I am one of the biggest victims of consumerism. I believe all the promises, I buy into the idea of things and I am just silly when it comes to being an adult and living.
But now that I have become aware of my excessive spending and my addiction to shopping/buying, I am making the necessary changes which involve all sorts of things but one of them is challenging consumerism and changing my thoughts about happiness. We all want to be happy and too many of us think we can buy that happiness when it is really as simple as just taking some time to realize what you have, how far you have come, instead of trying to climb the consumerism ladder and be “better than everyone else”.
I don’t want to be a fool any more, I don’t want to be a gullible sucker who just gives up more money than what I earn. I don’t want to spend money on the idea of happiness, I want to spend time creating a life that will make me happy by remembering all of the following;
Getting a handle on the situation
I have done this, well I am in the process of this. I know what the problem is, I know that I have been a sucker for years and I also know that it ends here. My spending habits have never made me exceptionally happy nor has the high of the moment lasted longer than a day. I could spend endless days being happy but I have been choosing the rush of consuming.
Comparison is the thief of joy
My needs, my life, my job, my salary doesn’t allow for me to live the same life as Kim Kardashian lives so why do I even try? By trying, I will probably end up on the street. Sometimes I cannot even afford to go out for dinner so why do I think I should have a Chanel bag? I think it is natural for us to compare but when you actually evaluate what this comparison does to you, it is frightening. You are unique, your circumstances are unique, your life is unique so it just makes absolutely no sense to try and duplicate or shadow somebody else. Also, take a moment to remember that nobodies life is as it seems. The family in that corner house with the white picket fence may seem to have it all, but you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes.
Avoid the situation
I know now that I have a shopping problem, I know what my weaknesses are and I have put a few measures into place to make me stronger such as not going to the shops alone, trying to avoid my “trigger” shops which are mostly clothing stores, and then making lists of what I need and sticking to them. Of course emotions and feelings play a part in this so if I am feeling hungry, then I must eat before I go. If I am having a day where I feel ugly, I mustn’t go and try on new clothes in an attempt to make me feel beautiful.
The actual cost
It is so easy to swipe or hand over an account or credit card but there are “hidden” costs of monetary value and emotional value. Is it worth it to travel out of your way for a R80 top that will make you happy for an hour or so?
Deciding how I want to live
I have decided that I want to live a minimalistic life so I am decluttering and making the necessary changes. I also don’t want to live a broke life so I am doing everything I can to be more careful with my money.
Doing more of what makes me happy
So simple. I used to think that shopping made me happy but it was such a short lived happiness whereas a book can make me happy for months. Possession has never proven to make me happy and neither has consuming so I need to spend more time with real happiness.
We are sold the ideas of beauty, perfect figures and we buy into it. We need to be stronger, we need to realize that beauty, style, personality cannot be bought!
Things no longer have such a strong hold over me. I have recently sold and given away so much and it didn’t affect me in any way except positively because I am getting closer to living the life I want to live and there is less clutter in my house. Possessions took possession over me, I was a prisoner to consumerism, to ideas, to owning things and instead of feeling happy, I just wanted more.
Each day is a new battle and each day there is a new advert telling me that I simply must have this to make life better but I am fighting it and am taking up the challenge.
Do me a favour now and visit this link to consumerism on Pinterest.