While talking with a friend recently, she was down and out. Frustrated that she had been working so hard to accomplish a specific goal, she just couldn’t understand why she wasn’t making progress.
I listened to her talk/vent for a while, giving her a chance to diffuse some frustration. As I began asking questions, something interesting happened. Her answers became more about other people than herself.
It wasn’t that she was making excuses for herself, but she was comparing herself to others and questioning why she wasn’t getting the results THEY were getting. She actually was making progress but because she was comparing herself to others and expecting to get the same results, she couldn’t even see it.
Have you ever been there? I know I have.
It’s hard not to feel inferior these days. We’ve got everyone’s highlight reels flickering past our eyes on social media, the media itself bombarding us with unattainable “perfection,” and if we’re at all alike, probably your own internal voice berating yourself for not being “better.”
I think it’s time we call for a cease fire.
Perhaps, as an experiment, we could try not looking at/posting on social media for a week. If you’re really feeling up for a fun adventure, try not to look at any news media as well for a week (this includes gossip rags, magazines, etc.)
If your sudden disappearance from the social media scene will cause alarm among your friends and family, send them a quick note to let you know that you’re alright and perfectly sane, and that you’ll be returning in a week’s time. (Prepare yourself for some disbelief. However, it’s worth it.)
Want -vs- Need
Do you really need the next big apple product? Or the new face cream or shiny pair of shoes? I think I’d classify that as a “want” versus a “need.”
In the current din of flashing screens and media jonesing for our attention, I think it’s pretty darn hard to hear our own quiet voices that whisper from within.
You know, the one that thinks you’d look amazing in that red dress you bought but have never worn thanks to nerves and it not being “what’s in at the moment.”
Or the one that’s yearning for a short haircut even though everyone else you know is growing theirs out long. Or the one that’s whispering suggestions of starting those piano or jewelry-making lessons at long last.
Even if you haven’t quite figured out what your calling in life is yet, I’m pretty certain that you are the only YOU out there. Instead of trying to be some weird amalgamation of all the celebrities out there, why not strive to be the best version of you?
And what better way to do that than to tap back into that quiet voice inside? Some people call it your “authentic self,” others, their “instinct,” and even others, “a divine voice.”
Think about all of the money and energy we waste on trying to keep up with what’s “in” and current. Why do we care so darn much?
At the end of the day, what else could we accomplish with the energy we squander on material and cultural obsessions? Who could you be if you didn’t spend so much time trying to become like someone else?
I highly doubt we would love Oprah or Jackie O. or Audrey Hepburn or other amazing role models out there if they spent all their time trying to be like everyone else…
If Not For You, Do It For Them
So many of us who have kids tell them that they can do anything they set their minds to do. That they can be anything they want to be. That they’re perfect just the way they are.
How often do we mourn when they stop dressing in their own inimitable style sense just so they can fit in with everyone else at school?
Maybe by seeking to get back in touch with our own authentic selves by drowning out the external cacophony, we can show our kids how to truly be happy with the way we are…
So maybe try tuning out those outside forces for a week just to see what happens in that time. Get back in touch with what YOU like, with what stimulates you, piques your interest, makes you laugh.
I think at the end of that week, we just might be a little more centered, happy and aware of the myriad blessings we have in our lives that we can so easily take for granted when we’re comparing ourselves to everyone else.
Do it and let me know how it goes.
Have you ever unplugged? How did it help you? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!