Don’t be obliged to be the best you can…

There is a lot of talk about being the best you can that goes around the social networks and in real life but I feel that it’s actually just a load of codswallop.

I have this friend, or rather acquaintance, who has a high powered job, huge salary, she’s never at home and rarely in the country but she’s lonely and if you read between the lines she’s deeply unhappy but, because she lives the kind of life other people dream of she would never admit it. It’s pointless eating lobster thermidor in a swanky restaurant in Sydney when you really want to be at home eating fish and chips out of the wrapper in your pyjamas while watching Eastenders.

Being the best you can puts pressure on you the when what you really need to be doing is accepting your limitations and not giving yourself a hard time. It’s okay to take a day off from trying hard to be something it really is.

What I abhor also is this new(ish) trend to describe self-doubt as self-stigmatising. Stop doing it. Self-doubt is part of human nature and it is what drives us be better people and question the way we do things. We’ve all been at work, especially after a promotion or in a new job, and thought to ourselves, “I’m a fake, what if somebody notices I’m not up to this?” Self-doubt is not felt just by people with mental health problems or those under stress it happens to us all and it proves that we are human.

The daft thing about giving human feelings and emotions titles is that, sooner or later, they’ll end up in an edition of DSM and then we criticise the editors for making normal human conditions into mental illnesses. Do we really want self-doubt, a useful tool at times, to be designated a symptom of mental illness? Sure, it can affect those of us with mental health problems more than it can those without but so can anything we experience if we allow it to.

It’s okay to be the best we possibly can some days and it’s okay to strive to be better too but remember, it’s always okay to just be you and enjoy the experience. Really.