Pick a Realistic Reference

April 22, 2024

By Meghan Greenwood

find a realistic reference
find a realistic reference

Listen to the Pgh Dreamer’s Pod: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Pick-a-Realistic-Reference-e2inh0u

We are wired to compare. Our brains are constantly looking for input to make sense out of situations. By comparing, we figure out our own ‘norms’ and perhaps where we want to be in the future. Therefore, we naturally evaluate ourselves against other people with similar lifestyles, ages, and interests.

However, with unlimited access to the social world, we are an inundated with people who are not necessarily the right comparators. For example, we see posts from influencers half our age, leaders who are pulling in ridiculous salaries in larger cities, and a whole barrage of filtered faces & bodies, creating a false narrative around true beauty.

While we can’t stop ourselves from comparing, we can search for more realistic references. Instead of scrolling through social media and wishing you looked like her/had a job like him/could approach the world with their vigor, find someone who you can look up to, someone who is in a place that you want to be AND can realistically get to.

For example, I love watching dance videos on social media. I dream and wish that my body moved like a 20-year-old’s, but deep down, I know this is unrealistic. Instead, I found a 50-year-old dancer who is striving to be the best she can be, despite all nay-sayers. I just adore how vulnerable she is and follow her posts with excitement.

In real-life, not social media, I often turn to older friends and acquaintances who have maybe been through several job changes and raising kids and starting their own businesses. They are a beacon of support in an otherwise chaotic world. Plus, all of them have landed on their feet. Despite obstacles, they’re healthy, they’re successful, and seemingly, they’re happy. Even better is when they have a healthy dosing of humor around their life. They are great role models and way more realistic in terms of what I’d like to do in the near and long-term.

Overall, find those people that are supportive to your goals, provide excellent life lessons, and don’t make you feel bad about your current situation. There are people out there that can help you be the best you.

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