A while ago, I wrote a post with some advice for my daughters. Aside from NOT plucking their eyebrows (all tweezers have since been removed from the house), I talked about never trying to fit in. I said that if they’re ever feeling this, then it’s because the people they’re trying to befriend aren’t their people. Then I realised this feeling, of wanting to fit in, probably never really goes away. It’s the thing that leads us to doubt ourselves, compare ourselves and do ourselves the biggest disservice of all. Lose faith in who we are. Here’s why it’s you. Just as YOU are.
‘Just the way you are.’
Remember that bit in Bridget Jones where Mark Darcy told Bridge he liked her ‘just the way you are,’ and we all gasped, then sobbed before loving him a little bit more.
When Mark Darcy said this, Bridget wasn’t ‘cool’. Perfect. At the top of her career. Or even good at making soup that wasn’t blue. She was sliding down fire poles with her knickers up her bum. And yet, to him, she was utterly perfect.
Just the way she was.
Find your tribe.
I’m not actually talking about love here, by the way (though that was one of my pieces of advice too). I’m trying to demonstrate the importance of finding your person, your people, your tribe. The people that get you, that you don’t have to try with, that don’t make you feel anything less than brilliant when you leave their company. Even if you serve up blue soup.
Of course, friendships and relationships have their ups and downs, but they shouldn’t leave you feeling inadequate or down on yourself.
They should leave you feeling invigorated.
(With a slightly weaker pelvic floor.)
‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’
I don’t want to go into a social media rant here because we all know the perils of it. But, let’s just say, the world of social media doesn’t always allow us to love ourselves, just as we are. Its ability to give us joy and, in the very next moment, take it away is a malfunction of its very genius.
Because social media, whilst uniting us, also pits us against one another. Constantly. Our looks. Our lifestyles. Our achievements. If you’re a parent, the way you’re raising your child. It’s all there to be observed. Critiqued. Misunderstood. Are we representing ourselves in a real, distorted or exaggerated way – who the bloody hell knows?
It’s so much easier to compare ourselves constantly. And it doesn’t matter how many times someone tells us not to do it, we won’t stop doing it.
But we can remind ourselves, in the moment, to stop it right now.
Step away from the tweezers.
Because, like anything, when we’re aware we’re doing it, actually aware, we can notice it and nip it in the bud before we let it steal our joy.
We can remind ourselves that we might not be the prettiest, the coolest, the brightest, the best cake-maker, the calmest parent, the greatest writer and then ask ourselves, who is? Do you think the most amazing person you know or follow, doesn’t think there is someone else more amazing than them? In other words, our ideal of perfection that we convince ourselves exists, doesn’t exist at all. It’s a perception. Our perception. And it’s probably a bit skewed.
So. Put those tweezers down. Get together with your tribe. And love yourself.
Just the way you are.
(Because you are pretty blooming awesome. And you must never lose sight of that.)