There’s something very familiar about that sinking, heavy feeling that results from reading a Facebook post, an email or a text from someone you know who’s life appears fun, perfect almost.
Recognise this? Feel like your life is unfulfilled and lagging behind your school chum or work colleague who has a career to die for? Your friends are out shopping in Marylebone High Street or London cocktail bars? Of course we have. We, because I’m like you. Frustrated, angry almost. But are things as they seem?
None of us wish our friends and colleagues who appear to be ‘doing better’ any ill-will but we have to ask ourselves, what’s that about and how can I use it?
What I mean is, why does that email or FB post trigger this response?
I believe the explanation is two-fold: there’s a good sprinkling of social proof exaggeration going on: we are primed to be successful in order to be accepted in our social circles, meaning if we don’t come across as successful or settling for a life of mediocrity, then we’re not ‘worth’ knowing.
So while our friends may well be popular, succeeding at work whatever that means, it’s ultimately our response to seeing these posts that controls our response and ultimately, emotions.
You have control, whether you believe it or not, to choose how you respond. How to feel when you hear of other’s successes and fuller, busier lives. It’s called your inner locus of control or ILOC. We cannot control much of our external environment despite what we believe and we often develop negative feelings as a consequence of the loss of external locus of control or ELOC.
The truth is we never had control of our environment. The world is in chaos and expecting to travel through life in the hope the world will open its arms and ‘bring us to the table’ is a hopeless one. Choose to believe you are ‘enough’, that you are worthy and your talents and identity are wanted.
Value yourself, I guess, love yourself. You’ll surprise yourself how popular you become. You’re worth it 😉