Society today, we are held to some sort of responsibility to represent our authentic self depending on trends, which is detrimental.

What a time to be alive! Every waking moment is displayed all over social media. People from far and wide have been able to connect with us which gives them front row seats, watching how our lives unfold. We are our own worst enemy because we are giving our followers the rope to hang us. This was all good and well when 'things' weren't so complicated. However, life as we know it, is forever evolving which is putting immense pressure on individuals today. This indirectly affects relationships, work environments, sporting activities and the most crucial one of them all, our thoughts and opinions of ourselves. We are puppets being controlled by what's pushed out for us to read, see and believe. I think to myself "Is this the life you would live if it wasn't for social media and public pressure?"

I'm guilty of it, just as you are who are reading this. I often find that I am comparing myself, one way or another to the next person on my news feed. We have been groomed to want bigger and be better. To achieve greatness and never settle until things are top class. REALLY! How shocking is that? A recipe for disaster! That failing is not an option and that we compete to win. Yes, victory is sweet but the life lessons, growth and mental strength gained is beyond a better reward than first place when training or studying.

It's brilliant to have ambitions!
It's fantastic wanting to be better than your former self.
BUT being realistic and honest with yourself is far less stressful.

The question is, how many of your 2022 goals were not achieved? Have you sat with yourself and reflected on your actions to identify why this happened, or simply strike it off and start the year on a new slate. I don't think that is proactive, to be frank. That gives yourself no idea of what areas need attention for self growth. This is where it's easier to put a filter on our own thoughts, emotions and weaknesses, as well as pictures instead of working on the core issue.

It's early January and I've read many men and women's "New Year goals", it's more of a 'who has a more ambitious list' really. While reading them, I felt the guilt overpowering me because I haven't set any goals for 2023.
Then I stopped and reminded myself that I'm not less than someone who verbalizes what they intend to do, nor what they have done.

Over the years, I have achieved many goals on the list and failed at some too. Reflection has allowed me to harvest my thoughts and eliminate a lot of negative ones, people and situations which may have causes for goals not achieved.

While I sit here, with the year ready to hit the fast lane. My goal is to remain my authentic self and not feel the pressure of social standards to live and conform to what is expected of us. I want to carry on doing what I love because I choose to, not because I feel like I have to prove to anyone that I can run faster or lift heavier weights than the person next to me.

I hope, that when you look back on your list, if you've set your 2023 plans out. That you set them with real intention and not because you are listening to some influencer.

2023, I plan to be exactly who I really am, and that's ME!

Yours in Running,

written by

Lauren Kupferman

Educator from Cape Town

Age group: Open

My Disciplines
Half Marathon 10k Functional Training Strength Training