5/18/2022 0 Comments
I am extremely proud of myself for accomplishing many goals in my young adult life. However, at times, intrusive thoughts creep into my head: I should be doing more. Out of nowhere, these thoughts will hit me like a ton of bricks, creating immense anxiety. I'm suddenly panicked, thinking I am running out of time, I need to do more! What new skill should I pick up? I'm instantly, angry and upset because it seems as though I've hit a roadblock, rapidly running out of time to reach certain milestones or master some new skill.
For the longest time, I couldn't pinpoint why I felt this immense pressure that I should be married with a family, traveling overseas, pursuing entrepreneurial type roles, and all around redefining my life. Then I started to pay more attention to my environment.
When I finally took a step back and looked at the environment I was immersed in, I realized that most of this unexplained fear came from the internet—social media, to be exact. The internet can be a very inspiring tool, motivating people to find a niche and excel in it. That may mean becoming a fitness guru, fashion blogger, podcaster, etc. But if you allow it, social media can also breed a false identity, with pressure to invest in hobby that you are not truly passionate about and possibly taking on more than you can handle.
Social media can also foster a false sense of what “success” should look like. For example, it may lead people to feel as though they should look a certain way or achieve certain milestones at a particular time. If you're not married with children at specific age, you're failing. Or if you're not working for yourself and traveling across the globe, you must be living a lazy, plain ol’ boring life.
Whatever the particulars, a false definition of success can result in a negative self-image and feelings of failure. In actuality, this is the furthest from the truth. We tend to live in society that focuses on the end result or the rewards, while failing to emphasize the process and the challenges. Instead of falling into the trap of feeling as though you are not doing enough, remember to utilize these five tools, which can improve your sense of self-efficacy and minimize societal pressures.
1. Retrain your thoughts
According to a study conducted by the National Science Foundation, it is estimated that we experience 12,000-60,000 daily thoughts, with up to 80 percent of those counting as negative. With so many daily thoughts, we can become accustomed to repetitive negative thinking patterns and self-talk, ultimately affecting how we feel about ourselves. Therefore, it is essential to practice mindfulness. Truly becoming aware of our cognition and learning to replace negative thoughts with healthier statements can lead to feeling empowered and uplifted. To learn more about positive self-talk or daily affirmations click here.
2.Take social media breaks
I cannot stress this enough. Delete the app! Constantly viewing flawless bodies and people displaying their wealth as a measure of success can take a toll on our mental health. Social media is here to stay, so don't hesitate to take a break if it starts to affect how you are feeling about your life, your accomplishments, and your goals. Once again, DELETE THE APP!
3.Surround yourself with positive people
The pressures of life can be a lot to deal with. Having a strong network of people around can serve as a protective factor when coping with societal pressures. Spend time with positive people who truly want to see you win and don't make you feel less than for not meeting the status quo. Those who hold you accountable but also do not place value on accomplishing unrealistic goals. Having a close-knit, meaningful circle can serve as motivation to continue set realistic goals, without the unnecessary pressure or competitiveness.
4. Focus on things you are passionate about
What are you truly passionate about? It could be a hobby, sport, or maybe a childhood talent. Maybe it's a career path that you want to pursue. Whatever it is that you find joy in doing, go after it. If you happen to make a fortune from it, that's a plus. However, there have been countless times when I have witnessed people take up a new niche that they're not truly interested in, simply because they think it'll be profitable.
They may jump into owning a business, investing, or even real estate due to seeing others make lots of money. Many are shown the glitz of what can be attained if you pursue a certain path, which can not only be misleading, but also overwhelming. It is perfectly fine to get into something new, but it's also important to do your research and have drive and passion behind it. Make sure to pursue something because of genuine interest and not because of societal pressure.
5. Take time to show gratitude
Lastly, taking time to show gratitude and appreciation for the simple pleasures of life is important for releasing expectations. Even if you haven't yet had certain life events, spend time to acknowledge what has manifested in your life. Spending five minutes at the end of the day to jot down at least 3 things that went well, instead of harping on negativity, can be a game changer in developing positive self-esteem and self-efficacy.
I hope that these five tools will help you release any illogical thoughts that lead to feeling as though you are not good enough, or that you are not doing enough. These strategies can help you realize that you don't have to be in a rush to accomplish goals or major life events. Some events happen in accordance with their own timing, not ours. Learning to live in the moment will aid in lifting the societal pressures away. Remember, you are definitely enough and will step into your purpose with the perfect timing that God has planned.
Feel free to share or leave your thoughts below. XOXO
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