We are living in a time of information + image overload. We are constantly bombarded with ideas, especially those centered on what the “perfect” face, body, or life should look like. Social media has been created in a way that subconsciously encourages us to compare all that we have with what others have.
Each one of us has a completely different story. We come from different backgrounds and have been deemed various types of circumstances, forced to work around and with what we’ve been given by Allah. Focus on your growth and compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Life is about constant change and improvement — but in order to do that, we have to shift our mindset when it comes to how we approach personal growth.
Here at Verona, we’ve put together three ways you can start focusing more on your personal growth without constantly comparing yourself with others.
Make Goals (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)
Envision how you want your future self and your future life to look like. Dig deep into your life goals and how you plan on expressing yourself through whatever form of communication that suits you — whether it be poetry, painting, photography, a clothing line, etc. How do you plan on giving back to the world in a way that is unique to your skills, strengths, and most importantly, your personal story? Make a list of goals you want to accomplish (for each day, week, month, etc.), and how you plan on reaching them. This will allow you to focus on your personal goals and be busy working towards them each and every day, instead of focusing on what someone else's life on Instagram looks like (which is actually portrayed very different from that person’s reality — you already know.)
Think: What makes you different?
Each of us has certain qualities or characteristics that we want to hide from the world because they make us different from others around us, but usually, these are usually the exact things that make us exceptional human beings. Our “different” characteristics allow us to find the true essence of how we can use our story and couple it with our passion(s) to offer something substantial to the world. Focus on the characteristics that make you unique and embrace them to the best of your abilities.
Be Grateful + Willing to Change
Every single thing we’ve been given in this world is a blessing from Allah. Both good and bad, it is all from Him. This means that when it comes to our shortcomings, we can’t blame anyone or anything aside from ourselves. We have to accept our flaws and be willing to change in the areas we are able to while asking Him for His assistance. Change the way you look at yourself and your life. Adopt a positive outlook on how you see your world, and when it comes to your “problems”, train yourself to see them as opportunities for growth. If you’re struggling with a certain aspect of your life or are stuck in a place you don’t want to be, remember that you have the capacity and potential to change yourself and get out of where you are. All it takes is a vision/intention, a goal, and plan that helps you reach it.Thank Him for all that He has blessed you with, while also making du’a that He allows you to better yourself, for yourself first, and then for those around you.
Don’t lose hope and don’t lose your focus; just shift it.
Irum is a writer, photographer, and author of 'Nothing to Summit' - a collection of short essays on gaining strength, fighting against one's fears, falling, regaining hope, and ultimately finding inner peace before the cycle/climb begins again. She received her Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Michigan State University and is currently dabbling in several photojournalism and writing projects, while also working as a communications specialist.
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