What to do when you feel "less than"
Aimee Song recently confessed in a video that she feels sad, alone, and unfulfilled despite her unbelievably glamorous life. Yes, that Aimee Song with 4.6 million Instagram followers and hundreds of thousands worth of sponsorship deals in her stylish purse. That Aimee Song who probably barely pays for anything anymore, and who shot that video in a luxurious hotel room in Paris while being paid to be front row at Fashion Week. She has, at least through the glossy window of social media, the best life anybody could ask for. But she's not happy.
I empathize with her and I hope that gets the help she needs from her friends, family, and perhaps even professionals if that's what it takes. I know quite a few women in my circle who are currently dealing with the same thing. They have everything, but they feel like they're at a dead end. This insidious feeling of being "less than" is amplified by our social media habits. It seems difficult, even impossible, to escape.
I admit I feel it sometimes, when I look at the Instagram of those who started out later than I did but are now much more successful than I am. I like to think of myself as a fairly confident person but this envy can be exhausting; it literally sucks out my self-esteem, if I let it.
Whenever the feeling of "less than" wells up, I just remind myself that I have paved my own path and worked hard for a different future. I will always find a way to compare myself to others but it's important to see that we're really not the same. Each of us has different skills, resources, and natural attributes; I've done what I can with what I have and what I acquire along the way. So she's doing better than I am. But we're not necessarily doing the same thing, nor even doing things with the same pace.
It's also important for me to visualize what I will be working towards during, say, the next five years. I remind myself that I do this for me and the people I care about. I don't do it for an audience, nor to shove it in front of other people's faces. I do what I do because I love it. It's not always easy or fun and some days I am just too tired to stop working (does that happen to you?), but I love it because I love what I see past the horizon.
If you can have that - a healthy, honest sense of self and a vision of the life you want - then you can avoid feeling "less than". You'll just feel like yourself, and see with clear eyes the beauty and potential you have within you.