I run a body positive/self-love Instagram account called @leenahlovesherself.

When I first started the account, I felt pressured to portray a perfect self-love journey, and I didn’t want to show any of my struggles. I didn’t think that I could inspire people if I wasn’t perfect all the time – and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

As I started to see accounts I admired being vulnerable and sharing their struggles, I decided to challenge myself to start sharing my true self. It was scary, and I was worried about how it would be received, but after being inspired by the vulnerability of others, I decided that it was worth trying.

In the time since I first decided to share my authentic life on Instagram, I’ve felt extremely liberated. While I have received some negative comments, the positivity I’ve received has greatly outweighed them.

One of the most amazing things that my own authenticity has done is given others the courage to be vulnerable and share their stories. When someone tells me that I was the one who inspired them to embrace their true self, it makes all of the struggles and difficulties I’ve faced worth it. Taking my struggles and turning them into something influential has given me power I didn’t realize I had. Each day when I receive messages and comments from my followers saying how much I have impacted their lives, it makes me realize how awesome it is that I am able to use this platform in such a positive way, especially when our world is filled with so much hate and ignorance.

Opening up has allowed me to connect with so many incredible people and build new friendships. I’ve learned that I can help others embrace their struggles even while I’m still working through my own. Finding like-minded people who are using their social media platforms to spread love and light instead of to spread hatred and negativity has made my life infinitely brighter. By surrounding myself with authentic, vulnerable people, I’ve learned that there is so much more to life than trying to uphold a façade of a so-called perfect life.

Being human is so much more than always looking like you have it all figured out.
Being human is about showing up as your true, authentic self, and I am so glad that my Instagram journey has taught me this important lesson.

I’ve learned that the real me is so much more beautiful and wise than the “perfect” version I used to always strive to be, and I hope that one day you will learn this for yourself too.