Today I was hit with a brief epiphany regarding the famous cliché “If you believe them when they say that you’re great, you’ll believe them when they say that you’re not”. I had been made self-aware that I had been seeking and fishing for compliments from other people as a way to validate my own talent and greatness. I’d write these blog posts and would then email the links to everyone I could. Not to share my insights and to help others, but to receive responses and compliments from the readers. I wanted to be told that I was great, because subconsciously I believed that if enough people told me that I was great then I would level-up in confidence and ability.
I was never too sure on whether or not I was a good writer. Like most people I tend to be my own worst critic. So when I would read the work of other writers, I wouldn’t be reading to critique them, I would be reading to enjoy and learn from them. But when it came time to read my own work (A task that I’ve resented up until now), the errors and flaws would jump off the screen and I would begin to question my own ability. So much so that I would cringe at the thought of having to proof read my articles/books, etc. I was too worried that I would be made aware that I wasn’t great; or that what I was reading was not good enough. So I’d do my best, and put out the first draft; hence the reason for many errors and mistakes on my earlier work. I’d just send it out and let other people tell me how good it was to help build myself to some Pseudo-Plato in which everything I created was flawless.
Social media has a way of convincing us that everything is supposed to be perfect all of the time. Sure we have the one or two people on our time lines and news feeds that make status’s about the real, but for the most part; everyone seems to be happy, and successful. So once one scrolls through a news feed, logs out, looks around them, and there life isn’t matching up to everyone else’s lives viewed through social media, they immediately feel inadequate. The like/retweet function is largely responsible. If I can write something that is highly liked by my world web friends it validates me without me having to leave my home. “Likes” have been given meaning; it’s an instant way to know whether or not you’re good enough by everyone else’s standards; and if you’ve ever had instant noodles (or hot Cheetos), you know that instant things tend to be fulfilling in the moment, but horrible in the long run.
Whenever we look at people that have be highlighted as greats by society, we always learn that their ideas and thoughts were considered to be insane by the majority of society. Meaning that if they were alive today, there status’s would have no likes and there tweets would probably have no retweets until they went out and proved how genius they actually were. If a man or woman’s thoughts are popular with everyone, I would think that’s a clear sign that they are thinking on a similar wave length to everyone. And if you’re thinking on everyone else’s wave length, you will be given what everyone else has. There’s not much brilliance in that, that’s a life filled with normalcy in actuality. It’s popular in the world wide matrix, but its average when you power down the computer.
Who would have thought that a generation that wanted to achieve greatness would be looking for the popular public opinion to validate what was great.
I had to look myself in the mirror and realize that I was already that which I was looking for other people to tell me I was. We’ve been born into a generation that uses the opinions of others to prove something to themselves. If my status wasn’t good enough on its own – good enough without likes, then how was my opinion of myself good enough without people’s reinforcement of what was already on my own mind.
I wrote this piece because today I was empowered by my own self and I want all of the readers to empower their own selves as well. I want the readers to know that you’re good enough only when YOU think you’re good enough. The seeking of approval and compliments is a game of stagnancy; because every high you get from being told you’re good will be met with a low from someone who doesn’t share your point of view. That’s the nature of the world. Everyone is not going to like you; and if no one likes you then that may be a sign that you’re onto something (or not). But no matter how great you are there are going to be people who simply just don’t believe you’re that good and you have to be okay with that. You have to know what you are so you aren’t taken by the tide of other people’s opinions.
We all have power. But the people who really have power are the people who empower themselves. They are so self-sufficient that they do what they do because they believe in it, and they grew to understand that if they believed in themselves enough that eventually other people would catch on. Perhaps you’re just ahead of your time… Let the world catch up. You’re good enough because you ‘say’ and more importantly, because you believe you are.
So before I end this, can we all agree to say “Fuck YOU” to the like button.