In the mirror is someone who resembles you. Something close to how you are, what you look like, but just a little off. Others see versions of us which we often curate specifically for them- we get coffee with this one friend, go to the bar with a different group, we’re often even more different around our colleagues. With our families, we might feel the pressure and burden of generational weight, the push to live lives which are, at least in part, for someone other than ourselves. Then there’s the rest of the world- the societal structures which we dodge and weave around, trying to get to where we’re looking for, often made more complicated by hurdles created by those with more power than us.
But there’s a power in us, too. Though, sometimes, we may see humans as hostile creatures, maladapted for the modern world, we are often selfless and kind, and we care about others. Most of us probably care a little too much about others, and our lives become lived for those around us. We prioritise others, and we care about their needs, often forgetting our own. We are a side character within our own lives, our narrative existing to fulfil the needs of others, often leaving us sidetracked, and our ambitions unfulfilled.
If you don’t prioritise your life, someone else will.-Greg McKeown
One of the more recent methods to re-assess our lives is fast becoming known as ’embodying main character energy’. This re-framing of your life, where you start to value yourself as the main character of your story, sounds cheesy, but it might be more important than we’d think. It’s not selfishness, nor is it just a laundry list of CBT exercises and new habits, though many videos on the topic may be misleading. Main character energy is more about facilitating positive decisions within your life through prioritising yourself, your ambitions, and, most importantly, through remembering that you are you and that you can rid yourself of the need to become like someone else. Lynette Adkins does a great job of explaining this in her video on the topic.
Envision your story, the film of your life being told from where you are now, into the future. In the flashbacks, what would you be doing to achieve that? Not only that, but what would you, as the main character, no longer be negatively affected by? Perhaps you’d no longer overthink the ways in which others see you, perhaps you’d seek out things which solely made your life more joyful for the sake of it. Perhaps you’d feel selfish thinking this way- or perhaps you can realise that when you are happy, you are more inclined to be helpful and positively responsive to those around you, you can offer them more because you offer yourself more.
You’re the main character of your story, how will embodying that change the way you see your life?
Featured image: Victoria Elliott via Unsplash.