Do you get tired of trying to always feel awesome?
There are some days when, no matter how hard you try, you can’t even raise a smile. And how do you feel? Most likely disappointed. After all, you’ve heard stories of people who seem to conjure ‘awesomeness’ out of thin air. So why can you do it, whenever you need to?
You can’t. And here’s a little secret for you to digest: even those people who claim to feel awesome in every moment of the day, don’t. Like you, they have their ups and downs. And even the most optimistic person has to stumble some time or another.
You’ve no doubt heard of some cultures and people being the happiest, most upbeat in the world. The one nation that springs to mind is the USA. Often you’ll hear comparisons of American attitudes versus those of the rest o the world. And, in some ways, this is true.
But only for a small segment of society. If you dig a little deeper, going beyond the layers of affluence and employment you soon come to realise that, shock horror, many Americans don’t have that super upbeat view of life. Go to the edges of New York and explore the less well-off areas. Then ask the people living there how awesome they feel every day.
Be prepared for a punch on the nose, or worse.
You see, many of these people have nothing, and any suggestion that they should feel awesome 24/7/365 is an insult.
Sure, you can be grateful for all you have in life – the act of gratitude is one we all need to explore and embrace – but expecting people to be on top of the world when they live in the pits of the world is a stretch too far.
You’re wondering where this is going, right?
Nobody feels awesome all of the time. The myths of ‘feel good’: they’re a little bit of fantasy presented in a way that is designed to give you a boost. After all, if some affluent worker on the far side of the world can feel epic every day of the week, then why can’t you?
Because you’re human. Because sometimes it’s okay to feel miserable or prickly. Why should you have to conform to other people’s ideals in a productive, accepted member of society?
Let’s answer that last question first: you don’t. Now, if you want to be a productive member of society, one who attracts friends and admirers, you’re going to need to mask some of your feelings at times. After all, would you want to hang around someone who’s constantly irritable and miserable?
The other questions will be dealt with in a while.
But that mask doesn’t have to stay on forever. When you’re with friends and family you let it slip, show the real you underneath. You doubtless have someone in your life who seems to shift back and forth between many personas, easing themselves in and out of work and private life with ease.
From time to time you see them slump. Not a crash, more like something internal collapsed in a way that you noticed. They snapped at you during a conversation. Or were less than considerate for your feelings.
That’s what you call not feeling awesome. And it’s okay to be like this. Why?
Because this being human. You have tolerances, even if you’re a Stoic. You have feelings, even if you’re scarred from a life of pain. You have the right to feel upset and miserable at times, we all do.
You’re wondering where all this is going, right? In part, this post is a follow-up to one I wrote recently: if it feels right keep on going. The simple explanation is this: you live in much the same world that I do and there are many pressures and expectations placed upon you every day of the week, by friends and family, and colleagues.
From time to time it’s okay not to feel awesome. It’s okay to throw your teddy in the corner and have a few moments to catastrophise. Even the most resilient and positive people do this. If it’s okay for them to have a short meltdown, then it’s fine for you.
Your life isn’t going to fall apart. The people who love you will either look past those moments of upset and attempt to understand them. In a short space of time, you will have dealt with the issue, learned from it, and moved on.
You see, nobody always feels awesome, and neither should you. Forget what people tell you about some person down the road who is never sad, or stressed. There’s a high chance that masked behind their ‘awesomeness’ is one of many negative emotions.
Here’s the bottom line: when you feel good, then don’t be afraid to show it. And when you feel down, overloaded with work, or out of sorts, don’t be afraid to tell people.
If nothing else, hiding your true thoughts and state of mind behind a mask of positive emotions isn’t good. Not for your mental health, or for your relationships.
So, now you have permission to get out there and be grumpy for a while. Enjoy.