I’m tired of losing people I know to suicide.
I’m tired of hearing about friends that have contemplated it.
I’m tired of hearing about friends losing their loved ones to it.
I’m tired of being surrounded by people that just can’t seem to feel valued.
I’m tired of substance abuse being where people feel the most sense of belonging.
My news feed is inundated with people struggling.
Mental health issues have become so common now, we’ve almost soared past them being stigmatized. It’s all just so relatable that we comment laughing emojis on humorized memes about depression and anxiety.
I’m sick of people mistaking the dopamine rush of inconsistency as love.
I’m exhausted watching people that have so much to offer the world desperately trying to escape from it.
I think it stems from a new generation of motivational speakers that have turned “fake it until you make it”, “just act like this to make them think you’re this”, and “do whatever makes you happy” into the keys of confidence, success, and happiness in dating, business and life.
I think we need an “anti-motivational speech” motivational speech because it’s weird to me that the current state of motivational speaking is all about “only you are responsible for your happiness” when genuine social psychology suggests that humans have a fundamental desire to belong.
“Do whatever makes you happy.”
“Remove all negativity from your life.”
“Just stop worrying about your reputation.”
“Don’t give a fuck what other people think.”
“Everyone can hate you, but as long as you’re happy that’s all that matters.”
“Do whatever you feel is right.”
It’s all just absolute bullshit.
Doing what’s right doesn’t always feel happy, because integrity isn’t exciting.
You’re not becoming a better person by simply removing anyone from your life that challenges you, because there’s value in contention.
An absolute zero regard for what other people think is a thin line between zero accountability for our actions.
If you feel like everyone hates you and yet you somehow still feel happy, you should really question what the fuck you’re doing to everyone around you that leaves them in disgust.
And you know what, maybe we aren’t solely our best moral compass all the time.
You might say “but, but, but…”, but the reality is the current state of motivational speaking has created a contradiction in society.
We sell people on the idea that love comes strictly and entirely from within and requires absolutely putting yourself above everyone else.
Meanwhile, that “fuck everyone but me” mindset is at complete odds with the importance of people feeling like they belong – like other people care about them.
That means people giving a shit about each other, being less self-absorbed, is what actually provides a greater foundation for more people developing a perception of feeling loveable – feeling like they belong somewhere.
Instead, we’ve gaslit people who find themselves absolutely and utterly forever alone in feeling like there’s something even more wrong with them because they can’t just dig deep within and love themselves while society treats them as outcasts.
That doesn’t mean our entire perspective of ourselves should rest on the opinions of others, but unfortunately the people that need to hear those words the most to set better boundaries so often end up being the people screwed over by those who twist motivational memes like “I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my actions” as shitty justification for doing shitty things.
If you go through your life without ever having an explanation to others for your actions, perhaps there’s a good chance you don’t have a logical explanation because it would require ignoring a typical moral compass.
Do you really think the kids whose claim to fame is building an ecommerce website and using their motivational speeches as convenient lead generation for selling $500 affiliate marketing courses are really concerned about that moral compass?
What makes some kid with a lime green Lamborghini the poster child for self-love and confidence over some average guy with a Ford?
Absolutely nothing, unless materialism is also a basis for confidence and happiness. All they really have is an audience desperately looking for correlation in causation because what they’re doing isn’t working for them.
It isn’t working for them because we’ve already strayed far from giving a shit about each other as a society. We’re simultaneously telling people that we need to reject anyone from our lives that don’t fit into a certain box we’re aiming for and that if those people feel alone because they don’t feel like they fit into anyone’s box that that’s on them.
How does a person who continually feels like they have no box to belong in find it upon themselves to be worthy of being placed in a box by simply saying positive things into a mirror?
That’s how we end up with people feeling like the only box they belong in is in the ground.
We tell them that they just need to look in the mirror and say “I’m smart”, “I’m beautiful”, “I’m capable”, and “I’m valuable” to find that happiness from within and completely ignore the concept that our fundamental sense of belonging suggests that all of those things are often validated through connecting with other people.
That’s quite the catch-22.
