You probably already know this, but there’s a LOT of judgment on Instagram about people’s looks.
Arms too skinny. Don’t skip leg day. Nice cellulite. You look pale. Get your teeth fixed. You have bags under your eyes.
Wow. Thanks Brad Pitt.
Oh wait, it wasn’t from Brad Pitt. It was a comment from some Internet-porn-addicted basement-dweller who hasn’t left his house in a year (even before the global pandemic) and has an anonymous profile with no photo. Funny how that works.
And the worst part is: people are actually affected (infected?) by this person’s opinion.
People allow these comments to make them upset, to ruin their day, to make them afraid of putting themselves out there. They feel insecure that they’ll never be attractive enough because some keyboard bully wrote a tasteless comment about their body.
This is a very strange phenomenon online: people feel more insecure than ever, and yet are happy to attack anyone who is less-than-perfect for completely superficial reasons.
It’s like we are holding everyone up to a fake, impossible, ludicrous standard – comparing them to a lifestyle we all know deep down is an illusion anyway.
Make no mistake: this can screw you up.
I’ve seen even enviably attractive people suffer a crash in self-esteem because they feel constantly in competition with other people. And don’t forget the universal insecurity about getting even the slightest bit older thanks to our strange obsession with youth.
Oh no! How will I find a mate if I’m not a perfect 10? Or even a 9? What if there is someone cuter, richer, smarter, and with more Instagram followers than I have? How will I ever keep a prospective lover’s attention knowing that such superior people exist?
This is insane.
It’s not natural. It’s a funhouse mirror version of real life. And it’s a totally unnecessary cause of deep unhappiness.
What a disturbing scenario we have created for ourselves. And how cringey that people perpetuate and feed into this with memes and posts that imply hotness and money and private jets and living like you’re in the TV show Entourage is the objective vision of a “good life”.
And that’s why more than ever you have to resist. You have to cultivate an UNSHAKEABLE, ROCK-SOLID, DEEPLY CONFIDENT core that can’t be rocked by the frivolous nonsense that pollutes the public square these days.
Before I get accused of being salty: I actually like social media. I love modern technology. I defend it. I find it a great tool to meet like-minded people and have truly enjoyed using it to share ideas and connect for over a decade now.
But I also know that having a shield and your own personal weapons to deal with this onslaught and stop it from driving you nuts is the key to thriving in these times of endless social pressure.
So if you want to find love and NOT fall into despair along the way, here are some helpful steps:
1. Have a HUGE world
When I worry about being “perfect”, or beat myself up, it’s usually because I’ve gotten way too deep into one track: achievement, money, looks, popularity, sexual validation – and these things then take on an outsized importance such that my self-esteem becomes unhealthily linked to them.
One way of combating this: have a HUGE mental world.
Have lots of friends who live different kinds of lives. See different places and ways of living and couples of all backgrounds and types. Read about people who pursue very different things than you do. Seek out knowledge and skills and art that fires you up.
When I do this, I see that the world is much richer than the petty concerns I have about my own unquenchable desires. I learn that comparison is dumb because the world is indifferent to these status games we play. Because there’s so much more to be excited about than competing for who can look the coolest on Instagram.
Ultimately, getting a big world gives you huge perspective and stops you getting obsessed with some zero-sum game thinking that dominates a lot of social media (which seems obsessed with winners and losers).
2. Change your role models
When I hang around people driven only by money, I think about money more.
That can be useful if you need a shot of ambition, but disastrous if it’s your only crowd. The same is true for what you read and watch on TV. The best way to combat this is to look for role models in different traits that matter to you.
You could find role models for:
- Thoughtfulness and generosity
- Family and friendship
- Art and creativity
If you look for different role models, you realise how many different parts of yourself there are to cultivate and you’ll start to learn what you truly value.
I always find this when I watch an Anthony Bourdain travel show. When he meets someone who devotes their life to slicing tuna for sushi, or living in the wilderness, or surrounded by a big family cooking for ten siblings – you realise that the key is choosing the life that serves you best, not what serves everyone else.
