It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that everyone else‘s life is perfect – Or at least believing everyone else has a better life than ours. This path is a futile one to go down and usually goes past a signpost that says, ‘Why haven’t I got it together?’ it’s close to ‘What’s wrong with me’ and can leave us feeling guilty for what we should have achieved or conquered by now.
This thinking leads us to the top of a tall victim slide and like the ones in a playground, it can be very difficult (but not impossible) to climb back up a slippery slope.
The truth is we don’t know what goes on in other people’s lives and we have no business assuming we do. Nor do we do ourselves any favours by comparing our lives to others.
Things are not always as they seem and most of what’s on social media (or in the ‘news’) is inaccurate or incomplete, or at best, a slanted and distorted version of someone’s truth. Online platforms and media channels allow us to share whatever we like, 24/7, while providing a stage for the whole world to critique and comment without ever walking a day in the author’s shoes.
For those that believe their continual drip feed approach to media or news doesn’t affect them, think again. We are the products of our environments from birth, and our beliefs are formed by our experiences and what we are exposed to over time.
A wise man wrote,
“… much of what we see and hear particularly in social media is blame, victimisation, hostility, and abuse which seeps into individuals and cultures. I am really worried.“
– Dr B.Schwartz
So, how do we live strong, empowered resilient lives with everything that goes on around us, with the continual onslaught of information and stuff, and the inevitable challenges we all face? How do we get through the impossible days when we feel completely broken or destroyed? Or the ones where we are sure we are the only one who isn’t where we should be and hasn’t achieved what we could have in our designated timeframe?
The answer probably depends on who’s asking the question but I would say it is largely built on how much we develop the following characteristics. Remember, these are not innate to some and not others. And anyone can choose to develop and embody these.
Emotional Intelligence. Those who survive and thrive grow their emotional intelligence. These people continually develop ways to acknowledge, embrace and address strong and/or negative emotions and then do something productive with them. They appreciate the power of communication and embrace the discomfort that comes with difficult conversations and work through them. They do not hide in their bubbles or behind their masks indefinitely, but come out to sit in, and move through, their pain. They continually seek out avenues to express their true selves in meaningful purposeful ways. And they come out the other side stronger, empowered, and more alive than ever before.
Ownership. There is nothing more attractive than a person who acknowledges their actions and owns their choices and subsequent outcomes regardless of the consequences. A person that can openly admit ‘I stuffed up‘ but stands strong in their own self-confidence, gains insights and increases their ability to choose differently next time. The humble, not the martyrs, and the integrous have a presence about them and perhaps a more finely tuned awareness that the only things we have control over are our attitudes and our actions.
Embracing Change. Life is a perpetual balance of holding on to the things that bring us joy and allow us to make a difference and letting go of the things that no longer serve us. Change is inevitable and unavoidable. When we can fully accept that the fear of change is our biggest threat to living a joyful and purposeful life, we step into our power. Sometimes we must bend and flex beyond what we dreamed possible, under the harshest conditions, for the longest of times. And we are reminded that “it’s never about how we weather the storm but how we dance in the rain” that defines us.
Gratitude. We GET to be here! There is always someone worse off than us and even in our darkest hours, there is always something to be grateful for. We create our own luck and we are continually presented with opportunities. They say that the most successful people demonstrate gratitude before they achieve in anticipation of inevitable success. If it’s the little things that make the biggest difference then we have much to be thankful for.
Life is about learning new things and navigating challenges. It is about embracing our ability to make choices and making better ones with each opportunity. It is about creating safe and compassionate environments that lift and empower others allowing them to know and experience their true selves.
I finish today with a powerful piece of writing I read recently by a heartbroken young woman with an inspirational kick-ass attitude. Thank you EF 💖
“… People tend to use these situations to define their lives and use them as an excuse as to why they can’t and won’t. I will not be one of the statistics that lets loss tear me down or apart from my family.
I carry the burden of my loss in my heart and head every day and everywhere and no matter what, I do what I do because I can. I can go to work, I can get up in the morning, I can smell the roses.
Grief will never shrink, or go away, it will never heal, but you grow with it, around it. I may not be into my healing process yet, I may not accept the cards life has dealt me, but I have grown, and realised things I may have never realised. No amount of tears, laughs or psychologists can ‘fix’ or ‘heal’ you…”
Only we can do that.
Dalya xx 💙