Advertising
Advertising

I’m Not Afraid To Be Myself Because An Original Is Worth More Than A Copy

I’m Not Afraid To Be Myself Because An Original Is Worth More Than A Copy

If you’re like most of us, you’re going through life trying to figure out the best way to fit in. Because unfortunately we’ve been conditioned to measure our worth against that of our neighbor, we get caught up in the rat race of keeping up with everybody else, of doing what everybody else is doing. Graduate high school, go to university, get married, get a good job, have kids, and retire someplace sunny. If everyone is doing it, you tell yourself, it must be the right thing to do.

Sound familiar? Don’t make this mistake. You’re worth more than that. You are like art in that “an original is worth more than a copy.” It’s time to be true to yourself and the find the happiness that you deserve.

Advertising

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F. Kennedy

To a certain degree, conforming to social expectations is something humans have traditionally done out of need for survival. In fact, conformity is so ingrained in our being that social rejection actually elicits a feeling of danger in our brain. The opposite happens when we follow the crowd.[1]

It can be difficult to fight this feeling. But think of this important life lesson: “Don’t follow the crowd, follow your own way. Do what you love.”[2] How will you ever grow as an individual if you are so concerned with being like everybody else? Try to work up the courage and the motivation to be unique. Being an individual in a world full of copies is one of the best ways to find success in doing what you love.

Advertising

“In the end… We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have,and the decisions we waited too long to make.” – Lewis Carroll

Remember how much fun you had that one winter semester you took off from school to work at a ski resort? Or how amazing the view was from atop the mountain you climbed with friends you met at your hostel? No? That’s because you were too busy being like everybody else to do something you love.

Here is the brutal truth: “You will badly regret the things you didn’t do far more than the things you did that were wrong.”[3] The important life lesson here is that even if you make a mistake in life, you still learn something new. That’s far more valuable that not taking risks, not making mistakes, and not learning anything new. This life lesson should be all the motivation you need.

Advertising

“A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.” – Virginia Woolf

Too often we think that happiness lies in finding ourselves. Somewhere along the way, we’ve learned that our true self is somewhere, hidden away, and it is our life’s purpose to find it. How many times have you heard somebody commenting that they had to get away to find themselves?

Focusing on finding yourself is not the path to happiness. The reason behind this lies in a life lesson taken from Buddhism: “The self is always changing.”[4] If you accept this idea, you realize that it becomes impossible to find your true self. Instead, you have the power to change yourself at any given moment in life. Now, you can focus on being the person you want to be and on finding happiness.

Advertising

Take an honest look at your life. Are you being true to yourself or to the expectations of everyone around you? Remember, your value lies in being original. You owe it to yourself to be true to your dreams, to pursue your happiness, and to live life without regrets.

Featured photo credit: Negative Space via pexels.com

Reference

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

What Makes a Relationship Boring and How to Avoid It How to Know If You’re Really in Love or Not (Yes It Can Be Confusing) Why You and Your Partner Don’t Need to Speak the Same Love Language to Stay Together Why Worrying About Losing a Friend Is Unnecessary No.1 Relationship Killer: Your Good Intention to Advise Your Partner When They’re Upset

Trending in Communication

1 What Is Self Actualization? 13 Traits of a Self-Actualized Person 2 Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression 3 20 Things People Regret the Most Before They Die 4 How to Deal with Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide) 5 10 Websites To Learn Something New In 30 Minutes A Day

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

Advertising

• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

Advertising

Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

Advertising

One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

Advertising

Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

Read Next