We have to stop telling people who have gone through their entire lives being treated unlovingly and without a sense of belonging that in order to “find love, they must first find it within themselves”.
Even people who hate themselves, who hate coming home every single night and feeling exhausted from having no one, are still worthy of finding a connection, being treated with respect, and being invited into a social circle because it is within that connection and feeling of belonging we can spark self-love within them.
This idea that self-love comes first before you can really find a place to belong has merely exacerbated the “fake it until you make it” mindset. It’s become an entire strategy in motivational speaking.
That might work for some things, but not for happiness.
All it does is create filters on everything and you want to know when people are often truly at their worst? It’s when they’re trying so damn hard to make it seem like everything is perfectly fine.
That’s why you never stop hyping people up!
Yet so often, we see someone appearing to do fine, we click a like button, think to ourselves “glad they’re doing okay” and then scroll while that person is sitting there alone wondering why all of the people that promised to reach out at their lowest never continue to do so when things improve.
And we might say, “well, they can reach out first, too”, but that’s just the mindset we’ve created as a society that others should reach up for our pedestal and meet us where we are instead of us reaching down to pull them up.
It’s imperative to continue checking in and showing love well after people have cried out for help.
Even when everything looks peachy fine, it’s not.
They’re just conditioned to believe that their desire to belong is only fulfilled when they share an illusion of doing something great or express the raw emotion and vulnerability of being at rock bottom so everyone around them will rush up with condolences that stroke their own ego only to disappear once the drama has settled.
The current state of inspirational speaking says that’s okay because you should only surround yourself by those you aim to be like, to only have a network of positivity and that anyone else is just a drag on your emotions.
“Well, I can’t have those people in my life anymore because they’re all just alcoholics and I want to do great things in life.” The reality is the further we push those people away because they supposedly drag us down, the more likely they are to feel a greater connection to their substance of choice.
So we all end up grinding silently while simultaneously waiting at everyone else’s finish line in an effort to broaden our network of people who have “made it”. We end up pushing people away who are desperately in need of a support network we’re capable of providing in an attempt to be a part of someone else’s network of success. Unfortunately, we’re completely oblivious that that success is often merely an illusion that fogs just as horrible of vices as those we cast away.
I think its time we stop with the bullshit of “every man for himself” because we’ve gone from “treat everyone how you want to be treated” to “just be kind” to “fuck everyone but me” to the “art of not giving a fuck at all”.
We’ve created is a society that’s so self-absorbed we’re literally only there for each other when someone’s pleading for help so we can be the hero or they’ve reached a point where they now offer us something from a perceived place of status.
It’s like people only really matter when they’re at rock bottom or have a million followers. You either find yourself so isolated you slip back to crying for help in order to feel a connection or you somehow crawl forward until you finally do that one big thing that puts you on the map.
That gray area in between where you’re just grinding alone is ridiculously challenging. The little successes go unnoticed and you feel absolutely alone.
So check in on your friends in that grey area, because they might succeed without your support or they might just be approaching a point where they’re fighting for their life with a bottle of pills in hand.
I think it’s time we change the trend of motivational speaking.
I think it’s time we rewind away from the absoluteness of “it starts with putting yourself first”.
What if actually starts with putting others first?
What if as much as these “gurus” might suggest otherwise, our desire to belong plays a bigger role in being able to look in the mirror and like what we see than just “focusing entirely on ourselves”?
What if everyone going around and saying “I did this for me” is just masking the reality that ultimately they did it to find belonging with others. Anyone out there attempting to prove they’re unique from feeling that way is likely full of shit based purely on their need to publically express proof of it.
No one is more insecure than the person constantly trying to reassure themselves and everyone around them that they’re not.
That’s why I think it’s time to switch the approach of motivational speaking.
It’s time that we start proclaiming that key to happiness is not removing people from our lives, but making a choice to be loving toward others, invite them into our circles, and give them a sense of belonging no matter where they are in life.
It’s time we stop with the bullshit of “everyone for themselves” and I’m ashamed to be just as guilty as everyone else in the complacency of not doing better.
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