After reading Emily’s guest post Sunday about being and loving yourself, I started to think about why that’s so difficult to do. I definitely hide certain interests and qualities of mine around certain people. Why are other people’s opinions the reason I refrain from being myself? It’s not a new discovery that people struggle with comparing themselves to others and want to be liked by others. I just wish humanity could grow and not face the same insecurities day after day. I love this illustration I found on Instagram by @frizzkidart
We can all grow by learning from other people’s knowledge and experiences. We can appreciate other people’s talents, interests, and yes, even beauty without hating ourselves. But how? I believe this is from supporting each other. Having friends who are like, “Hey, I can’t wait to come to your performance tonight.” “When can I purchase a copy of the book you wrote?” “Your hair looks fierce tonight, woman!” “How is your fitness journey going?” etc. etc. etc.
Being sober for two months sticks out as a time I was very self conscious about what other people thought. I would lie and tell people I had to get up early the next day or that I was just getting over the flu and didn’t want to get sick again. There were some friends I told straight up I wasn’t drinking, but to most people, I lied. I was worried people would pressure me and didn’t want to answer all their questions. People tend to give others a hard time when they’re insecure about themselves. The people that didn’t like that I wasn’t drinking were self conscious about how much they drank. If you don’t like a lifestyle choice of yours, fix it. It’s a lifestyle choice. You’re the one choosing how much you drink/smoke/eat greasy food/not go to the gym etc. I saw this quote online once, and it has really stuck with me:
Support your friends like you support
the celebrities you don’t know
Encourage your friend who is trying to start a business, don’t give your vegan friend crap for what they eat, follow up with the one struggling to find a new job, and always sincerely ask how your friends are doing. There will always be haters, which means we need extra support from our friends to be ourselves and get through the difficulties of life. Praise your friends’ successes as much as you praise celebrities’. And probably even more. Even if someone isn’t a close friend, you can comment WOW CONGRATS when they post about that marathon they ran or THIS IS DOPE if they post some great photography. Life is too hard to all be in competition. And life will be way easier if we all help each other out.
At the same time, no one else is going to get you where you can get yourself. You have to work for that new job, fitness goal, lead role, published book… Don’t make excuses for what is possible. You have to make things happen yourself. You can’t expect encouragement from others and be disappointed if you don’t get it. You can’t wait for other people to help you, but you can definitely ask for help when you need it. There’s nothing wrong with admitting when you’re struggling, and it’ll help your friends be better friends when you flat out tell them how you’re feeling and that you need them. Our own problems can make us forget about other people. It happens. It’s not intentional. It’s hard to keep up with all of our friends. But it’s not impossible. And it’s actually easier than ever. We always have our phones in our hands. There really isn’t an excuse for not checking in with the people you love every once in a while.
Don’t make excuses for your goals.
Support each other.
Let’s break the chain of being worried about what other people think, comparing ourselves, and not checking in on others. If we each better ourselves, the world is a better place.