Yesterday, I went to the mall to appease my craving to go shopping. I went in thinking I needed earrings, headphones, and perhaps something just for fun. I stepped into multiple stores and found myself collecting clearance clothing item after clothing item. Then came the process of trying on the overwhelming amount of colored pants and going out shirts that caught my eye. I found a few items that I easily would have bought, but my self-conscious kept talking to me…”do you really need this for $8.80?” I continued to wander through the store(s) into the shoe and jewelry departments to only face the same concerns of my self-conscious. I walked out of every store empty-handed (except one: I bought $3.00 plastic vintage corral earrings, why not?).
I labeled my day trip with the purpose of exercise, to makeup for my disappointing shopping experience. My disappointment did not arise from not finding anything I wanted and not from not being able to afford it– My disappointment came from the fact that I felt that I needed these items to feel happy and achieve social goals.
We all struggle with our wants and determining our needs.
This is especially so in the field of appearance, because we want others to perceive us a certain way and often need them to in order to achieve our social goals.
How can we express who we are with limited resources to do so?
When one lacks money to buy the types of clothes, shoes, and accessories one wants to present themselves to the world with, one must make due with what one has and make smart choices when making purchases. One can get thrifty and hit the clearance racks, and when that is not enough, one can change their perception on the importance of their appearance.
A more simplistic and wholesome way you can feel happy and achieve your social goals is to express yourself through your words and actions, so people can see past your appearance. Relying on your looks and material possessions as your main way of expression can make it difficult for you to know your values and develop satisfying relationships. Thinking you need less can certainly make you see that you do not need a lot to get by. I am not condoning everyone to not try to look good, because looking good is important…Just do not think you need so much to be happy and achieve your social goals!
Realization: Being mindful of why you want something can possibly tell you what you are looking for in life and make you acknowledge an alternative way to get it.