Guest Blog: Asha K
In a season of excessive consumerism, whether it be food, money, tech, clothing, etc, it’s easy to never be fully satisfied with ourselves. We are bombarded with so many images and marketing strategies telling us we need this or need to be like that.
I don’t know about you, but I vow every festive season to be different- to be a better steward of my money and time. But alas, doesn’t always happen that way. And yet, even when I do indulge in those cravings, I am left wanting more.
It got me thinking about why I feel this way and what I can do about it. First, I’ll tackle the “why:”
I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others. Constantly. I always look at other women, whether they are on TV, on the Internet, in a magazine, heck even at the mall, and think, “I want what she’s got!” Then I get mad and mentally beat myself up for not having what she does, and it progresses to being upset for not looking like her.
It’s such an ugly epidemic. Yes, I say epidemic because I know I am not alone in this destructive thought process.
At what age do we learn to feel dissatisfied as women about who we are and what we have? Is it in high school when we start poring over the pages of Cleo and Cosmo (not aware that all those images are airbrushed and photoshopped) and instantly feel like a failure for looking nothing like those women?
Or is it even earlier than that when we start watching television, seeing the beautiful women swan around in their handpicked designer outfits thinking they are the ultimate ‘beauty’ benchmark?
Growing up as a young woman who always aspired to work in entertainment, I honestly believe that made it worse. I thought: to be a successful actress I had to look like Nicole Kidman (I am Indian, of average height and posses not a physical iota of similarity to Ms. Kidman). I convinced myself that to be a pop star I had to have the qualities of Britney Spears or Xtina. Little did I realize at the time, a pop star is manufactured and manipulated into an unrealistic standard- even they can’t keep up with it.
By the time I finished university and started working in television as a Host, I felt like I found more of my “fit” as I could be myself and not have to pretend. I have been lucky enough to be working in this medium for 9 years and never have been told to lose weight or alter myself in any manner.
However, for every “no” I got in auditions, I didn’t realize how personally I took it. My ‘secret insecure self’ grabbed a hold of the little negativities and stored them away, eventually building up to a huge mountain of insecurities that I am determined to be done with once and for all before heading into the next decade.
As I near the 30-year mark, this needs to change. It must or I will never be able to truly live a fulfilled and happy life.
So onto the second part, what can I (we) do about this epidemic?
It starts with loving yourself. When your self esteem and image of yourself has swung so far to the other extreme, you need to pull that pendulum back and be excessive about self love and belief. A talent manager once told me, if you don’t believe in yourself then why should anyone else? This applies to all areas of life.
Put your hand over your heart, feel it beating and recognize you are alive and here for a reason. Make it your duty to find out that reason. Stay on your path. Do not look to the left or the right and focus on your goals, dreams and visions.
Being content with what you have is something of great value. Like Sheryl Crow sings in ‘Soak Up The Sun:’ “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you got”.
Look at all the blessings you have in life, and each day vow to give thanks for at least one thing- whether it be your health, your best friend, your job, your car, cash in your wallet, or even a last minute mani/pedi!
Enough of wanting what she’s got! You have everything you need and could want for now, so live in the moment. The next moment, and the next day will take care of itself.
Wake up every day saying “I already have what I want” then kick off those covers and go attack the day with all the beauty, grace, strength and individuality you possess.