I could portray a 'perfect' life. It's the social norm as of late, but I choose not to. I choose to be authentic.
There are things I could change about myself physically; My insecurities and flaws. But I choose not to.
To be authentic, or at least endeavouring to be, means accepting yourself for the organic version of yourself in all its entirety without the sharp needle of ego, injecting you with notions that you too should be everything like those girls and guys parading a pseudo-idyllic life on social media. Their minds are as confined, changeable and flippant as the very boxes in which those euphoric scenes appear. It's like a game of human tetris; you only fit in if you meet the criteria: Abs, Plastic Surgery, some kind of diet/protein product in hand, airbrushed, probably unfulfilled and chronically unhappy. Now, don't get me wrong. I do enjoy seeing what people wear, makeup and beautiful art and photography. However, I do think there is a distinct difference between content that is led by the want to share experiences, work and beauty and content that is led by ego for status, an X amount of 'Likes' and validation.
Point is, anybody could feign this 'lifestyle'. Congratulations to those who choose to embrace their oftentimes not-so-easy-reality, you've unlocked the 'Emotional Intelligence' level. Game over for players who thought they could learn the 'cheats' and get ahead. Life isn't a game, there is no winner.
I believe it take a great degree of emotional intelligence to not conform to an unrealistic lifestyle as well as being responsible with what you show on social media, especially to our impressionable youth. It's because of our youth and their naivety that we should be cautious about what we turn into 'trends' and 'normative' human behaviour. So, since there is a huge amount of irresponsibility, I only feel it's my responsibility to highlight the importance of living as real as we humans ought to, and that's with humility, control of ego and with a good conscience. Not to mention that choosing to be vulnerable and to show your true self is in fact liberating.
So back to
The components of 'Emotional Intelligence' as given by Daniel Goleman is:
If we work on cultivating these aspects that are the definition of Emotional Intelligence then we can become better humans and create a better society. And it's possible because if you become aware of your inclination to 'think' a certain way then that's you becoming aware of your thinking styles and knowing which are helpful and unhelpful. For Example, I would have the tendency to 'Catastrophize', and so my 'meta-thinking', which basically means 'thinking about your thinking' allows me to work on developing another habit of thinking. I know this isn't easy, but it's possible. It's called neuroplasticity. It's where the brain physically "shapes itself according to repeated experiences"- Daniel Goldman
This is important because it can prevent you from getting caught up in unhelpful cyclical behaviours that you may always find yourself in, but never really know why.
The more you become aware of your own thinking and feeling then the more empathetic you become towards other people. The more empathetic you become, the more compassionate and calm you become. You see? Developing your emotional intelligence equips you to be a better human. When you're more compassionate you think twice about what influence you have over others, especially our young people. You choose to do what's good for others instead of you and your ego.
You'll find that people who have been through the wars with their mental health and tragic or negative life events are often the most empathetic people who care so much for others.
Being in the mental health field both as a blogger and a professional you would think you'd find the most wholesome people, but it's is actually the opposite. Just like any other career or area there is competition. And to practice what I preach and remain authentic I'll tell you the truth; It's very frustrating.
However, whenever people do compete with me I've already outdone them from that very moment. How? Well because I don't reciprocate, because for me there is no competition. I'm in mental health because I was born with a mental health disorder and my own suffering has impassioned me to help wherever I can. Not to mention over a decade of training and experience.
To compete is to be led by ego and to need constant recognition, to support and collaborate is to be led by compassion and empathy for the people around you.
You can have self-satisfaction without seeking validation on social media. You are enough, just as you have always been enough in your most imperfect, authentic state.
Having Emotional Intelligence helps to immunise you from being absorbed by this inane culture, a culture that only survive on ego and money. If you starve it, then we become a much healthier, compassionate and authentic culture.