"You CAN! End of the story" - Unknown
Sed blandit posuere erat, porta pretium justo finibus sed. Morbi a vehicula magna, at congue est. Morbi Today more than ever, we live in a world of perceived perfectionism. Everyone is only showing their best sides, not the bad ones. Just scroll through your Instagram or Facebook timeline on any given day and look at all the great experiences other people have. Alternatively walk through your city and look at the billboard ads in the streets. Almost everything that we are exposed to these days appears to be perfect, beautiful and ideal. All those stories and pictures are implanting ideas in your head about how life should be.
The main problem is that those ideas paint a very unrealistic and one-dimensional picture, and they have nothing to do with your daily life. Our modern society is very superficial when it comes to how we present ourselves. Always in the best way possible, not showing any signs of weakness or fault. Which leads us to have very skewed views about our own flaws and the perceived perfection of others around us.
Do you see the advertisement of a model, whose picture was taken by a professional photographer during an 8h photoshoot, and who was dolled up by a style professionalist for hours beforehand? Or do you see Jane Doe, the tax advisor, being tired after a long day at work?
Do you only see the headlines of the 18-year-old kid who made fortunes by trading dog meme coins? Or do you also see a thousand other 20-year-old kids who lost all their savings because they were ripped off by some Ponzi crypto scheme?
Do you just see the article about the business owner whose company grew by 2000% last year and who is now driving around in a Lamborghini – or do you also see the struggles of other business owners who are making a lot of sacrifices, the moments of doubts and who work hard every day to grow their business?
Why is this flawed?
Humans are comparison machines on two legs. We have a huge tendency to compare ourselves to others. If all we see are the good sides, we tend to overestimate everyone and everything around us. Mark Twain once said that “comparison is the death of joy”, and he was so right about it. Comparing ourselves to the perfect image of others will create a lack mentality which is holding us back. Questions like “why don’t I look like Person A”, “why don’t I have what she has”, “how did he get so lucky” are just a few of the thoughts which are constantly running on in our minds. Which are triggering other feelings of inferiority and inadequacy. Not all of you might agree here, and some people even pretend to never feel inferior at all. Usually, that’s another type of avoidance mechanism.
Our society today is mainly about quick fixes, making money fast and reaching fame quickly. Which is not how it works – and the sooner you realize, the better you can deal with and do something about it. None of us is perfect – neither you nor the hot supermodel you’ll see on the fancy billboard ad. Same goes for the successful business owner. Usually, we only see the success stories, but don’t know how much effort was needed to get where he or she is today.
What can you do about it?
Just sit back and think about the headline of this post for a moment: if you constantly overestimate others and put yourself down, you are strongly limiting your own potential. You are perfect, with all your flaws and issues, and having this realization can have a huge impact on your life going forward.
Realizing that everyone sucks every once in a while can be really liberating. No negative self-talk anymore, instead being mindful and knowing that everyone started small and made a million mistakes along the way. We often only see the tip of the iceberg, but not what’s hidden underneath the water.
It’s actually not hard to get ahead in life, as long as you do take some action. You might stumble at the beginning, but you just need to keep on going. So the good news are: if everyone sucks from time to time, your own perceived shortcomings are not important at all. As long as you start somewhere and continue on your path, things will turn out to be great.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - Chinese proverb