We all need inspiration. Some of us follow social media accounts that post daily inspirational messaging for encouragement as a way to start our day or to improve our mood during tough times. But some of the messaging can be loaded statements that make growth and personal development sound effortless.
Here are seven inspirational quotes that are triggering AF.
- Love yourself. – Learning to love yourself is a lifelong process. If you’ve been living a life of self-sabotage rooted in self hatred or living a life based on society’s harmful messaging about worthiness and desirability, that’s a lot of shit to unpack. That’s a lot of triggers and negative coping mechanisms to identify, to understand why you engage in those coping mechanisms, how often you engage in them, identify the feeling/emotion and/or trauma that coping mechanism temporarily suppresses, and then create a healthy behavior to navigate the issue productively.
- Be kind to yourself. – Learning and practicing self compassion is a daily process. You have to think about what you say to yourself that’s unkind. How are you mean or cruel to yourself? Do you punish yourself? If so, how? How can you set boundaries with yourself? What positive affirmation can you tell yourself to replace negative self talk during specific situations?
- Practice self-care. – Sometimes, social media glamorizes self care as this fun, holistic spiritually enlightening practice. But you want to figure out what it looks like for you. It could be engaging in a hobby, journaling, yoga, meditation, etc. In addition, you have to figure out how to incorporate those practices into your daily routine.
- Just be yourself. – You have to decide whether you will show up as your authentic self and be prepared to defend yourself against naysayers or to operate in a way that doesn’t ruffle the feathers of others while suffering mentally and emotionally from minimizing yourself. It sounds simple but it’s quite a radical act. Will you operate from a place of misery or will you be courageous enough to come as you are? Either choice determines the trajectory of your life.
- Don’t care about what other people think. – But we do care. We care about how we’re perceived because it affects how we’re treated. We care about our work performance. We care about how well a major client receives our presentation that could result in a job promotion and a raise. Creatives care about how people perceive their work. You care about what suit you wear to the job interview because you want to exude executive presence. Living your life without caring about what others think is impossible. But living your life without allowing others’ opinions to dictate your happiness is doable. It’s a matter of finding a happy medium as my mother says.
- Life is too short to hold grudges so forgive and move on. – Sometimes, grudges and resentment are warranted depending on the person and the nature of your relationship with them. Yes, we’re responsible for making the best of the time we have. But that’s not a reason to quickly forgive without thoroughly understanding why you were hurt, how you were hurt, who you were hurt by, what you learned from the situation and how you can protect yourself moving forward. You have to forgive yourself and forgive for yourself when you’re ready.
- Let love find you, don’t chase it. – As a former pick-me, this triggered the fuck out of me. Growing up as a Disney princess fan who also watched American rom-coms starring Katherine Heigl religiously, I convinced myself I had to manufacture a fairytale romance. I was wrong. You don’t want to hear “be patient” when you’re fixated on hitting specific milestones by a certain age – especially as a woman. When you see your friends and other people around you booed up, you might feel left out. Then add internalized misogyny and ageism. You’re getting older, Prince Charming hasn’t arrived and the panic button in you says, “The clock is ticking you gotta make this happen or else you’ll be alone forever.” But the quote is true. Chasing romance is like chasing validation and the feeling of adequacy. If you’re chasing that, then you’re not ready for romantic love.
I don’t think the intention is to make life sound easy, but to prompt a person to take the first step toward improving a specific aspect of their life. If inspirational messages weren’t written simplistically, some may not read them if it were as long as this post.
What is your favorite inspirational quote? What does it mean to you?