Builder & writer Stop overthinking things

Builder & writer Stop overthinking things

Builder & writer Stop overthinking things

May 7, 2024

The illusion of having it all figured out

In the age of social media, it's easy to fall into the trap of believing that everyone else has it all figured out.

Spend just ten minutes scrolling through your feed, and you'll be bombarded with posts of seemingly perfect lives – solopreneurs celebrating their latest revenue milestone, content creators hitting new subscriber records, and founders raising impressive rounds or exiting for millions.

But here's the truth: behind the carefully curated highlight reels, even the most successful people are still learning and making it up as they go along. The illusion of perfection is just that – an illusion.

It's a reality we often fail to recognise, especially when we're young. As children, we looked up to our parents and assumed they had all the answers. It's only when we grew older that we realised they, too, were figuring things out as they went along. The same goes for the celebrities, entrepreneurs, and influencers we admire from afar. No matter how successful they may appear, everyone is facing challenges of their own, learning as they go, and most likely climbing what seems an insurmountable mountain.

So, when you see someone online banging their chest about their achievements, remember that their success is not solely attributable to skill or their own doing. Luck, timing, and a myriad of other factors play a role, and even the most accomplished individuals are still learning and growing.

It's crucial not to let others' self-promotion make you feel disenfranchised or less capable.

The pursuit of status and external validation is a game that can never truly be won. As Felix Dennis once said, "Happiness? Do not make me laugh. The rich are not happy. I have yet to meet a single really rich happy man or woman—and I have met many rich people."

Constantly chasing after the next milestone or comparing ourselves to others is a surefire recipe for dissatisfaction.

Instead of getting caught up in the highlight reel, focus on finding joy in the little things – the small moments and simple pleasures that make life worth living. Savour that first sip of coffee in the morning, laugh at a funny TikTok with your partner, or admire the colours of a particularly stunning sunset. By cultivating gratitude and contentment independent of external factors, we can find a deeper sense of fulfilment.

To navigate life's challenges with grace and resilience, we must also develop a strong inner foundation. This is where the principles of Stoicism come into play. Stoicism teaches us to focus on what we can control – our thoughts, actions, and reactions – and to accept what we cannot. By mastering our inner world, we can face the outer world with equanimity and strength, even in the face of adversity.

In today's digital age, Stoicism offers a powerful antidote to the comparison trap. Instead of letting social media dictate our self-worth, we can choose to focus on our own growth and progress, cultivating self-awareness, self-discipline, and self-compassion along the way.

Remember, true happiness and fulfilment come from within, not from external validation or material success. By staying focused on your own path, finding joy in the little things, and developing a resilient mindset, you can rise above the noise and live authentically in a world that often feels uncertain and overwhelming.

So, the next time you find yourself scrolling through social media and feeling inadequate, remember that everyone is fighting their own battles, learning as they go, and that perfection is an illusion. Embrace your own journey, find joy in the little things, and trust in your own resilience. That's the secret to a life well-lived.