We’re pulled in a gazillion different directions every day, with information bombarding us via social media, texts, ads, Google search, news…you name it. Not to sound all nostalgic, but life was simpler back in 2007, when we only had to contend with our Nextel (beep-beep) or Blackberry (keyboards were the best). It’s impossible to escape the influences of all of this information…right or wrong. How the hell do you separate truth and lies when you can find published articles that support even the craziest conspiracy theories?
Here are our tips on staying true to yourself while maintaining authenticity in this ever-changing, batshit crazy world we live in.
- Know when to stand up for yourself and when it’s not worth your time. The people that matter will respect you for having conviction. The people that don’t will never hear what you have to say anyway, so just walk away. Bye, Felicia.
- Own whatever it is that you’re about! We’re all a little weird, and the sooner we start owning it, the sooner we can start living a more fulfilling life. Only then can we start truly being ourselves instead of who society wants us to be.
- Be real. Everyone is going through their own struggles and triumphs. If you need some time, space, and allocated energy for creative thought… level set with whomever you need to and let them know where you are at. It will, in turn, show off that you are a great communicator but also allow the same space for them to come to you in the future if they need it.
- Surround yourself with people who share your values, both in-person and online. It’s stressful to hear and read comments that don’t align with your personal morals or the things you believe. Unfollow or mute that one friend who always likes to “play devil’s advocate.” Make time to spend with people who uplift you, and cut back the time you spend with those who bring you down.
- Conversely, spend some time by yourself. Whether it’s tending to your garden, scribbling on some paper, or even just taking a walk, make time to spend with you outside of digital distractions. These moments are when your mind wanders. They can be invaluable for developing worldviews that are yours and yours alone.
- Make a list of what you are and aren’t. Then make one of what you do and don’t believe. Put these somewhere private where you’ll see them regularly, whether that’s in your sock drawer, on your fridge, or in a planner. When you start to doubt yourself, go back to these as a reminder.
- Remember: your immediate reaction to a stimulus is what you believe on instinct. Your prolonged reaction is what you truly think. What do we mean? If you see someone walking down the street and immediately think, “Wow, they’re ugly!” but then catch yourself and think, “Why did I think that? I love their hair!” then this is an example of society’s values vs. your own. That second, smaller voice that keeps going, “what the hell, first voice…” is you. What’s more, it means that the first voice isn’t you, so when it says really shitty things, correct it firmly and move on. In time, it’ll get quieter and quieter, until that second voice completely blocks it out.
Gone are the days of having a heated conversation over Sunday dinner where you look the other person in the eyes. Discussions now take place over the world wide web, via text or email…where everyone has an opinion, and most often, it isn’t nice.
If you don’t take care of your mental health, you’ll lose what makes you so damn special. Don’t do that.
Need a dose of reality? Hit us up.