The image of a successful person tends to be someone attractive and healthy with a well-paid job and a good car. We place so much importance on this ideal that we forget about our own successes.
For some, being successful is a 6-figure salary and extravagant holidays; for others, it’s raising happy children.
Comparison holds too much value in this society, and is a mostly unhealthy habit. Social media projects false images and standards that we hold ourselves to, which leads us to feel unsatisfied or inadequate in our lives.
2. Doing It For The Sake Of It
Many of us feel obligated to do things for the wrong reasons – often because we’re putting too much value on them.
Doing things for the sake of it is inevitable at certain times, such as when it comes to making a living to pay the mortgage, but can be a waste of energy at other times.
We place so much importance on specific rituals or activities that we don’t actually care that much about. Rather than doing things for the sake of it, we should do things because we enjoy doing them, or because they serve us in some way.
A lot of us think that certain things are more important than they actually are, simply because we’re used to doing them. We get stuck in habits or behavior-cycles and stop questioning why we’re actually doing what we’re doing.
3. Social Media Validation
We get so hung up on how we come across on social media, to the point that the amount of ‘likes’ we get on photos or posts reigns over us.
How we feel about ourselves is so affected by social media, and we place far too much value on the image we project of ourselves.
Many of us find ourselves ‘doing it for the ‘gram’ – we go out of our way to do things so that we can take photos, or ‘boomerangs’. Be honest – do you rearrange your coffee cup before posting a snap of it while you check in at a trendy cafe?
Look around you on a night out – how many people are having fun and how many people are taking photos of themselves ‘having fun’?
If you find yourself forcing certain situations so that you can document them online, think about why you’re really doing it.
Social media can be a great tool, but it leads to a false sense of validation and we place far too much importance on how we present ourselves on it.
Real life makes real memories, and that’s what we should all be aiming for.
4. Our Appearances
We all knew that this one was coming! Of course, many of us place far too much importance on how we look.
Taking a level of pride in your appearance is perfectly healthy and normal – it’s nice to feel as though you look good and have made an effort sometimes.
The problems arise when our appearances become a bit of a fixation and we become overly-critical of ourselves.
We assume that, because we think about our bodies and hair and makeup so often, everyone else is thinking about them too. In actual fact, most other people are busy thinking about their own appearances.
As a little grounding reminder – how many strangers did you walk past today and how many of them are you still thinking about?
You may have had snap-judgements, e.g. “her hair is nice,” “she’s attractive,” or “his coat is ugly,” but did you really put any more time or effort into thinking about those people?
Remember that most people wouldn’t spend time thinking about you either!
The way we look and the labels on our clothes and other superficial aspects of our lives are nowhere near as important as we think they are. Most people think about themselves more than anybody else thinks about them.
Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.