Society is defined by numbers. For too long, numbers have been used to gauge worth and qualify someone as being “acceptable”. It’s time we realize that we are MORE than just the numbers that are assigned to various aspects of our lives. Numbers can’t convey how needed you are on this earth and how valuable you are as a person.
Today I have a post for you that was inspired by a recent exchange I had on Twitter. A friend of mine tweeted the following…
The scale in my hallway says I am 15 pounds heavier than the one in my mom’s room. And I wonder why I have body issues.
I immediately responded and tried to give her some words of encouragement. I can’t stand seeing people feel down about themselves based on their body or size. There is so much more to a person than how we look or what we weigh. My response…
Don’t focus on the scale, girl. A number means nothing in terms of self-worth. Focus on being healthy and happy.
My friend was thankful for the support but the whole conversation got me thinking about how we as a society let all sorts of numbers determine how we feel about ourselves. We let them get to us…in a bad way. The scale, for one thing, is largely detrimental to people’s self-confidence and often creates a lot of insecurities (especially among women). But think about all the other numbers we let distract us from what’s truly important…
- how much money we make
- the size of our clothing
- the size of our shoes
- the amount of time we spend exercising
- the amount of time we spend meditating, sleeping, reading, cooking, volunteering….the list goes on!
The thing is though, we shouldn’t let these numbers define us. We aren’t in competition with those around us. Making comparisons of our own ‘statistics’ to those around us only creates a breeding ground for negativity, contempt, self-doubt, and inferiority.
Most of these things (like our salary, weight, or clothing size) are merely heightened in importance based on society’s focus on them. People have placed importance on these arbitrary numbers and have made them markers of value, status, and esteem. In reality, all numbers really are are NUMBERS…mathematical objects used to count and quantify.
And for other numbers (like amount of exercise, sleep, meditation, or volunteer hours), we shouldn’t be putting minimum standards on amounts we have to achieve. Yes, it’s good to sleep a certain amount of hours or to dedicate your time to a charity….but you shouldn’t feel bad about yourself for not accomplishing as much or doing the same as your neighbors, friends, or family. Actions like these should be sources of pride! Instead of thinking, “I only exercised for 15 minutes today”, we should be reframing that as “I dedicated 15 minutes to improving my mental and physical health today. It made me feel great and maybe I will try for even more tomorrow!”. When we constantly view ourselves as inferior and never good enough, it depletes motivation and creates an all or nothing mindset within us. We should be celebrating our attempts at doing good for our mind and body, not downplaying our efforts because they don’t live up to societal standards or other people’s’ expectations.
My main point is: don’t let numbers dictate your mood, self-worth, or confidence. Yes, they have their place in the world, but not in regards to what a wonderful person you are. Numbers can say a lot, but there are PLENTY of things they don’t tell you like…
- how much you are loved by your family and friends
- how much people appreciate your presence on a daily basis
- how infectious your laugh is
- how your smile lights up a room
- how helpful you are
- how happy you deserve to be
- how strong your legs are to carry you through the day
- how empathetic you are
- how compassionate you are
- how hard-working you are
- how good of a listener you are
- how good of hugs you give
- how comforting you are to friends in need
- how fun you are to be around
- how unique you are
And most importantly, they say NOTHING about what truly makes you YOU.
Even if you want to get more scientific in regards to health and fitness, the number on the scale really won’t even give you much accurate information on that. It doesn’t take into account BMI, body fat percentage, lean muscle mass, or any of your body function levels (like cholesterol and blood pressure). Given that, you have even more of a reason to take the number on that little square box with a grain of salt.
You are fabulous. Period.
And there’s no number big enough to tell you how much. 🙂
Just some things to keep in mind next time you’re feeling down about the numbers in your life. Remember, they are only representative figures used to quantify things. They’re the farthest thing from telling us our worth and value.
Have a great day everyone!
Do you get hung up on numbers sometimes?
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