I wish I looked like her...
I wish I was popular like her...
I wish I was talented like her...
I wish I had her life...
We've all had these inner thoughts and being honest, I've had them at times throughout my life. If you're thinking the same, don't worry, it's perfectly normal. We're human! Sometimes we find ourselves wishing for something other than what we have. Social media gives girls a HUGE window that allows us to stare into the lives of our peers, celebrities and strangers around the world. Wishing is healthy but when we find ourselves wishing and comparing to the point that we are dissatisfied with ourselves over things we cannot change, it's time to see a new perspective.
Social media can be fun, entertaining (dog videos are my fave) and educational. Throughout my journey with Girls Above Society I've connected with some incredible women who have supported me in ways I never thought possible. But...social media can also be toxic and self deprecating to a point that our self-esteem is being chopped to bits. Authenticity is sometimes difficult to see. Filters, photoshop, edits and carefully posed photos/videos give the illusion that perfection is reality and we're less than worthy if we don't attain this ideal. This is where things get very very questionable and oftentimes cause us to wonder if we're good enough. How do we cope? I could talk about this for dayzzzzz - We need more of these convos!
Some things are out of our control! DNA plays a huge role in our personality, traits and what we look like. I personally love that each of us are different. Life would be incredibly boring if we all looked, dressed and acted the exact same way. We really don't want that life but we spend far too much time trying to look like someone else. I discovered that the more I worked on goals for myself, less time was spent trying to be like someone else. For example: I have always been very thin and wanted to be more curvy. I decided to work on building some muscle and exercising target areas. I love exercising and having a goal really made it fun! Everything flipped - My thoughts were more about me instead of someone else. Side note: Admiring someone is awesome! Spending your time wishing to the point of destroying your self-esteem is toxic. Flip it and make YOU the focus!
Wishing to be popular is a topic I love talking about. The dictionary definition of Popular means being liked, admired, and enjoyed by many people. I never felt popular in school. I was not super outgoing like some of the girls, instead I was more of an observer and never in search of the "spotlight". My cyber-bullying experience was incredibly difficult but one of the things I learned is this: Popular girls are sometimes the most insecure girls. If I could, I'd redefine what popular looks like. When I think back on my middle school years, I now realize I was SUPER popular! I had an awesome small group of friends (real friends, not just acquaintances, that were supportive, fun, smart and authentic. We were all so different yet we connected and embraced each other's uniqueness in the best ways possible. We learned from each other and laughed a lot. Being girls, we tend to spend too much time looking through other "windows" that we forget to find goodness in our own tribe of friends regardless how big or small that may be. Do less wishing and spend more time having face-to-face convos with the awesome girls in your life. All of those convos are way better than any amount of "likes" , follows or comments.
Do you ever feel like you don't have a talent? I felt that way in school too! I was academically successful in school but oftentimes I didn't want that stigma of being the "smart" or "geeky" girl so I would downplay how well I did on an exam when everyone in the group was saying they felt they failed. I wasn't confident enough to be honest and I didn't want the attention because in my mind, that wasn't the sort of attention desired. I wanted to be accepted and cool like my peers. I never felt like I had a talent or a niche. I was not athletic or musically inclined. I spent years involved in musical theater but the majority of my time was spent being cast in chorus roles which was great with me because I enjoyed being involved in the group effort of theater more than being the lead. I also spent a few years cheerleading (I was the flyer) in middle school. This was also the time my cyberbullying took place. I went through high school without feeling like I had a "talent". Did you know that tons of people never find their talent during their school years? We associate talent with being the quarterback/baseball star, the track star, the vocalist, the musician or the valedictorian. The peers who are most talked about or win the most awards are the ones most seen. While we love cheering on those who work hard and are talented, it's important to see our personal attributes even if they don't conform with those that gain the most attention. Being a good friend, being humble, teaching/helping others, using your voice for good, working towards shaping change, volunteering, learning and growing are all in my opinion super talents. These traits stay with you forever and give you the ability to be successful in ways many are not. Talent isn't always applauded or seen. Talent can be a moment you create. My talent: The ability to create and shape face-to-face conversations amongst young girls. You won't see my talent in any award list or record breaking stats. That's OK. If one girl is empowered, she can take the torch and pass it on by empowering another girl in her path. Pretty awesome if you ask me!
Social Media makes is super easy to define our life by how we compare it to someone else's/. OMG She has such an amazing life! Well, that photo may seem so but does she REALLY have that so called "perfect" life? Probably not. It's super difficult to see reality through the smoky lenses of social media. Every moment that you spend scrolling through posts, videos & reels, you can bet there are other girls doing the exact same thing while wondering why their life seems boring/not good enough. It can be easy to get wrapped up in everyone else's life, especially when most posts are highlight reels (their BEST moments). Recently I watched a video of a group of young girls in Africa. They were playing a game and every single one of them were smiling and having fun. Comparisons were absent. They were making their own moments without judging their circumstances. For the majority of us, life is rarely glamorous, especially as seen on social media. When I look back on my teen years, my biggest takeaway life memories are time spent with friends and family. They were definitely not exotic but instead were the long walks we took, messing up the kitchen baking cookies, sleepovers, movie nights, football games, smores by a campfire, fireflies and swimming in the lake. At the time, my friends and I thought that was amazing and it's true, it was. I'm absolutely certain there were girls our age who were traveling abroad or who were wealthier but we were in the moment and that was authentic happiness. Life goals are important but constant comparisons get in the way and disrupt our journey if we're not careful.
In the Disney movie, Pinnochio changed from a wooden toy to a real life boy. Wishing is fun and magical, especially in Disney movies. Be true to yourself, be kind to others and remember to place more focus on your goals/dreams instead of wishing you had someone else's life. Make a wish to use your girl power for good! The rest will come and I do believe that with goals, hard work and the right focus, dreams do come true!
When you wish upon a star Makes no difference who you are Anything your heart desires Will come to you
If your heart is in your dream No request is too extreme When you wish upon a star As dreamers do
Fate is kind She brings to those to love The sweet fulfillment of Their secret longing
Like a bolt out of the blue Fate steps in and sees you through When you wish upon a star Your dreams come true