If only I had more time, I’d be so productive. If I could only lose 5 more pounds, then I’d be more confident. If I could afford that new dress, I’d be so happy.
If only this, I’d be that and things would be great.
But by now, you’ve probably realized these roadblocks to happiness never go away because as soon as you fix one a new one pops up. Five pounds becomes 10 pounds becomes always being hungry, constant self deprivation and nothing near confidence. Or you get so obsessed about making your day off as productive as possible that you can’t sit down and focus on just one thing at a time, and nothing gets done, and you end up feeling guilty.
We’re bombarded with messaging from every corner that we are meant to live, or at least attempt to live, perfect, busy, productive lives surrounded by hundreds of friends and admirers cheering us on at every move. Everywhere you turn there’s an article teaching you how to have a perfect body, better hair, have better skin, have better relationships, have a better home, eat better food, do better at work.
Naturally we’re going to feel inferior and unsatisfied after repeatedly being told that our lives aren’t good enough.
But all these roadblocks to happiness are really just manifestations of built up anxiety and stress. The stress that’s telling you that you have to be perfect and that you have to be high energy and that you have to make it look both easy and hard at the same time. And that you have to create a life that people will be jealous of.
It’s the stress of thinking that everyone is constantly judging and evaluating your every move. (or that “these people” even matter) The stress that sends you down paths that you assume you’re supposed to be on, instead of the paths that you want to be on.
As soon as you can identify that it’s the pressure and the stress that’s driving you crazy, you can finally face it head on and see it for what it is: all in your head.
So how can you find peace?
Right now- go look in a mirror and smile at yourself because, news alert, you’re an awesome person, flaws and all. You’re not a photoshopped collection of pixels arranged onto a screen, printed onto a page and blasted onto a billboard.
You’re three dimensional. You make mistakes, you have scars, you smile, you breathe, you laugh, you cry. You have a personality, you’re part of a bigger picture, you have a family and friends and they’re not perfect either and they know you’re not perfect and they still love you.
You can be happy. Crazy right? You don’t have to fix anything either!
You can put aside the notion that life could or should be perfect because it can’t and it won’t. And if you think about it, that’s pretty freakin’ liberating.
Now that we have that out of the way, you can finally live in the present.
Take a moment to pause, to put your phone down, turn your screen off, breathe and smile
& chose happy over perfect.