You’re enough, right now.
Be happy in yourself!
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this world we live in we can constantly see everyone’s best moments and biggest achievements, thanks to social media. While this can inspire us sometimes to go out and have achievements of our own, it can also lead to us feeling inferior. We start thinking “if all these other people are doing so much, why aren’t I?” “How can Jane be working with Seeing Eye dogs on the weekends while also being captain of the debate team and working out 3 days a week? I can barely finish my homework while it’s still light outside!” “Should I be doing more?” “If all these people are doing all these impressive things, why can’t I? Maybe I’m just not good enough.”
It’s so easy to forget that we’re only seeing the very best of people’s lives online. Those people who seem like super humans on Instagram would never post a picture of the days they spend lying in bed, watching Netflix and eating more chocolate than is socially acceptable. We forget that these are people just like us. We see them doing impressive things and think that we’re worthless in comparison. Even if you’ve never wanted to be a vet and you’re allergic to cats, when you see that ÁIne helps out in an animal centre with the new born kittens in the summer, you feel like you should be doing the same. You could feel completely confident with how you look but the moment you see James’ six pack on Snapchat you feel like you need to start a diet and get into the gym ASAP.
There have been plenty of times where I’ve been relaxing at home after spending the day studying, feeling content with what I’ve done and then I see a Facebook post about how someone has just finished a First Aid course in preparation to study as a nurse and suddenly I forget my feeling of contentment from before and I suddenly feel lazy and disheartened that I’m not working towards nursing (completely ignoring the fact that I faint at the sight of blood). Even though I’ve done a good days work and I’ve done all I have to do, I still feel like I’ve been completely unproductive.
You feel like you won’t be good enough until you’re doing what these people are doing and once you do that you’ll be happy and a person of value. The reality is that you’re enough right now. All you can do is your best in life and everyone’s “best” looks different. If your best is managing school and extra activities and a job all at once, that’s brilliant. If your best is just managing to get up every day and drag yourself to school, that’s just as good. Even when you feel like you’re worthless and you haven’t achieved anything at all, you’re living and breathing! That’s the biggest achievement of all and that alone means that you are enough.
Of course it’s great to strive to do and achieve more but you always have to keep in mind that on every step of that journey you are enough. If you tell yourself that you’ll finally be happy when you lose that last bit of weight or get that top mark in Math once and for all, what will actually happen is you’ll reach that goal and instead of feeling happy about it, you’ll find something else that you think you need to do before you’re finally happy.
We have to be happy with ourselves, as we are in this moment, to be happy with ourselves in the future.
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