Is Your Image Killing You?

I wouldn't know until later that the day I met "Greg" was the darkest of his life. It's a Friday, and he's my last appointment of the day. He is wearing tailored pants, handcrafted leather shoes, light cologne, and looks freshly shaven. His face doesn't show any of the despair that he later reports. What it comes down to is that his highlight reel life is killing him.

Having it All?

Greg isn't a trust fund baby. He works for everything he has, but his desire for luxury, pretty women, expensive travel, and fine food has him swimming in debt. He can't keep up appearances and doesn't know what he will do. He fears he will lose it all- the house, the girlfriend, everything.

After talking with Greg for a while, we discover that although Greg really does enjoy his life, he values stability and living worry-free more. Although he really likes pretty women, he prefers someone who can engage him in witty conversation more. So, his driving force for living such a splashy life wasn't his own desire, it was for the social media highlight reel.

How To Stop Living For the Highlight Reel

A few authentic conversations helped Greg to make the following changes.

Delete social media. Greg felt pressured to keep up with the life his peers seemed to be having and this was making him seriously depressed, so social media had to go.
Be a saver, not a spender. Turns out that Greg loves making money more than he likes spending it. He gets high from accumulating money and really enjoys being debt-free. So, he worked out a plan to be debt free in a short period of time. This gave him hope when he looked to the future rather than dread.
Savor meaningful experiences. Greg still splashed out on fancy outings, he just spaced them out more and upgraded the meaning while down grading the price.
Get honest with yourself. The process of talking it out without judgment helped Greg to see that he was living someone else's life. He was depressed because his life wasn't his own. Once he felt free to create a life of his choosing, he breathed more easily.

Sometimes you don't have to do years of therapy or coaching to create change. You just have to be courageous enough to speak your truth, then live it. Having support, a safe space, great friends, and a little courage can do wonders.


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