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Sustainability | | May 7, 2021

Why it is important to make it personal

We have been noticing there are more and more environmental and social supporters in recent years. There has been more and more pressure from not just (professional) activists, but also from normal folk - that are becoming activists themselves, on their daily life, changing their old habits, looking for more sustainable and healthy alternatives, advocating for a sustainable future! (Yay, everyone!)

The bad part of this is that we are becoming more judgemental about others and ourselves. We should become more critical, not judgemental. Being critical can be good - we can be open, discuss, try to find better ways (or ways that make sense and are possible in our personal socio-economic context), evolve. Whereas being judgmental creates resistance, blockages, can reduce one's motivation (or even kill it all together!), make one give up trying, creates bad feelings inside everyone (the one judging and the one being judged).

So, what can we do to shift that to a more productive posture?

We can focus only on our own journey, our own actions and behaviour. We have already a lot on our plate on our own! Why waste energy with others? I know, I know... We have to spread the word and create awareness to environmental and social issues. But we can do it in a positive way!

  1. We can do that and lead the way by our own example. The most powerful thing you can do - and that will trigger other's curiosity and openness - is to do different things to what they are used to. That's your big chance! Do better, be better and people around you will look at you, ask you about it and if it makes sense to them, if you are able to reach them (this part is tricky, actually), they will look up to you and follow your example.
  2. If we must discuss these issues with people, we can choose to discuss them with the ones who are already open to hear us out. Like that we can avoid the mean jokes, the drama, the stress, the anxiety - our stomach will thank us for it!
  3. We can use social media for that! We can create posts, stories, pins, make videos about it. And although I know that social media can be a really dark place, it has the power to reach so many people and we can choose to not actually interact with people in comments or DMs. It's our choice. And yes, I know that social media gurus say that to grow online you have to create engagement by answering comments and DMs, but that isn't the recipe for everyone. And your mental health is more important than those things. You can still reach people if your content is good. Might not be thousands, but you will reach some. Still... Yay, you!

Once I heard Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton say in one of his talks that to maintain a good (romantic) relationship we should sort of treat our significant other as if they were a child, so instead of reacting in an aggressive way, run out of patience, shout, bickering with them, we should try to nurture our patience, talk as if they were fragile, because that is the person we love and loves us (hopefully! Ahah. If not, please, do you both a favour and move on. Be happy!), the person we want to treasure, and if we act negatively, we are just going to hurt that person and damage that relationship.

At this point, you are probably thinking: what the hell does that have to do with anything?

Well... a lot, actually! Ahah That made me think that we are usually too hard on ourselves. We are usually our most inflexible and uncompromising judges. Even when we are tolerant with others, we don't show that mercy with ourselves. And that Alain de Botton talk made me think: why don't we have this posture with ourselves too? If we are (or should be) the most important person in our lives, we should be tolerant, patient, loving with ourselves even when we don't choose the best path, when we falter, when we - by ignorance or lacking another option - acted in a not so eco-friendly way.

We should be kind to ourselves, welcoming, be the first ones cheering for ourselves! If we do well, we celebrate! If we fail, we support ourselves, we give ourselves time to regroup, recharge, reevaluate the situation.

So check how you handle things when it comes to you. If you are one of us people who are too hard on ourselves, stop, take a step back and see how you are able to change that. For your own peace. You will notice that you will be more positive towards everything and everyone around you, you will feel less stressed, more motivated!

Are you up for it?

Why it is important to make it personal written by Joana Vieira

If you like my content feel free to buy me a coffee ☕️

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