You seem like you always stay true to yourself regardless of the circumstances. I struggle with often comparing myself to others and being dissatisfied. How do you stay focused on yourself – despite your past, competition with your job and other girls, etc.? – Anonymous
Dear Grass is Greener,
I appreciate your supportive and kind words, but I think the key phrase in your opening line was “seem like.”
If the goal here is stay true to ourselves then I can start by airing a confession that will shock no one: Everyone, including me, constantly has self doubt. Maybe it’s an evolutionary trick to keep us from getting too far ahead of ourselves, you know, to keep the cave man from thinking he could fly, that sort of thing. Whatever the reason, we as humans (and especially as millennial women) experience second guessing on the daily.
But girl, let’s start here: There is literally only one person on this planet you have the capacity to be and that is your damn self.
Of the some 7.3 billion people on planet earth over 1,870 million of them have social media accounts. That’s a lot of other people’s shit to be keeping up with and caring about. How to stay focused on yourself? Don’t spend so much time focusing on the lives of other people.
Social media is a tool for envy and self-doubt. Yes, it’s also an agent of change and progress, and perhaps a breeding ground for hate speech and radical extremism – but in it’s more mundane function it serves up minute-by-minute updates of awesome things people are doing all over the world… who are not you. My advice: Watch what you consume.
The same way we watch what we eat to have a healthy body we have to watch what media we consume to maintain a healthy self-esteem. You have a choice every time you hit follow or refresh to determine the type of content that fills your world. And since we spend so much time on our social media platforms it’s very important that the people or accounts we allow into that space enhance our lives in some way.
Choose your idols wisely. Follow people who truly inspire you or who you look up to for more than just their belongings, travels, or popularity. I don’t follow any of the Kardashians because, personally, they aren’t people I truly respect or want to emulate. I do follow Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Richie because we have the same body type so they’re like *style goalz*. And they’re hilarious. There is something relatable about them, and so when I consume their content I feel energised to try new things, not defeated because who they are or what they have feels unattainable.
But before doing a deep cleanse of your Instagram and Twitter accounts might I suggest identifying what it is that you truly want? What type of person do you really desire to be? When are you most happy? Often we can adopt other people’s interests and goals if we haven’t honed in on our own.
You said you compare yourself to others and feel dissatisfied, but how much of what you’re comparing yourself to do you actually care about? Do you even want to explore the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro or rock fishnet tights under ripped jeans?? (Where did this trend come from?? Omg the 90s are back in, like, a major way!) I’m guessing there’s a handful of items in your Amazon shopping cart that you hadn’t known about a month ago and won’t care about in two weeks time.
My point here is… deep down there are certain things that you do really care about; there are things that make you feel happy, and confident and just on! And you probably have a sense of what those things are. And those things are probably not the same things as other people’s.
Your true-self naturally guides you towards authenticity. Listen to that voice deep down telling you no… fishnet tights are not for you. Take the blending sponge multi-pack out of your shopping cart, remove any island that you can’t point to on a map from your Pinterest board. The Universe is calling you to a unique experience on earth that no one else will have because, simply put, they are not you. Go in that direction. Go where only you can go. Carve your own path and then, babe, stay in your lane. You will exhaust yourself trying to be anyone but you.
To address the final portion of your question about jobs and other girls, I truthfully don’t think about those things. Anything that is meant to be in my life is not something I will have to compete for, be it a job, a man or a some image of my past self. My goal everyday is to get closer to identifying what it is that I truly want, and how to do the most good with the short amount of time I have.
I’ll leave you with a quote from my man Eckhart:
“Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves… You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.” ― Eckhart Tolle
As the inner voice gets louder it tends to drown out all the bullshit.