In a world where we’re all encouraged to be the best version of you, love ourselves, tell ourselves we can be anything we want and that we’re always good enough regardless of whether it’s true, it’s difficult to recognise the truth.
Sometimes we’re not where we need or want to be.
This fake-positivity has come, like a lot of things, from a good place. It’s meant to raise people up when they’re down, to make people feel good about themselves and to combat the kind of feelings that can, over time, lead to depression.
The trouble is, telling everyone that effort doesn’t matter, that achievement is irrelevant, and that you can be happy just by deciding that where you are now will ‘do’, harms more people than it helps.
You don’t need to be harsh on yourself. But, like being too overly-critical of yourself, being too accepting of things you want to change doesn’t help either.
Giving everyone a medal for winning doesn’t make the losers feel better; it makes them feel self-conscious.
It makes the actual winners wonder why they bothered.
It brings everyone down to a level that no-one is happy with.
Telling everyone that the athlete who worked their body to the bone to look or perform the way they do that it doesn’t matter, because the guy who came last is just as talented in his own way, helps no-one. It kills ambition, and deep down, everyone knows it’s not true anyway.
It’s OK to want to excel. It’s OK to want to be better, to improve vastly from where you are.
Whether you want to get stronger or lose weight, or just feel better, it’s really OK to decide that where you currently are isn’t good enough.
You don’t need to “love yourself as you are” – what if you DON’T love how you currently are? Maybe being told to accept yourself as you are, when you’re clearly not happy, is the worst thing you could do?
The message is clear: only accept yourself and your current condition if it matches what you ACTUALLY want, rather than what some online guru wants you to accept.
Just like self-hatred is a terrible thing, so is too much self-acceptance.
Don’t be afraid of wanting to excel – even if that’s increasingly seen as something terrible these days.