That word, "Enough", has brought about an unbelievable amount of insecurity. Like I said in an earlier post I have this complex about wanting to be perfect. I often call it being "my best self", but in reality I want to be "THE best self". I set unrealistic expectations for myself and begin to judge myself off of the reactions of others. I thrive on praise and acceptance, but I am disheartened when I feel like I'm not living up to the bar that I have set in my own mind.
It all sounds very over the top, but I would be willing to bet that I am not the only person who feels this way. We live in this society of social media and fabricated appearances. I have found myself, especially in recent months, obsessing over my Instagram posts. How many likes am I getting? What about followers? I am gauging my value to others based on the number of reactions I get on a phone screen. When I think about it in an objective and observatory way it seems absurd to me. Rationally, I am well aware of the impact that I have on those who truly know me. I feel valued and appreciated by my friends and family. So why, then, do I feel the need to be validated by a bunch of people on a social media platform that know nothing more about me than a selfie and a witty caption?
I have realized in the past few months that this has become a sort of epidemic in our generation. We are constantly fighting to win a popularity contest. Who can do what for me? We look to "collaborate" with those who have more followers than us in order to grow our own accounts. We form relationships based on what others can bring to the table instead of truly getting to know them for their hearts. I don't say this to be accusatory as I truly feel like a lot of this mentality is subconscious. I don't think that we are all maliciously out to make friends based only on their worth to our social media platforms, but I do feel like sometimes we are missing the point of true connection. This idea is not me pointing fingers, but rather a wake up call even for myself.
How often am I sitting at dinner with friends or family and I find myself checking my phone? Let's just say a lot more often than I'd like to admit. I am missing precious moments with the people who know me and my heart better than anyone else simply because I am focused on what the rest of the world thinks of me. How exhausting. As a people pleaser, I am constantly looking to appease everyone, and by everyone I do mean everyone. I am diplomatic and agreeable, even to the point of compromising my true opinion in order to please those around me.
The other aspect of this "enough is enough" mentality is overcoming comparison. When my story was released I started getting comments and messages comparing me to other women. It was disheartening to read that the person I loved 'upgraded'. That I looked 'manly' that I 'would never be _____'. There have been nights that I have scrolled through these comments wondering how anyone who doesn't personally know me could possibly have the audacity to write those words. How someone who doesn't personally know me could so easily pass judgment on me.
Beyond that, I have already spent so much time in that headspace of comparison. Why not me? Why did he want her more than me? Why did I not measure up? To all the people who wrote shitty (sorry mom) comments about me, if you think I hadn't already spent too much time obsessing over those thoughts then you're crazy. I could type in a name and instantly be met with the smile of someone who is beautiful and seems kind and witty, strong and sincere. How could I compete with her, right? BUT THAT'S THE PROBLEM RIGHT THERE!! Why was I trying to compete with her? That's silly. I am great all on my own. I am perfect and imperfect. I am also strong and sincere. Why do I read into the comments of others? Why am I not simply strong enough to ignore those comments and take them for what they are... just plain mean. None of those people know me well enough to pass that type of judgement, yet, I find myself reading them and reading into them.
The part of this that makes it even worse is knowing that I'm not the only one who has gone or will go through something like this. People face this every day. I think people justify their words and their comments by placing a sort of character to the person on the other side of an Instagram handle, but the truth is it's bullying. No different than a name-calling kindergartner. We teach children not to bully on the playground, yet we are doing exactly that on our phone screens. Why? What is the purpose? I truly cannot understand.
My hope as I continue to grow is that I am able to place more of my energy in appreciating my own self-worth. What do I love about myself? Well, I am charismatic and funny. I am caring and generous. I find joy in bringing joy to others. These are all traits that are hard to project through a phone screen or to capture in a single photo, but that doesn't make them any less valuable. I want to challenge myself to focus on the parts of me that I love. To find my worth in the moments that are the most satisfying and fulfilling. To stop comparing myself to those around me and to truly love the heart that I have.