Life isn’t a competition. 

Life isn’t a game that can be won or lost on the basis of some arbitrary social markers. More than that, you can’t ‘succeed’ in life by living your life on someone else’s terms. Or indeed, by living someone else’s life. Simply doing what you think you ought to be doing won’t always bring you satisfaction, in fact it will rarely coincide with things that you yourself actually prioritise.

Because of this, you will soon realise that the things around you that are offering the illusion of ‘self care’ and ‘self improvement’ are causing you undue stress. This is because the pressure that you put on yourself to achieve them isn’t proportional or tempered by your emotional investment. As such, you are pushing yourself to do things that simply aren’t worth your time, or are worthwhile endeavours in principle, just not necessarily for you, personally.

Recognise something here?

It can be hard to step back and recognise the aspects of life that we have acclimatised to aren’t always things that we deserve to experience. We are often faced with the startling discovery that there is more to life than we know in our current experiences. There are pancake houses that we didn’t know existed. Friends that live around the corner who we never realised lived so close. Even going to the park in the afternoon on a dog walking day and seeing so many Chihuahuas that you thought you might die of cuteness. 

I can already tell that you guys are rolling your eyes at me. And yet, you clicked on the article, so you’re ready to be convinced. Well, I’m only too happy to oblige in reminding everyone represent that there is a Person for everyone out there. Not necessarily a one-size-fits-all soulmate that aligns perfectly with every aspect of your being, you don’t even know yourself yet, how could we expect someone else to?

What I’m saying is, we’ve all been so enduringly taught to subscribe to the need to find flaws in ourselves. Basically, any deviation from what has been established as the norm (straight white, rich male) is painted unalterably as a flaw. Sometimes, the flaw can be fixed; solved with some capitalistic consumption and confidence. Other times, however, we absorb into our personality a defence mechanism whereby we can protect ourselves with self-deprecating humour and a tendency towards isolating ourselves when things get hard. As a result of all of this, many of us have been conditioned to view our flaws as things people can use against us.

Weaknesses that make us unloveable or undesirable, or fundamentally unworthy. 

Hang tight, dear readers, because I’m about to go on a deep dive into everyone’s diary entries from 2012 to present… “I’m not good enough. Attractive enough. No one will ever know me. No one will ever love me”

We all have that one friend that is too successful for her own good. You know the type, there’s always one in a friendship group. They have the best job, the most ambitious career prospects, the strongest relationship and the most interesting hobbies. They give the illusion of effortlessness, but I have some news for you. 

It’s not. 

The privilege of effortlessness is wrought from pain and suffering and stress and anxiety just as much as on your end. Just because people put up facades and seem to be able to bear life easier, doesn’t mean that you should believe them. Nothing worth having was ever easy, and in fact life isn’t easy. It shouldn’t be, and if it was, the rewards we reap wouldn’t be worth it.

Therefore, when you see a person glide down the street, don’t just sit and stew and hate from a distance. We get too embittered and it creates a toxic mental atmosphere inside your own head. You corrupt your own attitude by fostering this social attitude of competition, rather than cohabitation. Social and economic functions seem to insist on competition between individuals rather than encouraging everyone to work together. You have to make sure your numbers are up at work to push for the promotion, to make sure you feel comfortable and secure in your place of work.

We also decimate our own self worth in the way we dismiss our talents – the very talents that everyone around us can see, clear as day. We forget that not everyone can write as well as we can, or that people can’t memorise facts just at the drop of a hat.

Indeed, all of the skills in the humanities or arts seem to be ignored as just basic skills.

Or things that we all should have anyway.

Moreover, in areas where we may be less talented or capable, it’s viewed as a flaw or as though we are unintelligent. In reality, different people offer different things, but certain scientific or mathematical skills are just valued more highly than others. But note that everyone wants different things. Therefore, it stands to reason that, even though you may express your emotions or affection in a certain way, other people might be sending you signals of interest right back but you just don’t recognise them for what they are. As such, we are blinded by our own perceptions. But the perception that we aren’t valid isn’t our perception at all. It’s one foisted upon us. Leave that behind, friends.

Let me put the matter to bed, once and for all.

You are worthy of being loved, and you will be. Period