Since the revolutionizing invention of the internet and social media, we have all suffered from information overload in more ways than one. Not only do we know more about what is going on in the world, but we know more about what goes on in the lives of the people who we follow on social media. While this constant connection has many positive attributes, if you’re not careful, it can cause more harm than good. Although we should all understand everyone is different and we each have our own unique lives to live, sometimes this hyper awareness causes us to over-analyze and compare whether or not we’re measuring up to the accomplishments of our peers. This is one of the unfortunate side effects of using social media, because instead of embracing whatever season we are currently in, we’re worried about what everyone else is doing.
Embracing the season you’re in is essential to being happy and content. Here are a few ways I have learned to embrace my seasons and hopefully you can use some of these in your current season as well.
Realize that no two people are alike.
When you truly accept the fact that no one is the same and that we all come from different backgrounds, you can begin to ease the pressure that you put on yourself to live up to a certain status. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more for yourself – to be successful is an admirable goal and one that you absolutely pursue – however, it’s important to realize that the amount of work it takes to reach that goal varies from person to person. Some people may have an easier time because of the way they were raised or who they know, and others may have to try harder to get there because they may not have had the same advantages. Although in these types of scenarios it appears that the playing ground is uneven, it doesn’t help to dwell on it. No matter your role in the scenario – whether your path to success is easier or harder – you should only focus on the cards that you have been dealt, keeping your eyes ahead of you. As far as fairness goes in the realm of equal opportunity, I think many of us would agree that it’s never fair for some of us; however, the rule still applies. Always focus on your own path and make the most of what you have to work with.
There is no “perfect” life
Despite what we see on social media – the perfect family photos or pictures of lavish trips overseas – nobody’s life is perfect. Be careful when you idealize someone else’s life, wanting what they have. There is always another side to the story that their perfect Instagram photos tell. If you continue to compare your own life with someone else’s you are essentially dismissing all of the good things about yourself while elevating someone else’s false image of perfection. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with posting lovely pictures on social media, most of us like looking at them; just know that they are simply snapshots in time that do not capture a person’s real life. Everyone goes through things – seasons as I like to call them – so don’t let pretty pictures throw you off from realizing that. As soon as you do, it will make it easier for you to embrace your own season.
Seasons are only temporary
If you’re going through a rough time in a particular season in your life (perhaps you’re going through unemployment or maybe you have been single for a while and you want a partner) the good thing is it won’t last forever. Seasons change depending on life’s circumstances. Sometimes we stay in a beautiful season without any problems for a while, and then a storm or two may pass through our lives. We should always remember that for every trial there is a silver lining. Things may be tough now and it may seem hopeless, but it will end eventually. Keeping this in mind will make it easier to stay strong and positive through the hard times.
There are other people in the same season as you.
Sometimes knowing that you are not alone is all you need to get you through a rough patch. For every tear you’ve cried, for whatever reason, there is someone who is crying for the same thing. Although no two people are the same, we can experience the same pain – and joy. The things that make us different, also make us the same, because we are human. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings with friends and family. Perhaps they may not be in the same season as you at the moment, but chances are, they have been before and they understand what you are going through.
Share your season with others
This ties into number 4, but it requires you to be the source of inspiration for others. Perhaps life has got you down and you feel like the possibility of getting out of this rut is slim to none. Maybe this season lasted much longer than you feel you can take. This is the time to start sharing your story with others. When you let others know that you are not completely fine, you do two things: one, you help yourself come to terms with your current season by verbalizing your feelings; and two, other people will appreciate your sincerity and there may be someone who needed to hear your truth in order to help them embrace their own tough season. So, if you have a blog, write about it or if you don’t, express yourself to close friends and family. And if you lack the opportunity to verbalize your pain to those around you, don’t be afraid to join a support group near you.
To find support groups near you, logon to http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/.