I noticed her immediately.
As she stepped onto the tube carriage, my first thought was: wow.
Now as an attached heterosexual female, I don’t make a habit of developing girl-crushes on a strangers. Promise. But this girl had an undeniable aura; she appeared intelligent, witty and kind in equal quantities.
“I bet she gets a lot of male attention” I thought.
As the train moved away from the platform, she reached for a book from her bag. I glanced up to catch the title:
Get the Guy: Use the Secrets of the Male Mind to Find, Attract and Keep Your Ideal Man
Here I was – imagining she was this confident powerhouse, whilst she felt she needed advice from a self-help book on how to get a boyfriend.
I’m an advocate of self-help books, for sure (I’d highly recommend Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway if you’re asking). However it surprised me that this girl saw herself as the complete antithesis to how I did.
This self-criticism seems particularly typical of those I hold in high esteem.
A friend of mine, Friend A, is the most fun-loving, easy-going guy that you could ever hope to meet. Everybody loves him.
Yet he often feels lonely, wondering if he actually has any friends.
Friend B is the managing director of a prestigious company. She is highly intelligent, confident and quick-witted; one of those people you’d always want at a party.
Yet she fights crippling insecurity and thinks everyone hates her.
From an outsider’s view, these views are hard to digest. These are people who I aspire to be more like. Yet, at times they wish they were someone else.
Do you remember being a child? Before shame, self-doubt and unhappiness truly existed in your emotional vocabulary? When you asked for what you wanted, without the fear of hearing ‘no’?
‘No’ was normally the answer, but it didn’t matter; you were expressing yourself without condemning yourself or worrying what others thought.
Of course, growing up is inevitable and sadly spending your life in the garden making mud cakes isn’t realistic. But as an adult, it’s nice to be reminded that you are not your thoughts.
Whilst your own perspective is valid, it is not always accurate. The wise folk were right when they said don’t believe everything you think.