I wanted to talk about how we let our preoccupation with other people get in the way of what we can achieve. I started thinking about this when I was driving, there was an ambulance at the side of the road, and everyone was stopping for a second to have a look at what was going on. This then causes that ‘Snake Effect’, where all the cars that are behind them have to stop for that second as well which then just leads on and on, everyone wasting those few seconds to look into someone else’s life. You hear it all the time on the radio, when there’s been a car accident, and it all gets cleared up, but the traffic is still awful because everyone has been slowing down just to have a look.
Everyone does it. I am a culprit of this as well, and of wasting so much time at work getting distracted from what I should and could be doing, because I scroll Instagram. I’m not even interested, or even curious anymore, it’s just a strange compulsion to look at what other people are doing – looking at people on beaches and having brunch, which just makes me annoyed because I’m at work. So much time is just lost because I am preoccupied with what other people are doing with their time.
It’s the same when I learn something new – I don’t want to do it until I know I can do it right, so I look for ages at how other people do it, rather than just trusting myself, or just giving it a try, and not caring if I get it wrong. I wonder how much more we could achieve if we just concentrated on ourselves. I know a lot of people sell that idea at the moment, but in all honesty it is hard not to think about what other people are doing, because what if you’re doing something wrong – something ‘different’ from everyone else? It’s the same in blogging, so many of us are so scared of doing something different (not everyone – some people are killing it) but a lot of people just want to do what other people are doing. They spend all their time looking at what other people are doing and buying their ‘tips’ they sell about the trade – how to take flatlays, how to take perfect outfit pictures, how to gain followers. How to do it all how everyone else is doing it because that’s obviously what works, even if you don’t like it, when we could just concentrate on what we ourselves are doing without examining other people. If you like different backgrounds that aren’t white and pictures that don’t quite match a theme and don’t quite line up, and you don’t want to write about popular things – you should just do you! People are going to like it, or they’re not, but they’ll always be people that do, and as long as you’re proud of it, that is what is important.
One of my favourite people on Instagram is Paige, – her Instagram feed is absolutely amazing, and in my opinion it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. Her personality and her vibrance leak into every picture she takes and it’s just flawless. Hannah Gale is another obvious one – they do both do amazing outfit shots, but each are completely unique, and their personalities just shine through. Hannah has also been sharing her experience of becoming a new mother, and that is something else that I think we spend too much time worrying about what other people do and what other people say. Equally, other people spend too much time preoccupied with how people they don’t know are raising their children and give unsolicited and often unhelpful advice. Maybe it’s well-meaning, but not always helpful – sometimes we want space to do things our own way.
In all honesty, I’m going to get home and I’m going to waste at least 20 minutes scrolling Instagram. That’s time that I could spend typing this up, spending time with people, or going for a walk, doing exercise, the list goes on. I want to be a supportive blogger and like their pictures, and that’s where the conflict of interest comes into it. We, as a society, have got too into focusing on other people when it doesn’t matter – people have done stuff better than you, and you will do stuff better than other people. We are all ourselves.
I spend so long worrying about if I’m wearing what other people think is cool, or what other people would wear, or what a blogger I admire would wear it is not possible to wear something wrong. I struggle a lot with all of this because I don’t know what I want to do, or be, I’m just spending time looking at other people and ‘wishing’ – wishing that I got paid to travel or wishing I could have things like someone else. But do I actually want these things, or is it just because other people have it? Is the stuff we want actually what we want, or just what we have been conditioned to want? That’s how adverts are designed now – around people we admire on social media, people that we feel an inch away from being able to be just like them, and the product being advertised will help us get there. There we are again, designing our lives around other people. I want to start buying things because I know that I like it, not worry about whether someone else wears it, or what anyone else thinks.
At the end of the day I am who I am, and it shouldn’t matter that I don’t have it all figured out. Here I am writing another pep talk – do people even like pep talks? Look, right there, without even thinking about it, I’m worrying about what other people think about what I’m creating. When it doesn’t matter. If I create something that I’m proud of then that’s all that matters.
What I’m wearing:
Top: Topshop (old) (similar)
Shoes: Primark (similar)
Also I have previously written about a problem with people if you wanted to check that out too.