealing pictures of my physique, but it’s also about me documenting the struggle of training. The ins and outs and day-to-day struggles that we amateur athletes experience. We should be proud of what we are doing and the gains we have made. How many people do we encounter in our day-to-day lives that say they are “too tired,” “too busy,” “they start work too early,” “their kids are involved in too many after-school activities,” etc., etc., etc.? Countless people make excuses, but we don’t. We should be proud that we are dedicated and disciplined. The fact remains that a large percent of the population is inactive. Yes, our posts may annoy some of these people, but what if we inspire them to do something about their health by boasting about our accomplishments? Yes, I was boastful in my post, but if I’ve helped someone else, isn’t it worth it?
Look, I know I am annoying some people with my posts. Just as I get annoyed by constant game requests and volatile political discussions online. But, the beauty of social media is that we can block each others’ annoying posts. We don’t have to look at it if it bothers us. I happen to think that if we truly care about a person, we will overlook our annoyance and support our friends, no matter what they’re in to. I’m into fitness. You may be into posting daily pictures of your cat in various positions. It’s really all good. We can peacefully coexist. Everyone has an audience they are posting for and we should continue to do the things we enjoy on social media. Doing things with passion and conviction makes for a much better end result. Leo Buscaglia asserts that, “A life without passion is not living, it’s merely existing.” If we fitness people have found our passion in life, we need to hang onto it. This passion helps us to live our lives in vivid color, rather than simply existing.
Maybe all of us fitness blogger/posters are a bit narcissistic. Maybe we are craving attention and validation, but aren’t all human beings? Maybe it does come across as us flaunting our bodies … maybe that is what we’re doing. The simple fact remains; however, that one can’t buy a fit body, one must earn it, and it can’t be held onto without hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. We should be proud of our accomplishments, live with passion, seek inspiration, and strive to inspire others.