You take a look down the street, online, or at the grocery store and it appears that everybody has their lives together. They all have jobs, are in stable relationships, and live with loving families. Joey and Kelsey are on a trip in the Bahamas, Mark is riding an elephant in Thailand, and I am here sitting on the couch eating a tub of ice cream wondering why I don’t have my life together. If you are sitting there trying to manage life on a day to day basis, feeling like you have no idea what you are doing, you might be saying to yourself, “Am I the only one struggling?” Well the answer is no, you are not alone.
Not everybody shares the same struggles, but the one thing that we all have in common is that we do not like to publicize our struggles. Your neighbor next door Joe may appear to have a nice job, but in reality, he absolutely despises going to work every day. He is miserable, but wakes up in the morning, puts on his button-down shirt, and waves to you with a smile appearing happy as a clam. Remember last week when you saw Joe taking a walk with his spouse? They looked like such a happy couple, and you yearn to have a loving and caring relationship like Joe has with his wife. Reality is, Joe and his wife fight every night, are about to get a divorce, and their house is on the brink of foreclosure.
Now I know what you’re thinking, not everyone’s lives are on the brink of failure like our poor friend Joe. The point, however, is that while Joe appears to have a wonderful job, a loving relationship, and an amazing house, these could all be taken away in a matter of days. The truth of it all, is that Joe and his wife are probably looking at other couples and individuals wondering how they have their lives together, just as you are wondering about them.
We as humans do not like to show weakness. We do not want people to be aware of our struggles. We want people to think highly of us, and we want to be perceived by the public in a positive image, even if that means faking it. Social media has only made this issue worse. People utilize platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to display their highlight reels. So next time you are sitting on your couch scrolling through all of these amazingly happy people living their best lives, how much of it is actually real?
The vast majority of us do not have our lives together, but there sure are a lot of us who appear to. Just like you, we are all trying to figure it out as we go. Trying to compare yourself and your own struggles to someone’s perceived image that they display to the public is only setting yourself up for failure. This will lead to feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and even depression. Some people are able to recognize that everyone is fighting their own battles behind closed doors, while others are not. Everyone handles situations differently, and if you are someone who continually struggles with issues regarding image and self-worth, talking to a therapist or seeing a psychiatrist could be beneficial for you.
Developing coping mechanisms and gaining a broader understanding of why you are feeling a certain way can help release you from your own demise. Because in the end, it is not the appearance of everyone else that is bringing your mood down, it is your skewed perception that everyone else has it together while you do not that is bringing you down. Opening your mind and realizing that you are not alone, and that other people are struggling too, can free you from this self-destructive mindset.
Call us at (714) 545-5550. We’d love to help!