However, as we get to be adults this instinct to copy others can lead us to live lives that are not fulfilling or leave us with a bunch of junk that means nothing to us as individuals. Look at how every other street corner has a Walgreens, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond. We are told that to be successful adults our lives must look a certain way. This is not true. One of the main causes of low self-esteem is when we feel we have not reached the societally placed goals for our age group. “You should be married by….” “You should have kids by….” “You should be financially successful by….”.
Realize that your life is yours and does not need to match up with someone else’s ideas about where you “should be.”
1. Figure out what you actually want for your life. Evaluate each internal statement. Do you really want to own a home or is this something that is expected of you? Do you truly want to design our living room off of the cover of a magazine? And it is ok if the answer is yes! Seeing the difference between following along because you are told to and liking something because it is pleasing and others agree is key. All the chain stores are popular because they do offer items which make us comfortable and momentarily content.
2. Be intentional. Each time you make a decision about the path of your goals, ask yourself, “why am I doing this?” each time you make a purchase, “what do I need this for?” This will allow you to take pride in each decision and have it mean more than some impulse decision.
3. Take time to be creative. Studies have shown that those who engage in any sort of creative
process rate their lives as more fulfilling. This can include anything, as long as you are
attempting to make something innovative. That act of creating lets us see what our minds
gravitate towards. This gives us a view of what we are actually interested in.
4. Identify your emotions. Try not to suppress internally how you are feeling. Being authentic
allows you to see what is upsetting to you as well as what brings joy. Learning to be assertive
about your emotions when angry or hurt gives validity to your emotions.
5. Love what you own. Go through your house and rid yourself of objects which do not have a
specific function or inspire you when you look upon them. Having a space which you identify
with gives you time to recharge and re-enforce in your head your identity.
When we know who we are, we are confident and self-assured. We are also respectful of others because we understand the importance of being an individual. Learn to love your life and encourage others to do the same.
By: S. Corey Hart, LPC