Has anyone watched Hello Ladies? It’s Stephen Merchant’s (super awesome) show in which he plays this guy called Stuart who’s totally obsessed with being ‘cool’. Stuart chases supermodels, tries to be friends with important people, ditches his dorky friends to go to trendy parties and generally spends all his time trying to be noticed. It’s a wonderful series and there’s an awesome follow-up movie that’s easily the best romantic comedy I’ve seen in years but what I took away from it was that this Stuart character was really a wallflower in his own life.
He spent all of his time looking for approval from others and generally being a giant yet completely accidental douche bag. I’ve been an accidental douche bag on many occasions in my life and I’m sure there will be more accidental douche baggery to come but I’ve learned that what it all boils down to is the mistake of letting other people play the leading roles in your life. Think of your life as a movie. Do you want the whole flick to be camera shots of you looking around like a stunned bunny searching for approval in all the wrong places? I’m getting bored just thinking about it so to keep you on track I’ve knocked up a little list of tricks to teach you how to be the star of your own life…
1. Choose yourself
We live in a world where we’ve been taught to wait our turn, to not speak unless we’re spoken to and to wait until important people give us the things we want. I’m calling a giant fuck that on the whole situation. Choose yourself. Don’t wait to be invited or chosen for anything. Give yourself permission to do what you want to do.
2. Always be the person that’s having the most fun
Note how I said ‘having’ the most fun not ‘looking like’ they’re having the most fun. Posting a million selfies of your own mug from #totescoolparties isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about embracing every moment and having a bloody good time whenever you can. No one loves getting up for boot camp, doing the grocery shopping or cleaning out the car but if you make it fun it’s like adding a whopping a great spoonful of sugar to every dose of proverbial medicine you have to take. Just Mary Poppins the shit out of life.
3. Make an effort
I often have people compliment me on my confidence. I really love this because I work very hard on my self-esteem. Trust me, no one wakes up in the morning feeling like hot shit, it’s an ongoing process. My biggest secret and the best starting point is that I only wear clothes that I feel awesome in, all the time. I don’t own tracksuit pants because I feel sad when I wear tracksuit pants because they make me feel all lumpy and bumpy. Some people may feel hella glam in trackies, in which case they should stock up and shake their money-maker in them. Don’t get stuck in a clothing rut and never let anyone else dictate what you wear. If you feel fabulous in a corset, beehive and shocking red lippy – wear that every day. Same goes if you feel amazing in baggy overalls. Whatever you do, do it on purpose and make the effort to feel good about yourself every day.
4. Don’t let others be wallflowers
I used to work in special education and there was a word we used that I absolutely loved. The word was ‘inclusive’. It was usually shoved in amongst a whole lot of pedagogical bullshit but it’s such a lovely word and I’ve totally stolen it for every day awesomeness. I’m an enormous chatterbox so I have to watch myself to make sure I’m not constantly dominating every conversation I have but if I just keep the word ‘inclusive’ in the back of mind at social gatherings it stops me being a scene stealer (scene-stealing is bad, even in your own life movie) and reminds me to talk to people who might be feeling a bit shy or who struggle with social interactions.
5. Be someone people want to hang around with
Whenever I meet someone who is particularly unpleasant, I try to come up with a few words that describe what made them so repellent. Nasty, mean, negative, grumpy, judgmental, bitchy, patronising, aggressive. Then I add that to my List Of Words I Don’t Want To Be to keep myself in check and make sure I’m behaving like the type of person I would want to hang out with. It’s fine to have a crap day and not be 100% on fire every day but you want to aim for 80% awesome most of the time or at the very least don’t be any of the adjectives that you dislike in other people.