It’s a lesson that I wish I had learned earlier- to be unapologetically, me. Growing up in an age of technology and reality television, I often found myself swaying from who I am to who I thought society wanted me to be. Though, it would be deceptive, if I sat here pretending that I do not still struggle with achieving societal validation at times.
With that being said, here are a few things that have helped me get to a place where I have stopped apologizing to myself, and everybody else, for who I (unapologetically) am:
I stopped following celebrity gossip. Please, do yourself a favour and stop reading gossip blogs and magazines. Yes, we all know that the women and men displayed across these mediums are not real life. We actively give knowledge to the fact that they are photoshopped. Yet knowing this, we still compare ourselves to these unattainable images as we mindlessly scroll along. When I stopped following gossip blogs and magazines, I found contentment with the body image that I am able to attain. I stopped apologizing to myself that I am 22 years old, and that maintaining a 97 lb body weight is not my reality anymore.
I gained happiness within, by finding happiness for others. Why are we so quick to tear down the people around us, when they achieve success? At the same time that celebrity gossip blogs and magazines are building up these great images of beautiful people, they are also cheering for the failures of the exact people that they have created these unattainable fantasies around. Because these messages are delivered on such a large scale, it creates a reality for society that mirrors this kind of treatment of people.
It might make you feel better in the moment, when you are talking down the coworker that got promoted or your peer that achieved a higher mark than you on an assessment. However, at the end of the day you still find yourself with disdain, and insecurity. I stopped remarking on people’s failures, and started acknowledging people’s achievements. With this, I found security in myself, what I have achieved, and what I am capable of achieving.
I surrounded myself by people who have good energy. In order to surround yourself with people who have good energy, that may mean releasing people from your life that bring bad energy. It is, understandably, not an easy feat to say goodbye to (new, or old) relationships, that create this negativity. Many times, it may mean starting over, and this can be intimidating. However, if you are surrounded by friends who are constantly gossiping about each other, you are never going to find security in yourself. If you are surrounded by people that do not wish success and happiness for you, you are never going to find security in yourself! Today, I am filled with friendships that nourish good energy. Supportive, understanding, loving. I am surrounded by people that cheer for my success, and encourage me through my failures. I surrounded myself by people who have good energy, and they have helped me become unapologetically, me.