We live in an age of constant connection and that results in an image projection that is virtually impossible to escape from. Instagram sees nearly 95 million posts on the social media site every single day. You can find endless numbers of fitness models, cute animals, extravagant weddings, dream holidays and more. And Instagram isn’t the only place flooded with these images, you can find them on Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat and LinkedIn.
With all these images bombarding you every day, it’s hard not to get caught up in the general tendency of creating an illusion that everyone has perfect lives. And maybe you’re guilty of uploading these images, because let’s be honest, people are watching and we are competing with each other.
While on social media it may look like you are living your best life, chances are it’s not true. And that’s okay. It’s okay to be depressed, to have anxiety, to feel sad, to not be happy. It’s impossible to be happy all the time but social media only shows the best of life, not the worst of it. When you see that over and over again, you start to doubt yourself and your life and the negative self-talk gets louder and louder.
So what do we do? We skip the acknowledgement that things aren’t ok and go straight to working towards a resolution. By doing this we tend to feel in control. We don’t admit that we are struggling, that we can’t manage, or that we don’t fit into that sense of perfection that is perfectly illustrated online. But, if you decide to switch your mindset and become okay with the feeling of failure, you will learn one of the most important skills you can learn in both work and life.
The first thing to do is to learn the power of saying I’m not okay. It’s about embracing tough moments instead of moving past them or ignoring them. When you do this, it can be incredibly powerful if practiced correctly. When it’s done correctly it can be validating. Once you accept that there is absolutely nothing wrong with fact that you are struggling you will learn to move through this time in your life. It’s not about simply accepting and ignoring, it’s about understanding and learning.
People who are authentic and honest with themselves, in any situation, can overcome these feelings of shame. If not, they end up devaluing themselves. Sounds familiar? Dwelling on a feeling of failure can be paralyzing and it will keep you from asking for help when you really need it.
It’s important to understand that sometimes your emotions take precedence over finding a solution, and THAT’S OKAY. We tend to discount the value of feelings, especially in the workplace, but you need to remember that in the end, emotions are simply information. Emotions exist for a reason and everyone has them, even if they don’t show others.
Every single person has a point in their career where they make a major mistake or feel overwhelmed by their workload. If you are suppressing these negative feelings it can cause an emotional overload that causes you to burn out faster, give up easily, but ultimately become less successful.
It’s time to start accepting this negativity and give yourself permission to not be okay sometimes. Accept that there isn’t a solution right now and that it’s okay. Once you change your attitude you will find that your motivation increases, your stamina increases, and you will see life differently.
We are conditioned to think that we always need to give off a sense of perfection, but that will end up hurting you more than it helps. Humans are flawed, they struggle in both work and life, and they have plenty of ups and downs. Just because someone appears perfect online, that definitely doesn’t mean they are perfect in real life. They are just portraying what they want others to see.
The people who end up being the most successful aren’t those who don’t struggle, it’s the ones who know it’s okay to not be okay.