There are certain days where I’d rather be anyone else other than me. It’s the age-old topic about social media and the destructive nature of presenting a commonly superficial appearance of yourself to other people. I’m not one of those people who has accounts on a lot of social media, but when I do have an account, I try to keep it a positive space – I follow people who post/share things that I want to see, and promote a positive energy. Often I fall off the wagon and begin focusing on things in life that aren’t truly important.
Partially because of the new age, we often draw our attention to an idealized version of ourselves – which is great but… not if it’s in comparison to other people. Our daily lives and the people we interact with often have a big impact on how we perceive things/take in information and use them to our advantage or disadvantage. Do we choose to mindlessly browse the internet for 4 hours, or use those 4 hours to work on a project we’re interested in pursuing? Should we force ourselves to interact with people who we don’t naturally click with, or should we really just remind ourselves that we don’t actually have any obligation to spend time with this person if we don’t want to?
Last week I submitted my last Her Campus article of the school year which focused on the interlink between choices, people, and coincidence. In the end, we choose our fate; we have a lot of control over what ends up “happening to us” after the choice has been made and the rest takes its course. However, there are also times of coincidence that make our lives exciting, but it is up to us to react to these coincidences too.
If you’ve gone off the tracks of focusing on the important things like I have, maybe these questions might help:
1. HAVE YOU STARTED FOCUSING LESS ON WHAT YOU LOVE?
A few years ago I would’ve never guessed that for 2 years I would have stopped putting work into things that I enjoy doing. Consequently, I realized how easy it was for me to forget all the joys of being creative and simply just doing what I love to do without a care in the world. Slowly easing back into the fulfilling ‘hobby’ lifestyle that I had always cared for was remarkably simpler than it all made itself out to be. I gradually reshaped how I saw my life day-to-day and began doing something meaningful almost every day.
2. DO YOU CARE MORE ABOUT HOW YOU PERCEIVE YOURSELF, OR HOW OTHERS PERCEIVE YOU?
Have you started crafting an identity because you want others to see you in a certain way? Even if that crafted identity is truly you, are you crafting it for you? Pick out 5 ways to describe who you are on whim, in 45 seconds, right now.
I am constantly seeking out new experiences.
I am an ambivert.
I am observant.
I thrive in the outdoors.
I am a thinker.
The 5 things you came up with are most likely a good reflection of how you really see yourself right now, and what qualities you put emphasis on. Evaluate them and compare them to an idealized version of yourself – is that realistic? Is that truly who you strive to be or is that a depiction of someone else that isn’t you at all? Were the qualities physical, about your status (e.g. I am a female), or deeper traits about your personality? Were you happy with what you came up with? I am all for self-growth, self-evaluation, and self-improvement, but those things come with the need for awareness. The way others perceive us will never be nearly as accurate as the way we know ourselves if we are aware of ourselves. The more aware you are of yourself, the less you feel the need to find out who you are from other people.
3. IS THERE NEGATIVE ENERGY IN YOUR LIFE?
What makes you unhappy? Well, that’s a very broad question – answers can range from losing an earring to losing a pet… but those are one-time things that you can generally learn to come to terms with. However, what if there is something that bothers you every month, every week, every day even and it seems like it has become a continuous burden? Find the source. It’s easy to continue stuffing that old sweater you’re not sure if you should donate or not in the back of your closet, but are you really going to be happy doing that for the rest of your time in that house? That’s what negative energy is – when something screams “bad vibes!” and there’s a lingering feeling in the air whenever you come in contact with it. Its often difficult to remove people from your life who radiate negative energy, or even change something about your life that you’ve just never bothered to face before, but it naturally becomes easier when you realize just how much of an impact they had on you in the first place.