monday realness: being you in a world of labels
So yesterday I posted an instastory making breakfast with eggs and cow's yogurt and it got me thinking how I had called myself vegan for so many years. While I really enjoyed the good that comes with that label; like bettering the environment and having less blood on my hands, I found that it didn't do a whole lot of good on my mental state. The pressure to live up to the label and restrict myself kind of caused a whole new counter attack on my mind that I wasn't expecting. So many things became a "No, I can't have that" instead of a balanced "I'd prefer if I didn't"
Before long I was wondering if I was doing it for myself anymore or because I was influenced and under the pressure of others. While I don’t (think) I compare myself to others usually, I can’t help but feel that I have to eat, talk, or look a certain way to be allowed to be a part of an inner circle instead of just trusting myself and that what I am doing is good enough for me.
So, this week I wanted to address the topic of labels in our culture, to try to put a stop to this way of living. Life is what you make of it. So if you're going through the same thing, please scroll below to see how you can be yourself in a world full of labels. Because the only person you should be seeking reassurance from is you and you alone!
| get off social media |
How can we find our own voice when we are constantly consuming random people thoughts and opinions? I think Instagram and Facebook are a great way to connect you with friends and family (I even met one of my closest friends on Insta!) But they can very easily trigger a negative thought pattern, forcing you to feel you need to be a certain way. It’s best to take a break by unplugging. Give yourself a specific time to post and interract then put your attention into other things like journaling, talking with friends or my personal fave, listening to inspirational podcasts while walking outside!
| you don't have to please everyone |
Raise you hand if you are a people-pleaser! Seeking validation is a surefire way to prevent yourself from living for you. Trust me, I know rejection is a hard to take in and there is nothing more exhausting than worrying about everyone else's needs over your own. BUT, no matter what you do or say, you can't please every single person in the world. It’s time to let go of the feeling that you have to make everyone else comfortable when the only thing you should be responsible for is your own happiness.
| get to know yourself |
This was probably the number 1 important thing I learned in my ED recovery (more on that another day) I had to really re-learn what I liked, didn't like, found happiness in...etc. In this age, it's so easy to forget what you even enjoy anymore! You won’t be able to be your true self if you don’t know who you are or what you want. I had to take a few moments each day and sit with my thoughts. I wrote in a journal how I was feeling and why and meditated on those emotions. The more you understand your personality, your likes and dislikes, and where you come from, the more you’ll be able to gauge who you want to be!
| be present |
This just goes hand-in-hand with the statement above. Being more in-the-moment brings you back to yourself. It's very easy for the voice in your head to make up situations and scenarios. You'll want to switch the dialogue in your mind to not constantly critique everything you do but to connect with what’s going on outside of your mind. Essentially, by being present, you’re allowing yourself to focus on what’s actually happening around you instead of focusing on the assumptions that you’re coming up with.
| be gentle on yourself |
Something I learned to do was to talk to myself like I was 4 years old. Would I tell 4 year old Tori she had to be a vegan republican marathon runner...? Definitely not. I would just want her to be happy and healthy! At the end of the day, you should be kind and nurturing to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up or compare yourself to someone else who seems to have it all figured out when they probably don't either. Nothing is more powerful than being yourself in a world that wants you to be like everyone else, which is rather boring anyway!
What are some ways you try to live a label-free life? Let me know in the comments below!