Woah – How much can life change is two short months?!? Being a 20-something millennial has its advantages, but it also has its disadvantages. I find that for some reason we’re always questioning ourselves. We have the constant need to feel validated in what we are doing, point-and-case: social media. The more likes, snap views, and shares we receive, the more validation we feel and that in itself tells us that we’re doing ok.
What about this validation causes us to adhere to society standards? To dumb us down so to speak, to the level everyone else is at? My entire life I’ve fallen victim to this – constantly worrying what others think about my life and the lives of the people around me. Last month I asked myself, why? I asked myself why this constant validation exists and how social influence must be balanced with self validation.
The past two months I’ve been involved in some large projects (in the near future I can publicly talk about), projects that should validate the quality of excellence I feel about myself. For some reason, it didn’t. I kept feeling like I could do better, or I didn’t amount to what I saw others around me producing. I began comparing myself to others, searching for validation in things I had no control of. Which brings me to my first thought today:
1. Comparison Only Counts If It’s Against Yourself
Compare yourself to yourself and that’s it. Here’s my balancing statement for everyone who wants to get spiritual, yes, compare yourself to Christ first. Your purpose in life is completely different than the person in the office next to you. You can’t be held responsible for following their dreams. You are responsible for following your dreams. When we compare ourselves to others we place unreal expectations on ourselves that cannot be met. Now this isn’t to say don’t look at someones work and place certain levels of excellence on ourselves; but we cannot be held responsible for fulfilling someone else’s purpose.
2. Get Some Sleep
I’ve learned this oh too well recently. It’s not ok to be accessible 24/7. I think we as millennial have this idea that we will get ahead if we are accessible 24/7. While some might think that, this is far from the truth. Taking a mental break, getting outdoors, or just getting more than 4 hours of sleep is an easy way to disconnect and let your mind and body recharge. Which leads me to my third thought…
3. Set Boundaries
My entire life I’ve lived reactively. This is a lost cause. Simply reacting to life won’t get you very far. Now, let me balance that by saying there are certain seasons where you have no choice but to live reactively. This is ok, but it shouldn’t be a prolonged state. Set some boundaries with your time. I have recently tried to take back my weekends. Meaning, Saturday and Sunday are mine. I don’t open my computer and I only respond to time-sensitive emails. This has helped to focus on time management during the week.
Again, all of this depends on a season of life. Right now, I’m in a season of dredging so to speak. Digging deeper into myself and those around me to live out my purpose more effectively and clearly. I equate it to this simple analogy: I’d rather be a small river with a swift 20ft undertow, than a 20ft wide river with a depth of a few feet.
Stop comparing. Follow your passion. Pursue until complete.