How did you decide to write this book? Was it based on your own personal experiences?
As a columnist and the resident coach for the world’s top health and wellness site dedicated to millennials (Greatist.com), it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that our obsession with the approval of others is ruining our precious, short lives. And it’s insidious. We don’t realize how strong the grip is to please and be accepted by others.
Why are we so obsessed with our “likes” on social media?
Likes have become a public popularity measurement that, if we’re not careful and aware, can have a lasting impact on our self-esteem. We see the hearts and thumbs up and receive it as truth of our worthiness. As humans, it’s natural to seek validation. Social media allows us to seek external validation all the time – constant “likes” let us think that we’re doing the right thing. That we’re at the right place. That we’re saying the right thing and living the right way.
Is it even possible to live a life where we do not care about other people’s opinions?
Realistically, probably not entirely. But we can lessen the hold external approval has on us for sure. The first step is being aware. And the rest is doing the inner work – steps that lead to a (dangerous!) level of personal freedom. There’s nothing like the power and relief of caring less. When you see it happen it’s almost like you look at the person and say, “Look at her go! I want some of that!”
We’ve all heard a lot about what it means to be “confident” in life, but what are some of the common misconceptions about confidence?
Most people think that confidence is winning – it’s about being seen, heard, respected and being successful at things. But confidence is not about outcomes. It’s not about getting likes. It’s about being willing to feel uncomfortable emotions and not letting them deter you from taking action that is important to your life. Confident people are less afraid to do the brave, bold things because they’re self-assured enough to know that they’ll be ok no matter what. If you’re willing to fail, you become unstoppable.
How long does it take to let go of being “liked” and just love ourselves unconditionally?
It’s a daily practice! There’s no magic pill or formula for this. But it is possible to love yourself. And when you love yourself, you realize that a lot of your perceived problems are in your mind. They fall away in the face of self-approval. Self-love might be the strongest force on earth. Our worries and fears cannot contend in the face of it (for long).
So many of us check our social media accounts, multiple times a day. Do you have any tips that actually work for disconnecting from social media, while still using it for business and personal connection?
Yes! You can absolutely have a healthier relationship with your phone. You can delete all social media for just 48 hours (you’ll live – and so will everyone else!) and download soothing and/or useful apps – like Calm or Headspace or even the language app DuoLingo. It surprises people to know that in 20 minutes a day – you can learn a whole new language! Or play a word or numbers game that improves your memory. Your phone can make you calmer and smarter! You’re probably just not using it this way right now.
Do people go through withdrawal symptoms, when they stop checking their likes?
You can actually have phantom phone syndrome, yes. Because scrolling every spare second you have (and even while you’re still horizontal in the mornings) is our default mode. But we can unlearn this the same way we learn it – through repetition. Re-wiring ourselves can be fun!
Can you give us one tip from the book right now, that people can try at home to start the process of living a life free of “likes” and full of self-love?
Stop criticizing yourself out loud right now. Accept compliments with a gracious “thank you”. Never, ever, ever put yourself down. Just don’t let the words come out of your mouth. If you try this for even just a week, you’ll realize how often you’re probably doing it (however casually). You’re not incapable, slow, fat, dumb, shy, gullible … whatever it is you may say or think about yourself. Just say nothing. Nothing. Words have power and this way you can stop dis-empowering yourself by putting out into the world negative statements about yourself.
Once we are free of checking our likes, are we home-free? Or is it more of a daily practice to let go of that need for approval?
It’s deeper than likes. But it’s a great place to start! We need to remember how valuable, worthy and deserving we are of living an incredible life. This is our one opportunity! Hey – there’s no sequel.
If you could have readers take away one thing from your book, what would it be?
That experiencing freedom in your mind and life is possible. That you’re wiser than you let yourself know. And that you are the answer to all of your questions.
Susie Moore is the author of Stop Checking Your Likes (newworldlibrary.com) and What If It Does Work Out?, which was named by Entrepreneur as one of the “8 Business Books Entrepreneurs Must Read to Dominate Their Industry.” A former Silicon Valley sales director turned life coach, she has been featured on The Today Show, as well as in O Magazine, Business Insider, Forbes, Time, and Marie Claire. Her work has been celebrated by Arianna Huffington, Paulo Coelho, and Kris Jenner. She lives in Miami, FL with her husband Heath and their Yorkshire Terrier, Coconut. Find out more about her work at SusieMoore.com.