How often in your day do you think about numbers? If you’re not in the realm of finance, a sales professional trying to slay a sales goal or an entrepreneur crunching your biz numbers, it’s probably not that frequently.
But then, why do we let the numbers do the talking, or more importantly, rule our thoughts? Not sure what I’m hinting at? Well let’s dive into the four areas where numbers really shouldn’t count.
The other day I was in Zara and I noticed the jeans I’m obsessed with were available in another wash. Since I was feeling lazy, and I already owned a pair, I grabbed the new wash in the size of my other jeans, tapped my debit card and walked out the door feeling excited to add another style to my wardrobe.
Fast forward to when I got home and started to pull the jeans over my legs and realized a shocking discovery — these jeans were teeny tiny, and there was no way in hell I was going to get them past my hips, much less zipped up. I couldn’t believe it — they were the same style, so why did they fit so vastly different?
If that wasn’t devastating enough, when I went to exchange them I realized I would be wearing a pant size I’ve never worn in my life. I immediately began to feel down on myself, and went home and dove deep into the waters of self-loathing and body shaming.
It wasn’t until a few days later when it hit me. Why am I letting a number on a pair of jeans dictate how I feel about myself? Instead of critiquing every inch of my body, I should be asking myself these key questions instead:
Am I healthy?
Am I happy?
Do I love myself?
Am I proud of the battles my body and mind have overcome and the strength I’ve built?
The answer to each question was yes. Well, I’ll be honest… I probably could afford to cut down my wine consumption, but that’s neither here nor there, and #balance.
So, I decided to let the jean size go and continued to wear them with confidence and treat my body and myself with the love they both deserve. And ladies, the same goes for the dreaded scale. That number does NOT accurately reflect the strength you’ve built from bicep curls, leg presses and squats. Nor does it showcase the love, care and nurture you gave to bring a new human life into this world. Or the pain you endured physically and mentally to get you to the beautiful place you are now. The scale does not account for heart work, and so, the number blinking back at you shouldn’t hold as much value as you let it.
Remember when you were young and thought you’d be married with two kids and successfully climbing the corporate ladder by age 25? LOL, am I right?
Again, the number attributed to your age shouldn’t dictate whether you’ve succeeded or failed on this road called life, but instead, age should only be measured by how you are feeling. If you’re 30 and you don’t have kids, but you’re loving your job, Wine Wednesday and your girls’ trips, then that’s GREAT. If you’re 22 and you’re happily married with healthy twins and hold a part-time job you enjoy, then that’s FABULOUS.
At the end of the day, you shouldn’t feel made to feel less or pressured to do anything just because of your age. Well, except maybe a muff dive on your 18th or 19th birthday, because it is a rite of passage, but beyond that, absolutely not.
So instead of crying over the number of candles on your cake, use your birthdays as an opportunity to check in with how you’re feeling, and make the necessary adjustments to live a healthier and happier life.
While we *wish* we were 25 sitting on 25 mil, or that it was as simple as “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it,” the reality is much different. Your worth, your intelligence, your beauty, your value, your success should never be measured solely by the numbers on your paycheque. If you love what you do, and you can support yourself, then it shouldn’t matter what you earn.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA
Although this one should seem like a no-brainer, social media continues to have a negative impact on people’s self-esteem and self-worth. And what does it come down to? A number’s game. The number of followers, the number of likes, the number of views… the list goes on. But as poet Cleo Wade says, “living for the validation of others, ain’t living at all.”
The number of likes on your Instagram photo does not equate to the amount of love in your life, and the number of followers on your account doesn’t even surmount to the number of people who truly care for you.
As soon as you start stressing over whether your photo will get likes or start to feel less because of your follower count, understand these numbers hold no value whatsoever, and instead, unplug and connect with the people around you, engage in your community and embrace all that’s good in the real world.
These numbers will never add up or accurately reflect how badass, fierce, loved, capable and strong you are. It’s a perpetually unbalanced equation, that doesn’t take into account the factors that actually matter.
So, next time the numbers get you down, take a deep breath and channel your inner Ariana. Thank you, next.