Keeping up with the world is so incredibly exhausting… No matter how hard I try I’ve never felt like I’m up to the world’s standards. Ever since I can remember I’ve struggled greatly with my self-esteem. If it wasn’t how I looked, it was my personality. If it wasn’t my personality, it was the way my voice sounded… There’s always been an endless cycle of insecure thoughts running through my head and the more I talk about this issue with people, the more I notice it’s not just me who deals with this torment. So, right here and right now I’m going to give the best tips I know to hopefully help end these demeaning thoughts.
The first question I have is why do we even let these thoughts control us when it should, in fact, be the other way around? We’re supposed to control our thoughts. We shouldn’t let them take hold of our life that way that allows daily. Sure thoughts pop into our head without warning, but we do have the choice to try and end them. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. For me, my constant insecurities and unwanted criticisms of myself have only left me with an aching pain in my chest. Those thoughts dictated everything I did for so long and I’m sad to say they still do sometimes. One very hard thing about being human is that we can never reach perfection. I used to hate that. I wanted to be perfect in every way I could be, but then God whispered a very important fact in my ear “I am the only true and perfect thing in this world.” Whether you’re a Believer or not, it remains a fact that no human can or ever will be “perfect”.
Let’s take a minute to think about that. We can never be perfect here on this earth. No matter what anyone says to you, human perfection does not exist. No one has the perfect body or the perfect laugh or the perfect job because our societies definition of “perfection” changes constantly. So why on earth do we stress about being what the world says we should be? I’ll tell you why; because we have been consumed with this need to move faster and faster. To be bigger and better and stronger and smarter. We have been conditioned to cut out the contentment that we can achieve by just breathing for a minute. We don’t have a chance anymore to just be happy with our lives. The world keeps spinning and spinning and along with it goes our expectations of the perfect life. How many times a day do you find yourself thinking “oh I wish I looked like them?” or “why can’t I sing like that?” or even “I want their life.”? I wish I could say that I never have thoughts like those, but in this ever-changing society, my mind fills with them.
For my second question I pose this thought; have you gained any fulfillment by living according to the way everyone says you should? Have you truly been totally happy with living up to the world’s standards? If the answer is yes, I’m equally impressed as I am extremely confused. I’m confused solely because once one fad and craze is over, another one begins. So, how do you live for the newest “best way to live” without changing your lifestyle every five months? My point to this is no matter how hard we try we can never keep up with the world. At least not while staying sane. That’s where our self-esteem issues come into the mix.
Because this world is so obsessed with keeping up with appearances and the next big thing, we don’t really take the time to stop and appreciate what we have. I feel like that little act right there would help all of us so much. When was the last time you sat down and truly just focused on all of the good things in life? I know I don’t as much as I should. It doesn’t even have to be about things that you have, it could be as simple as getting all of your housework done and the ability to actually do it. I know that sounds corny, but I honestly believe that taking five minutes out of your day to do that would help your self-esteem more than you can imagine.
Something that I try to do every day is sit in my room and just talk with God and thank Him for these things; a body that’s capable, a mind that’s ever-expanding, and a heart that’s full of love. Then just for that moment all of my worries go away… I’m not thinking about the newest clothing trend I haven’t bought yet or the fact I need my hair trimmed, or that I’m lacking energy because it’s been a particularly hard morning on my body. I’m not swiping through Instagram and wishing I had that person’s life or wishing I looked a different way. I’m not stressing about where life is going to take me next and what latest rage is that I have to keep up with. I’m simply sitting and thinking about the beautiful gifts I’ve been given.
I think something that is very important to remember is that we’re all in the same boat. We all deal with some sort of insecurities and we all struggle to keep up with the races. For the longest time I would wonder how so many people have it together, but then I’d get to know them and turns out they had issues just like me. The issue may differ person to person, but it helped me see that the human condition doesn’t just affect a handful of us; we’re all dealing with imperfections. This realization has helped me a great deal because no matter how fast I’m running to keep up with the world, someone is there running the races with me. We’re in this together and I think we so often take that for granted. We all feel exhausted and sore and broken down because of the world. I honestly believe if we were honest with one another and didn’t just pretend that we had it all together our comparisons to each other would cut down dramatically.
Obviously, we’re still going to struggle with lack of self-esteem every once in a while or maybe even more, but I think it’s good to realize how special we each are. That’s something that kills me about social media. We all talk about self-worth and self-love but then we see the images of societies “perfection” and we get down on ourselves. Once in a while, I’ll stop using social media for a week or so to cleanse myself. I struggle so much with the internet because, on one hand, it’s a great way to connect and learn, but on the other, it can kill relationships and your mental and emotional health. I don’t think the internet is the sole reason we struggle with the constant desire to keep up with the world and it’s demands, but it’s certainly heightened it in some way.
One other thing I sometimes do to jolt my confidence is that I’ll think of 10 things that I love about myself. I know I know, it’s cheesy, but it does help. Get creative with it too. Don’t just write down generic things, but truly think about it. You are incredibly special just the way you are and that’s often forgotten in this fast-paced world. My main point of this entry was just to help you realize that we all do struggle to find the right pace in our society. Maybe some of you already have and that’s amazing, but I know I’m still taking it day by day. That’s truly all you can do. But, I do urge you to not follow the path the world says you should. Step out on a limb and learn to love yourself. Squash those thoughts of unworthiness by truly loving the person that you are. Follow the path that is best for you and leads you to happiness and fulfillment. For me, that’s my faith in God. I find my contentment in Him.
I hope this entry helped someone out there in some way. Keeping up with the world is truly one of the biggest struggles humans face. But I’ll say it right now, you don’t have to keep up with it. In fact, you shouldn’t. Things are always changing but our desires and the plans God has for us do not. So take a minute to breathe and just enjoy the life you’ve been given. I hope that you all find the pace that you’re looking for and that those tormenting thoughts would disappear.