That’s a key to love as well: seeking out YOUR tribe. People who want the same things you do.
3. Get a life that renews your inner confidence every day, not one that drains it
We worry about what everyone else thinks when we don’t have a stable core.
And you have to fix this before anything else. You desperately owe it to yourself.
I know that when people talk about doing “deep inner work” on yourself, it sounds weird and woo-woo. But this is basically what they mean: you need to feel at the bottom of your soul that you are entitled to demand your worth. And that worth is something no-one else can take away.
We can’t expect to fix ourselves with looks and lifestyle. Those things will definitely make the journey easier (there are reasons to get a fit body and have fulfilling work, after all).
But anyone who has these things knows their confidence can still be shaken. They experience bouts of crippling self-doubt and jealousy, imposter syndrome, and feel unworthy in relationships – because just having those markers of success is not enough.
You can have the right education, the right income, the right body, and STILL live in fear of being replaced by your lover. You can feel a constant fear that your partner might one day fall out of love and leave. You can still have a terrible sense of abandonment when you’re forced to be alone in your own company for a day.
This is why deep core confidence is the ONLY thing that truly makes you feel whole.
When the chips are down (and this will happen no matter what kind of charmed life you lead), you need a voice that still tells you everything you’re worth. That picks you up and gets you back on your path. That allows you to endure those times and get through the onslaught of disappointment or failure or grief that you might need to go through. You have to amplify voice that can stand up for yourself and be the leader you need. You need to be able to take that and know that you’re worthy of a place at the table in life (WHETHER OR NOT YOU LIVE UP TO SOMEONE ELSE’S IDEA OF PERFECTION).
And the way you do this: change the way you talk to yourself forever.
This means a life where you are your greatest ally. A teammate. Not a critic. A fellow traveller, not a nagging parent. A helping hand, not a pointing finger.
If this is something you are really serious about, now is the year.
Some people have already set their sights low for 2021. But what if you stepped it up now and decide to play BIG?
Coming up next month we have our Virtual Retreat program. It’s going to be 3 days of truly transforming your personal goals and relationships, , taking control of your emotions, and living at your peak of your values, so that you make a life you actually wake up loving every day.
When you do this, you’ll never have to endure that insecurity of just waiting to be chosen again. Or that feeling of fear that you’re not enough for someone who isn’t giving you the love you deserve.
You’ll realise that you have everything you need – and you’ll know how to use it.
If you’re ready to play your own game, love the journey, and get the unshakeable confidence you deserve, come and join us for 3 life-changing days at MHVirtualRetreat.com
2 Replies to “You Don’t Need To Be Perfect To Find Love…But You DO Need This”
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”True confidence has no room for jealousy and envy; when you know you are great, you have no reason to hate.”
In human nature, it is to compare, compete (remember the Olympic motto citius, altius, fortius (faster, higher, stronger)), which we can not avoid even in everyday life or is even more prominent on social media. I agree that following the right role models on SM should aim to improve ourselves and find inspiration for our lives. I am fascinated by some entrepreneurs or IG influencers (not by their material possessions) but by their wisdom they acquired during years and, most of all, their willingness to spread knowledge and experience (good and bad) with their followers. Those people should earn respect, not envy and jealousy.
”But I also know that having a shield and your own personal weapons to deal with this onslaught and stop it from driving you nuts is the key to thriving in these times of endless social pressure.”
I am noticing warfare terminology lately (shield, weapons, onslaught :-) ). I am keener on peaceful terminology, and confidence is one of them. For many of us, confidence is not a second skin, but we have built it up during the years; it’s an asset that we have created out of ourselves. Every person has two types of assets: the tangible one (our physical appearance, as given by nature or later may be corrected by plastic surgeons), and intangible assets (our knowledge, education, talents, experiences, character, values, wisdom, achievements etc.). The former asset can give us superficial confidence based on our look, while the latter is the one that forms true, core confidence. And the more we build our intangible assets, the more value we create for and of ourselves and the higher self-esteem we have, which suggest there is no need to compare ourselves to others.
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