“To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around.” – Richie Norton
We live in a society where we fear vulnerability, we fear opening up and being true to ourselves because we are scared of judgement and mistreatment from others. We are afraid of portraying who we truly are to those around us, for fear of being wounded and disappointed. It is a funny old world we live in. A world where we tell people to be themselves and be true to who they are, and when they are, we judge them for it, we say horrible things and put them down. This is not how we should live, this is not how life should be. Nobody is better than anybody else, we are all born and we all die.
Our fear is what is causing an increase in mental illnesses, we have become more anxious and stressed, currently worrying about others and what others think of us. We shouldn’t have to live in a society where we fear looking a certain way, dressing a certain way, doing our make-up a certain way; we’re all different, we all like different things and not everybody suits everything that’s “on trend”.
The increase in technology and use of social media is one of the main factors that is causing this. We are all guilty of creating a hyperbolic version of ourselves on social media. We are all in competition, all attempting to one-up each other at every opportunity. If we do not have something or we aren’t living life a certain way, then we feel as though we’re failing. But this really isn’t true. The online world has given people an excuse to treat people awfully, people can hide behind their computer and say whatever they want, not thinking about the consequences and not thinking their words will hurt people. But they do, their words do hurt. People need to start thinking before acting/speaking because it’s this behaviour that makes others think it’s okay to make judgements and not take mental illnesses seriously.
Life means something different to everyone, and everyone wants to get something different out of life. Not all of us want to be big-shot lawyers, or beauty guru’s, or thrill seekers. Some of us want to be family orientated, some women want children and some women don’t. None of us should ever feel we are failing if we are not doing something that someone else is. For example, some women feel like they have no fulfilled their true potential, as a woman, if they do not have children, but the truth is, some women simply don’t want children, some women wish to focus on their career, or other ambitions, and you know what? That’s okay! A woman should not feel any less a woman for not wanting children, and others should never criticise that choice.
We all have freewill, we all make our own decisions, and we make the decisions we believe are right for us. There is no right or wrong way to live – obviously you shouldn’t live breaking the law, but you know what I mean. Society need to stop judging each other on the shape/size of their body, on the colour of their skin, on their sexuality, on the way they choose to live their lives.
Anxiety comes from fear, we fear someone/something is going to hurt us so we go into “fight/flight” mode. I will use myself as an example, when I am in a crowd of people on my own, my heart begins to beat harder in my chest and I feel a lump form in my throat. I struggle to breathe and sweat uncontrollably (apologies for the not-so attractive image), and for the longest time I allowed this to consume me. Recently, I have taken on strategies to help, it does not happen overnight, there’s no miracle cure, it’s changing the way your brain thinks in those situations. The strategy I use, I know it doesn’t work for everyone, is pushing the logical side of my brain forward and thinking “why are you scared?”, “what is the worst that can happen?”, “nobody is going to care, everyone has their own agenda” – and that’s true, nobody is focused on you, nobody is trying to hurt you. For that example, that’s my personal point of view and how I’m trying to overcome it, not all strategies work for everybody as we are all different but it’s about finding what works for you. Find what works, and never allow anyone to make you feel as though you are small, never worry about what people are thinking when you’re walking down the street because they aren’t actually bothered by you, or even looking at you. It’s the way people portray themselves online and those judgemental people that make us feel like everyone is looking at us and judging the way we look.
Be who you are, not who others want you to be! We continue to complain about how hard life is and how others judge us and yet we continue to make living difficult for ourselves. The only people who can make a difference is us, we are the only ones who can change the judgemental frame of minds we have. We need to stop making people feel self-conscious for who they are, stop promoting a “perfect image” that everyone should have – WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT – and let’s focus on being kind and loving each other, but most importantly loving ourselves. In this cruel, violent world we are living in, love and kindness is necessary.
This is my brief thought for today – I hope this has given a little insight!