Over the past few years, our world has become increasingly globalized, where information, interaction, and treatments are all accessible at our fingertips. This fast-paced lifestyle has allowed us opportunity and convenience in our day-to-day lives. However, it’s easy to forget that we, ourselves, are not a product of manufactured technology. We cannot expect ourselves to act, react, and consume the way a computer does. Our beings are much more complicated than that.
There is a lot of pressure to perform and produce impressive things, and there’s no specificity on what these things need to be, as long as they’re impressive. Impressive in the sense of recognition, qualification, status, and prestige. All of these are then heightened by social media, praising those who are able to aesthetically show off their impressiveness to gain followers, likes, and promotions through admiration. I have been, and still am, guilty of this in so many ways. The problem lies within our dependency on this filtered reality to determine our own self-worth. This is then followed by a false sense that we are not enough and that it’s too late for us to achieve our goals or be as impressive as ‘Instagram-Personality55’.
It’s difficult not to compare yourself and your life to those of others around you, especially when it comes to what’s shared on social media. I’m constantly down on myself when I see the successes of others in my generation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for them and their achievements, but I’m also sad for myself for not being nearly as close to my goals or the vision I have for my life, whether it be professionally, personally, or spiritually. And the ever-spiraling thoughts of insecurity always pass through my mind: “I’ll never be that.” This includes, but is not limited to: “the work I’m doing is way out of the realm of where I want to be in my career, I’ll be stuck here forever,” “Everyone is getting married and in relationships, I’m probably going to die alone,” “Wow, this person has done all the things and is living their best life, I’m never going to reach that level of success,” and the most toxic part of my brain’s favorite one, “I’m a failure.”
Steven Furtick said, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” The truth is that no one ever shares their not-so-great moments. And behind every success is hours-on-end of hard work, hustle, and right timing. When I say “right-timing,” I mean the right time for them, which may not be your time. Do not despair, though, your time will come, boo, and you will shine. We have to unlearn the habit of comparing ourselves to impractical realities. They’re impractical because your individual journey in this life is completely unique, and so is your timeline. The things you are going through in this stage of your life are what is meant for you in this stage of your journey.
You might absorb tremendous success professionally while struggling with relationships, and your friend may have a whole family with two kids and a dog but struggle to be where she wants to be in her career. We’ve become so accustomed to instant reality. Like when the WiFi takes just an extra second longer, we lose our minds at the slowness because we want what we want right now. Unfortunately, life isn’t as simple as an algorithm, and algorithms aren’t even simple (hi, maths lit fam). Real-life is far more complex, weaved with a handful of mistakes, a dozen wrong directions, a hundred little successes, a thousand wonderful moments in time, and an eternity of possibilities.
So, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late. It’s not too late for you to get that dream job, it’s not too late to find someone worthy of your love, it’s not too late to start getting fit and prioritizing your health or getting that dream bod FOR YOU. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you because your progress is your own, and if you can’t manage to reach that goal right now, that’s okay. But if you can, do it. Not for the likes and followers, but get that W for you, sis (or bro). So, if you made it to the end of this piece (which is an achievement in itself), this is your motivation and your reminder that it’s not too late and you got this!