We all love to present this image of ourselves as having everything together. We carefully curate photos on Instagram and we only share our exciting news. While it’s great to feel like we have it all, this false pretense really takes a toll on our psyche. It affects our perception and therefore, our expectations of how life should be.
I recently turned a year older and the scary realization that my life is flying me by is straight up terrifying. I’ve always been on a straight and narrow path towards some landmark or another. That is until I graduated college. Now, it’s all up to me and I feel like I’ve suddenly been thrown into an ocean full of sharks with absolutely no idea how to swim.
Well, I better learn to swim fast and this year was basically a crash course on how.
And a huge part of my growth has been through embracing my inner fangirl. Through this self-reflection, I’ve noticed that I’m my worst enemy and I keep holding myself back. I must have been subconsciously aware but never really wanted to admit it. But the first step towards change is identifying the problem. Being a fangirl has made it easier for me to notice what needs to change so that I stop holding myself back. What about you? Are you holding yourself back? Here are five ways that I’ve been holding myself back. Can you relate?
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IGNORING YOUR FEELINGS
I don’t know what it is or how this practice even came to be but it feels like, as a whole, the human race somehow learned that ignoring one’s feelings is an act of strength. From young, we’re taught that crying is a sign of weakness, that feelings are bad and should be repressed.
But by ignoring our feelings, we ignore ourselves. We ignore who we are and if we do that, we limit ourselves. Because, how do we know how far we can go if we don’t challenge ourselves? Our feelings are fantastic indicators of what we want and, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong but, we often work a lot harder at something when it’s important to us. We’re more passionate and we’re more innovative and creative in making things work.
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SETTING UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
This is a really bad habit of mine. I’m the kind of person who beats myself up for not being able to run five miles under half an hour even though that was my first time running five miles. This mentality really does a number on me because it makes me feel worse than I actually am. Sometimes it leaves me wanting to just throw in the towel. Because why spend the time and effort if it’s just going to come crashing down? Better spend that energy on ‘more important things’, right?
I never realized just how limiting this belief is but we often don’t even give ourselves a fighting chance after we ‘fail’ the first time. So how does this relate to fandom? The impacts from fandoms in our lives usually happen in hindsight because we very rarely realize how much we’ve been changed by our passions until we take a step back.
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For example, I grew up listening to ’emo’ music. [It’s still my favorite type of music and now I know why] It keeps me grounded. But when I was younger, I desperately clung to it. It’s not until no, a decade later, that I know why.
stopped stops me from setting unrealistic expectations on myself and reminds me that I can’t keep comparing my rough draft to someone’s highlight reel. It’s not fair to me when I do.
COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
We’re all guilty of this. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t compare themselves to their friends, family, and even strangers. It’s hard not to feel like you’re not ‘where you’re supposed to be’ with social media. But remember, everyone’s on their own journey,
So just because you’re not ‘married, rich, and traveling the world at age 25’ doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
Especially a fangirl, it can be hard to avoid comparing yourself to your role models and those that you stan. Especially when they are younger or around your age.
But the great thing about fangirling is that it also leaves you feeling inspired. Especially when your role models open up about their own struggles, it reminds us that “oh, they’re human too and they struggle just like me”. That just because life is tough doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep going.
ACCEPTING YOUR SITUATION AS FATED
This is one of my biggest pet peeve and one that I am guilty of doing. I always have to check myself. But I know first hand how fast this belief will send you straight down the rabbit hole of despair and depression. It’s a tough one to crawl out of and is one of the biggest reason people end up stuck in an endless loop.
*I love using Headspace to help me get out of this negative mindset and get back on track.
It’s difficult to acknowledge that you are responsible for why your life is the way it is. So instead, people throw blame to the universe. But accepting that it’s God’s plan or that it’s what the universe wants is deadly. It gives you an excuse to stop fighting. And when you stop fighting, you’ve chained yourself to an imaginary wall. Because if you don’t believe that change is possible, how can you even begin to try and change things? What’s the point?
Things won’t change anyway. With this mentality, all possible doors of opportunity close and you wind up sitting in a pile of wasted opportunity.
BECOMING COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR CURRENT SITUATION
But Shannon, what do you mean? You can’t possibly be implying that I like feeling stuck and in pain.
Oh but that’s exactly what I’m saying. Human beings are creatures of habit. Even with the despair and pain, it can become a place of comfort. This last point kind of ties in with the previous one as once you become comfortable, it’s easier to accept your current situation rather than believing that things can change. That you can change it. You stop trying.
*try something new everyday with this really fun 1 Second Everyday: Video Diary
This is where fandom comes in. Fandom doesn’t allow you to grow complacent. If needed, it will give you a kick in the rear to knock you out of your negative headspace. Sure, the truth hurts. But also, seeing characters fight for what they believe in is strangely inspirational. Even though they may be imaginary, the fight they fight isn’t any less real.
I don’t believe in fate. I believe in the butterfly effect and that one tiny decision can have consequences. But believing that things are already written from the moment you’re born? I’m sorry, I just don’t buy that. Sure, life deals out pretty shitty hands that sometimes leave you wondering how this could happen, but if I learned one thing since joining the Supernatural fandom and embracing my inner fangirl is this…
Change is difficult. And when you’ve been raised to believe a certain way, it can be tough to completely go against it and say “no more”. But sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do it. It sounds cliche but “if you can’t stop thinking about it, you should do it”. I’ve always been into fandom but have never fully delved into it because I’ve been raised to believe that it was stupid and dumb. But embracing my inner fangirl has really opened up a whole new world. I don’t regret this decision and it’s not something I’m ashamed of anymore. I hope this post resonates with you and let me know if you can relate.
Also, this blog is all about you guys as much as it is about me so please let me know if you have specific topics you want me to discuss. I live for your feedback.
Don’t question my love for all things Supernatural and Simple Plan!! I’m proud to be a fangirl. I hope to inspire discovery and passion through these fandoms and to showcase the magical power that comes with being a fangirl.