Sometimes I take myself too seriously. I look at people twice my age, close to my age, and my contemporaries and compare my achievements to theirs. Inevitably I am left feeling like I have wasted my life chasing windmills.

Instagram exacerbates this. I used to follow influencers who meticulously edit and filter the shit out of their photos before posting. Foolishly thinking this was real life I felt extremely unaccomplished. I've since learned to be more mindful of who I choose to let into my consciousness. If everything you see on your feed has the ability to affect your state of mind, you should be extremely selective. It's the same rules that would apply to who you would invite into your home – so why not be as selective with who you give your follow to? I've since stop following influencers who constantly push products (subconsciously I felt like I had to keep up) when most of the time they are gifted these things or sponsored. No one on a real budget could live this way and it's just setting yourself up for failure to try to emulate.

I've since stopped following shopping accounts and influencers. Following those who's style inspire me or those who have 500 followers with more authentic posts serve me at lot better. They've cultivated their own sense of self and are not chasing a trend, thus not perpetuating it neither. Following artistic accounts also help foster my creative side.

Relying less on external voices to influence me but rather on those who inspire me to cultivate realistic expectations is a hard learned lesson.

The crushing weight of it all wears off day by day as the desire to keep up wanes.

What are your expectations on yourself and are they realistic?