Updated: Oct 6
From our earliest memories, societal norms and expectations subtly shape our understanding of ourselves. The media inundates us with depictions of ideal lives and bodies: TV commercials, films, glamorous photos of vacations, and even something as benign as color-coded childhood preferences, like blue for boys and pink for girls. These subtle, and sometimes not so subtle nudges can steer individuals away from their authentic selves, pressuring them to conform to certain standards.
Theodore Roosevelt said "Comparison is the thief of joy." This quote could not be more accurate. If you were the only person to ever exist in this world with no one before you or after you, there would be no such thing as self-defeating beliefs. We were not born with these beliefs they are instead learned ways of thinking that we have inherited over the years of our lives based off comparisons of others and society standards. Consider the seemingly harmless act of browsing social media platforms. The subconscious act of comparing one's life to another's can evoke feelings of inadequacy. Feeling insufficient as a parent because one cannot afford lavish gifts for their children can be a consequence of this. It's crucial to realize that intrinsic values and morals far outweigh material possessions.
Our individuality is our strength. We all have infinite value, there will never be another you and there has never been one in the past. Embrace that individuality. Understand that you don't ever have to be a super model to be beautiful, and your ability to be a mother or father is not determined by the price tags on your gifts. If you are a boy and like the color pink, then love that part of yourself. If a man feels the urge to cry, he should embrace his emotions. Cherish your quirks and idiosyncrasies. Rather than bending to fit someone else's mold, remain true to yourself. By doing so, not only will you cultivate love and acceptance for yourself, but you'll also extend the same genuine love and acceptance to others.