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By: Courtney King

Wellness guru Courtney King took time out of her busy schedule to serve as Lively’s Guest Editor this month. Here, she writes about why we shouldn’t compare our lives to others’ on Instagram.

I wrote a post on social media a few months ago where I was completely vulnerable and open. To be honest, I was a little nervous to post this photo because it allowed people to see the inside of what I was struggling with at the time, and that can be scary in the social media world. To give you guys a short summary, in 2017 I started to experience some extreme health issues. Out of the blue, I went from being a perfectly healthy girl to feeling trapped in a body that wasn’t even mine. I also went through a very bad breakup last August and in February I had major surgery to remove my breast implants. I also moved around the country from Utah to Arizona and then back to Chicago. During this time, I just felt so completely unworthy, sad, lost, heartbroken and overwhelmed with my life.

Social media and working online is my job as far as posting content, making YouTube videos and being involved in the health and fitness industry. It was sohard to “keep up.” I felt like I had to put on this image or this front to stay relevant and maintain my career and the perception people have always had of me – a positive, happy, motivating individual. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard “fake it till you make it” or “all you have to do is put a smile on and think positive.” I’ve heard countless things the past few years of my life to block out those deep emotions and feelings. I always thought pushing past the hard times that come our way in life and putting a smile on my face made me a stronger person from the outside looking in. Deep inside, I was just pushing down so many different emotions that needed to be released.

RELATED: How August Guest Editor Courtney King First Got into Fitness

Courtney King Social Media

Courtney King: 'Social Media Is a Highlight Reel' 

The main point I want to get at in this blog post is that what you see online is notalways what it seems. Just because you might follow someone’s life and they seem like they “have it all together” by being in a picture-perfect relationship, traveling the world, having the “ideal” body or the ideal career, it’s important to remember that social media is a highlight reel. I’ve been there. I get it! I’m not saying you can’t have an awesome relationship or a great life, but everyone deals with their own issues, I promise you that! At one time when I was in an extremely bad spot, I was still “putting on a smile” instead of letting people know, “Hey this is me, right here, right now. I’m a normal person with just as many issues and problems as the next person” because everyone is equal!

I’ve come to a point in my life where being raw, real and honest is what I’m about. I think showing vulnerability is one if the bravest things people can do nowadays. We live in a society where people are constantly comparing ourselves and our life to the next person – I do it too at times! It’s important to remember that we are all individuals with our own unique story. Appreciate the good times and try to learn from the hard times because it’s up to us on how we want to tell our story!