A couple months ago, my Instagram was hacked. For three long days, it looked like I would never be able to access it again.
Twenty thousand followers who felt more like friends, years of hard work spent building a personal brand, and one of the biggest lead generators for my business… all gone faster than it takes to double tap an influencer’s beautifully staged vacation picture.
And it was the best thing that could have happened to me.
The low-key panic that set in when I realized all I had built – on an app that takes up two inches on my phone screen – could be lost in a virtual second showed me just how fragile my identity had become.
It wasn’t necessarily the impact that this would have on my business that made me freak out. Even though it would be measurable, I had built up several other platforms/streams that could diffuse the loss of Instagram. (Side note: if you’re a small business owner, please make sure you have multiple sources for leads/referrals!)
It was way more serious than a net worth problem. It was a self worth problem.
You see, somewhere along the way, I (subconsciously) began to measure my worth as a human by numbers. The number of likes I received or didn’t receive, the number of followers next to my name… all of these numbers had the ability to make my worth soar or sink.
Lots of likes/followers = worthy, wanted.
Fewer likes/followers = unworthy, unwanted.
This value system is unsustainable. It’s toxic. Because when you measure yourself by any kind of number, you’ll never measure up in the long run.
I love Instagram. It’s a powerful tool. Like any powerful tool, it can be used to build up or tear down. And I still love numbers. Numbers are important because there are real life people with real souls behind those numbers. Numbers measure impact.
But when numbers become the ruler for your life and you start to lose your soul in the screen, things get dangerous.
I’m eternally grateful that I was hacked, because it forced me to re-evaluate the source of my worth. It reminded me that, when it’s all said and done, the most important relationships are the off-screen kind, and the only opinion that matters is the one of the One who created me. And when I’m focused on His voice, I can use the tools he’s given me in a healthy way that can help show others their worth and not look for “likes” to give me mine.