Check out Erin’s column in the May edition of the Smart Girls Group magazine!
Dear Smart Girl,
I know how you feel at times. Like you will never be thin enough, smart enough, or funny enough. Like you will never meet the man/woman of your dreams. Like you aren’t reaching your goals fast enough. Like there are a million people living this thing called life better than you.
You’re not alone. We live in a world of “not enough,” that breads insecurity and leaves us feeling unsatisfied. Think about the first thought you had this morning. For many of us it was probably that we didn’t get enough sleep. We get dressed and feel like we have nothing to wear. As we scroll through Instagram and compare our behind the scenes to the highlight reels of our friends our “NOT ENOUGH” voice screams louder than ever. It’s exhausting; a never-ending cycle that will continue unless you make a concerted effort to change it.
We only get one chance at life, one opportunity to shine. A moment to stand on stage and share our unique gifts with the world, and yet, so many of us spend that time worrying about how we compare to the person standing beside us. We’ve forgotten to appreciate, celebrate, and acknowledge all the things that we have within ourselves.
Please stop trying to meet someone else’s standards. Living your life in the pursuit of perfection is a surefire way to end up very unhappy. I can attest to that from personal experience. Have the confidence to pick a category in life and fail miserably at it. Let it go. Proudly accept defeat. Focus all of that energy into something more valuable than perfection – building on and refining your unique talents.
If you excel at critical thinking or have an in-depth understanding of politics, focus on that. If you can write or are passionate about caring for others, spend time doing that. Find something that you love doing or that you can’t stop thinking about and block time off in your schedule for it immediately. Trust that good things will come from it. We all have these little sparks of passion within us. With a little love and attention your spark can turn into a roaring fire that will allow you to shine brighter than you ever could have imagined.