The Problem with Inspirational People

I’ll rephrase that, it’s not the inspirational people’s problem, it’s mine. There are so many positive things to be gained from watching and listening to the people who inspire you but, sometimes, I find it has the opposite effect.

One of the most inspirational people in the world, to me personally, is Emma Watson. I’m a MASSIVE Harry Potter fan (obviously) so have known of Emma since I was literally a small child. Watching her play Hermione in the Harry Potter films and grow up on screen, while I was also growing up, was amazing to me. I left the cinema after seeing The Deathly Hallows Part 2 sobbing my eyes out that it was the end. I was wrong though, Emma Watson has continued to inspire me in almost every way since that day. I learned that she studied literature at Brown University, starred in an adaptation of one of my favourite books ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’, is a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, a proud advocate for feminism and sustainable fashion and she started her own book club ‘Our Shared Shelf’ that champions female writers.

Emma Watson placing free books in random places in Paris (like an angel) as part of her book club ‘Our Shared Shelf’. Picture from Emma Watson’s Instagram (@emmawatson)

She’s pretty much a perfect human to me and I think if I ever met her I’d be a blubbering mess and wouldn’t be able to say anything. I’m excited every time she posts on Twitter or Instagram and actively keep up with her latest projects. Most of the time, I’m just in sheer awe of her. If I achieve 0.001% of what she has achieved in my life I’ll be over the moon. I look up to her and admire her work.

Sometimes though, If I’m having a bad day or have just had a set back of some form, I see an Instagram post by somebody I’m usually inspired by, about their latest exciting endeavor, and it just makes me feel inadequate. I fully know that this is my own problem and nothing to do with them but, none the less, it is the case.

Zoe Sugg launching new beauty range ”Jelly & Gelato’. Picture from Zoe Sugg’s Instagram (@zoella)

I follow a lot of bloggers and youtubers and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of their lifestyles. Most of the time I just think it’s really cool that they’re working on creative projects that they’re passionate about. Whether it’s books, product ranges, short films and sketches, campaigns or music. I’m envious of those who are in a position to create something they love and have it be a success.

Hannah Witton winning an award at Summer in the City. Picture from Hannah Witton’s Instagram (@hannahwitton)

An example of this is Hazel Hayes’ short films. I have always loved writing and am currently studying English Literature at university in the hope that one day I’ll be able to pursue writing as a career. On top of that I’m a massive fan of film and TV and have written screenplays for my own enjoyment for years. It’s awesome that Hazel is achieving her goals and creating short films and I find it encouraging and inspirational to see, but again sadly when I feel bad I start to compare myself to people like her. Which I KNOW is one of the most unhealthy thing I could do, but I think about my own life and the things I’ve achieved and compare it to these, very successful, people.

Hazel Hayes on set of ‘Prank Me’. Picture from Hazel Hayes’ Instagram (@thehazelhayes)

It serves no purpose other than to demoralise myself, but I’m sure a lot of people understand that it just feels out of your own control sometimes. It’s unhealthy but natural to compare yourself to others. Sometimes I even look at the career trajectory of some of these people and then decide that I’ll never achieve success because I haven’t done the things they had done at my age. I know, it makes no sense and everybody has their own individual paths.

Anyway, this is just a little something that was on my mind yesterday that I thought I’d share. 90% of the time, seeing what these people are up to puts me in a great mood… especially Emma Watson.

Until next time,

J x

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16 thoughts on “The Problem with Inspirational People

  1. Hi Jen! I loved this post! But all I want to tell you is you’re “comparing your behind the scenes with other people’s highlight scenes!”
    Comparison is very natural and at times healthy as well.
    All i want to tell is.. these celebrities have a public image to maintain. They cannot reveal their Bad days and times!! So it is very natural that they look kinda perfect!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Well, you’re not alone. And comparing yourself to others, it’s just human nature. The key is to fuel that drive into something better.
    For example, I’m a huge fan of mystery novels. But I do not write them, my writing style is just not compatible for it so I take inspiration from them, from those words and write my prose. Same applies to the sketches of other artists, painting done in different medium, I do not work very well with gouache or oil but I look at those paintings and I make ink sketches, again taking inspiration from them. So, looking at other people’s action and adapting them into my own style, that’s what I prefer doing.
    I guess, I just blurted out right now, sorry for some random jargon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Remember what we see on the internet is not 100% of peoples lives. They may project the positive stuff and all of their positive thoughts. But remember sometimes when people are projecting positivity its actually to make themselves feel better as well as others. It’s natural to compare yourself but just remember the internet is full of fabrication.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think the whole inspirational thing’s gotten way out of hand. People use inspirational quotes/role models/fill in the blank like asthma inhalers–a quick puff and your all the pieces of your life are supposed to fall into place. When they don’t, you feel terrible and take another puff. Life’s messy. Your role models’ lives–even the best of them–are also messy. Don’t take this stuff too seriously. It’s like looking at a made up face and wondering why it’s so perfect. It’s because it’s makeup. Me? I like the face behind the makeup better and I’m a fan of the occasional de-motivational quote, just for the sake of balance and a good laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this. You know this already, but you are far from alone in feeling that way. We live in a culture that encourages comparison. Social media is the highlight reel of our lives, etc. One thing it can be important to remember – though impossible most of the time – is that everybody has their struggles. Even the people who look like they have the shiniest lives. Zoella, for example, has achieved a lot, but she also really struggles with anxiety. She just doesn’t put that on Instagram every day.

    Also with the whole what people have achieved at your age thing – I KNOW. I am 24, and I’m just at the point of realising that famous people are starting to be younger than me and I HATE it. THAT SAID, everybody has their own path. I was also an English Lit student (minored in creative writing to make myself extra unemployable) and according to The Plan I did EVERYTHING WRONG. I have 0 internships. I did not participate in many clubs. I moved home to the middle of nowhere, England when I graduated. And yet – though I’ll level with you, it took two years – I have somehow fallen into a job that I enjoy in which I have a lot of options to progress in the future. (hopefully). The older you get the more confusing it all (life) becomes, but there’s also something liberating in that. It’s terrifying becoming an adult, because life as a kid is so small and structured through school and family etc, then you become an adult and suddenly the structure is gone and everything is so gigantic that it feels impossible to do ANYTHING. But it is possible. You just sort of do each day and then at a certain point you look around yourself and realise that you have a life, and that it’s not perfect but it’s sort of okay and that’s a lot better than most people have. You’re doing good x

    Liked by 1 person

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