First off, I want to say that I’m tired.
Tired of trying to be what is expected of me from society and competing against others in this rat race.
Tired of caring about how my life is perceived on social media: pictures based on virtual likes.
Tired of questioning myself, especially when others do.
I’m tired of it all. I’m sure you’re tired too. But maybe we don’t have to be anymore. Maybe we’re giving other people and society too much power over us. Maybe we are the ones making it harder than it has to be. It’s easy to forget that we are smart, capable, and total badasses.
Learning from my middle school and high school past, throughout college I’ve been intentional about only competing with the person I was yesterday. However, if I were to be honest with myself, that competitive streak didn’t go away and can actually be stroked over and over until it’s provoked. The problem with competing with others is that while it can motivate you to strive harder, it may also cause you to give up a part of yourself, including your emotional energy and even your values. Don’t get me wrong, a little friendly competition never hurt anybody, but I know, from experience, how easy it is to let it get too far.
As if it’s not enough to feel compelled to compete on the day to day basis at work or at school, we have social media, another platform for us to compare ourselves to others with- in secret. It’s easy to secretly long to be thinner, curvier, taller, sexier, or more beautiful. It’s easy to want to be like them in one way or another, to have the life they seem to have. Why can’t we recreate that perfectly staged, yet effortless picture, that witty and completely relevant caption, or that captured charisma that a lot of other people seem to have in their photos? Why the heck do we even care so much? We strive for that virtual “like” that we may not want to admit makes us feel good. Whether we know it or not, collecting social likes have subtly become a part of our self-worth. We have something to show the world and we want concrete evidence that the world likes it.
But we don’t have anything to prove and we can definitely admire someone else’s beauty and life without questioning our own. I used to think that having apathy is a bad thing, but being apathetic towards the way you are perceived may be one of the keys to happiness.
We need to redefine our goals. Once our motivations and perspectives are centered, we’ll be so content with our lives that we’ll stop doubting and comparing ourselves to others. We won’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone, because we ourselves will know who we are and what we stand for. We will no longer have to question ourselves, even when others do.
Center your life around God-if you’re going to compare yourself to any image, compare yourself to the way He sees you.
Work on refining who you are internally as a person instead of who you outwardly appear to be.
Plan for the future, but be present- in your conversations, in your struggles, in every blessing.
Be pretty- pretty patient, pretty honest, pretty kind.
Push yourself to go beyond your fears.
Love with abandon.
Be real with yourself.
Then, be real with others.
Yes, you may be tired of competing, of comparing, and of “keeping up.”
But that’s just it, isn’t it?
You don’t need to.