This is the final and most important post I’ll do in the Undoing Series which tackled our societal problem with competing, controlling and creating an image for ourselves and our lives.
- Relentless and toxic social media use
- Pretending to be things we’re not
- Puffing up/showing off
- Comparing ourselves to others
- Hustle and grind (exhaustion as a badge of honour and worth)
- Misery loves company, so drag others down with you
- Competition with everyone, even for who has it worse
- Our attention-stealing modern society
Now we know what it is, what do we do about it?
In the simplest form: you need to break the cycle.
You and you alone can do this in your own life. Society will always benefit from sheep. From people following the systems already created and doing whatever everyone else is doing, feeling awful while doing it because a beaten dog is easier to control. Again, let me say it loudly, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THESE THINGS ON THEIR OWN OR IN SMALL DOSES!
It’s the doing it mindlessly and obsessively that needs to change so we can wake up.
The first piece of advice for letting go of society’s CCC culture is to simplify your life by focusing in on what is essential to you. I can’t tell you what those things are. However, I would urge you to consider what your values are. What’s important to you? What’s crucial? What matters, really?
Simplifying means, in a nutshell:
- Deciding what is most important/prioritising effectively
- Letting go of long, unnecessary to do lists
- Not needing to be busy, instead being productive doing the right things
- Accepting and valuing yourself for doing less with more intention and value in what’s important
What is essential? How can you adapt a minimalist view of only keeping that which is important and brings your joy?
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” – The Little Prince
A way of simplifying our lives, stopping comparison, and living true to ourselves is to regularly unplug from the rat race of the modern, technological world. Being on social media all the time is not good for us. Being on our phones too often is not good for us. It’s distracting us from what matters: the here and now and those around us.
Actively unplug and have a routine of using your phone, iPad, laptop, TV, and social media less. Instead, engage with people around you, dance to some good music, write in a notebook, read a book, go outside, or go see your mother!
It is so important to know yourself, and yet I would argue most of us don’t. Maybe we can name what we like to eat and what we like to watch on TV. But can you name your shame triggers? Do you know 5 things that give you energy versus 5 things that drain your energy? Do you know what you fear (except spiders and tight spaces) and why?
Knowing yourself is freeing. It’s liberating. It’s not about liking everything about yourself or judging yourself or fixing yourself. Remember, perfection is NEVER the aim. But knowing some deeper things about yourself can help you cut back from harmful patterns, do things that matter, and quiet the chatter of the busy, overwhelming world around us.
- What are your values?
- Where do you gain energy?
- Where do you lose energy?
- What would you do if failure and money were no object?
- What is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?
- What is the best thing?
Know your why
As I said in previous Undoing Series posts, you can’t go about your life mindlessly doing things. Not having any idea of who you are and what you want. Yes, do things for fun or spontaneously. Those are good reasons in themselves! But don’t go eating another chocolate bar without knowing why. Don’t go breaking up with another boyfriend without knowing why. Don’t go for that job without knowing why you want it.
Be careful not to drift through your life passively going from one thing to another, having the world make decisions for you.
Making active decisions is hard. It is. It takes discipline and good decisions only feel good when people know themselves and trust themselves because they know what they want and therefore they choose those things to create the life they want. But as I said, a lot of us don’t actually deeply know ourselves or trust ourselves.
Knowing why you do what you do (honestly) is healthy and important information. Bad or good, it’s important to know why you do what you do. “I’m eating because I feel stressed” or “I broke up with him because I don’t believe I deserve good things” it’s all good information to know.
Love & care for yourself
There are ways to love yourself even when you don’t feel too good about yourself. We have basic needs that always need to be met, and yet many of us are neglecting these things in pursuit of MORE MORE MORE to impress people who don’t care about us, really. This is good food, good sleep, a safe home, and a support system.
What would really happen if you didn’t stay up until midnight working on that side hustle?
What would really happen if you didn’t skip lunch to take more calls from clients?
What would happen if you spoke about your feelings of not being good enough with your partner, close friend or sibling instead of venting on social media to strangers?
Show yourself some love by giving your body, mind and spirit what it truly needs. I beg of you.
You don’t need to give in to a world that’s telling you to do and be MORE. A world forcing you to feel like you need to compete, create, control and compare to feel worthy of living! Just live. Breathe, look after yourself, do what’s important, listen to yourself and those who matter, and just live.