Back to Roots: Expectations and Insecurities
Updated: Apr 17, 2020
Welcome to Back to Roots ! A series of blog posts made by myself (Abbi) and Chlo to express our thoughts mainly surrounding mental health. I know we're not some kind of mental health campaigners, as much as we would like to have that impact on someone. But even if one person reads this blog post and thinks 'someone else is going/has been through what I'm going through' that's what matters to us. I think the most important thing to recognise whilst reading these blog posts is that although our experiences may differ to your own - or someone's you may know - you are not alone, there is someone else going through the exact same thing and together you may just be able to help each other out. Well, that's what we're hoping for anyway! We understand that some of these topics may still be a bit taboo, as much as we like to think that we can openly talk about them in conversation, some just don't want to have that conversation. But we hope that some of the posts can inspire the conversation, whether that's with a friend, family member, therapist or even us (we don't bite)!
I feel when people talk about mental health we all jump to the depression or anxiety chat and we miss out the simple conversation about insecurities. We all have them. Whether that's surrounding your career, relationships, friendships, home life or all of the above. We all suffer and have let them get to us at certain points. The trouble is with insecurities is that they can either make or break us! You can work your ass off to make sure these insecurities don't become a reality OR you can let them chip away at you and the exact thing you were dreading soon becomes a poignant problem in your life.
I think with the expectation’s society puts on all of us nowadays, it is so often we force the pressure on ourselves to fulfil these. Even if it something we’re not that fussed about meeting. It’s like a contract, and you feel like the only way you'll ever feel gratification, satisfaction or worthiness is if you leave your signature on the dotted line. Since I can remember, majority of my decisions were based around what other people would think and how they would judge me. Not to do with my happiness or how I would look at myself. Society has got this way of making us feel like everybody but ourselves has control of our lives and I think that’s pretty messed up.
We all get insecurities, regardless of your age, gender, intellect, beauty, skills etc. At one point we all feel that a part of ourselves is letting the rest of us down. When I was younger up until now, it’s this desire to fit into how ‘pretty’ society thinks we should be, wanting to feel good enough for that person you’ve got your eye on but being afraid because you don’t look like a Love Island star, or you don’t have an arse like the Kardashians, that they wont be interested. Because apparently, now it seems like compliments on your body matter more than compliments on your generosity. It’s sickening to see so many young people being brought up on this focus, some people spend longer at night making sure their hair extensions don’t frizz rather than their heads in a book or mastering a new skill. Where are the days when you were 15 you were actually 15, not 25. Not expected to look like you were fresh off the cat walk but instead a young person. There was no pressure to put on makeup, to have long nails, to have the darkest tan or the best styled hair. At what point do we all lose our identity to this weight we carry on our shoulder as a result of societal expectations. Because let’s be honest, looks fade. One day we’ll all be grey, wrinkly and pale and it won’t matter that you got 300 likes on your Instagram post when you were 15, because it’ll be about what you have filled your life with since then.
I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t get trapped in this idea that meeting other people’s expectations will satisfy you. Before that, meet your own! Appearance is just one example of what society pressures us on, but what about the rest? The cars, your bank balance, the 6 bedroom house in LA, the honeymoon around the world with the love of your life. It’s all well and good dreaming of these things, but how do they fit your reality. At the end of the day, we’re not all social media influencers who get to travel the world for free, get paid for every photo we post and has a room for a wardrobe. Some of us have a 9-5 job, work 2 jobs, are single parents, are carers, are still studying. But yet in amidst of all that, you’re meant to be fulfilling this so called ‘reality’. How about make your own reality. Replace the Range Rover with a train ticket, find yourself a cabin in the middle of a forest, take your friend, your mum, your partner, anyone! Switch off your phone, switch off the expectations and make the most amazing memories. Make your reality true to who you are and fulfilling!
My personal experience with social media came to an all time low last year, when I realised I had all of these people on Facebook and Instagram but the majority we're not putting anything into my life. I'd scroll for hours and hours through both feeds and I would log off feeling like pure shit. I didn't understand why for a while, as people were posting about their successes, posting photos of their holidays or their bodies or in couples (generic positive posts) but not one of those things I felt I had. So, one day I deleted my Instagram altogether. Made a new account, followed close friends and family and deleted everyone I didn't want off my Facebook. I didn't follow models, social media influencers or even brand pages for a long time. Until I realised that it didn't matter that I'm not a size 6 or a model (granted I'm not unhappy with my weight), but seeing the figures on these models certainly made me look at myself differently. If I looked like one of these models, I'd then probably want to look like someone else, because it seems we've been accustomed to never be happy with what we've already got. Now my social media pages are filled with positivity. I've followed a page with inspirational quotes to be a boss bitch (@womenontopp) , which I absolutely love! I look at model pages differently, instead of wishing I looked like them I embrace their beauty but accept I won't look like them and I'm happy in my own skin. I don't care whether my photos get 5 or 500 likes, I upload them because I like them and I want them on my page. Don't get me wrong, there are days I see stunning women on my explore page and for a brief second I feel a bit shit, but I think we're all guilty of that and I never let it get to me that much. Acceptance is key and when you begin to accept, you soar through life because you're comfortable with who you are and refuse to let other people affect you.
Essentially, what I'm trying to say is - You don't have to fit in and that it's okay to feel out of the loop at times because no one is ever really in it. Be brave enough to delete that social media account you hate so much, pick yourself up and make your own reality.
Love Ab x