Over the years, social media has become a platform for people to showcase their achievements, engagements and important milestones such as becoming parents. If you frequent the streets of social media often, you are constantly bombarded with people’s highlight reels and you either celebrate with them or withdraw into a shell of misery, wondering why your life isn’t progressing. With all these #Goals, it is very tempting to base your efforts on someone else’s accomplishments. While it is certainly great to be inspired by other people, you need to be careful that you don’t use others’ achievements as a reason to berate yourself—learn to slay in your own lane and applaud yourself for your daily victories.

 

The problem with #Goals

The #Goals trend has been gaining momentum over the past 4 years as people continue to curate and exhibit the most glorious and shimmering parts of their lives. The caption and comments sections of these posts are peppered with hashtags such as #RelationshipGoals, #CareerGoals, #SquadGoals and #BodyGoals. We are a generation that admires all that glitters and the more time we spend drooling over these #Goals, the more we start to question the quality of our relationships, careers and lives in general.

 

 

We are a generation that is under pressure to succeed at rates that are barely possible. We put pressure on ourselves based on people’s highlight reels; we start to feel as though we aren’t doing enough and that our progress is slower than it should be. Not only do we put pressure on ourselves but we also put pressure on others by placing them on the #Goals pedestal; the moment they fail or take a pause, our attitude towards them changes very quickly and we start to doubt whether they were worthy of our veneration in the first place.

As noted by writer Alex Bach, “the pressure of #Goals means that you feel like you should want to do this stuff and if you don’t then your relationship is substandard…The bottom line is: if your life isn’t matching the ‘goals’ Instagram is telling you it should don’t worry because no one’s life is ‘goals’ all the time…”

#Goals is also problematic in that it distracts you from what you have—it has a way of averting your attention from the beauty that exists in your own life and leads to feelings of discontentment. We need to make a habit of pausing and reflecting on what we have and how far we have come; when we do this, we start to realise that we have much to be grateful for and proud of.

 

It is unhealthy to base the quality of your life on the lives of others

 

 

You Are Enough. You Are Doing Enough. You Have Enough.

Social media standards can be damaging to a person’s self-esteem and quality of life. Many of us feel as though we are falling behind; you feel like you aren’t doing enough and that you don’t have enough. We look at people’s Instagram profiles and lament the fact that we don’t have enough money or friends, and that we aren’t travelling enough. The truth of the matter is this: there will always be people who have more resources than you and greater access to certain luxuries—this doesn’t mean that your life isn’t worth celebrating, it just means that you have to find glory in the little things and understand that your life is what you make of it. It is unhealthy to base the quality of your life on the lives of others; we are all on different journeys, doing the best that we can with the resources that we have.

As writer Melanie Curtin suggests, “maybe it's time we calm down, slow down, and take a collective breath. We don't have to do it all at once, and beating ourselves up for not having done enough isn't just bad for us, it's bad for everyone.”

 

Slay In Your Lane

An important step in pursuing a life of continuous personal growth is redefining success for yourself and creating a personal narrative that takes into consideration your values, desires, ambitions and everything you have overcome to be where you are today. Focus on your own goals and the path you want your life to take—you may not be getting 100k likes but your life is still glorious and worthy of applauding; you are here, breathing and striving towards being the best you can be. There is a race but it is not against time or anyone else; the race is against yourself and you determine the pace.