Everyone deserves to be the star of their own show. In the age of social media, when we are constantly inundated with curated images meant to inspire awe and envy, it is easy to feel like we are merely supporting characters in someone else’s movie. But the time has come to flip the script and claim your place at the center of your own narrative.
It's time to channel that Main Character Energy.
Coined by Gen Z TikTokers, Main Character Energy is usually defined as “someone living their best life, exuding confidence and poise. They are choosing to put themselves first and solidify themselves as the main character of their story.” MCE is often misunderstood as a form of narcissism, simply because it encourages people to demand attention when generations of conditioning has taught us (especially women) to shy away from the spotlight in the name of humility. But recently there has been a cultural shift that reframes this phenomenon in a more positive light. Rather than looking at MCE as self-centered, a new wave of social media users are seeing it as a form of self-love.
For many Gen Z and millennials, embracing MCE is about prioritizing their own happiness and making time for themselves. It is in fact proving to be an interesting study of the effects of mindfulness and manifestation, as well as the mental benefits that come from romanticizing your own life. By living intentionally and embracing the mundane things in life, people are taking an active role in crafting their own narratives, thereby creating the life they envision for themselves.
“Putting yourself at the forefront of your life can be a really wonderful thing, especially when your life experiences have been marked by invalidation, dismissal, or feeling like you’re ‘not good enough’ or ‘unworthy,’” says psychotherapist Meghan Watson. Many of us are no strangers to these feelings of unworthiness as we scroll through seemingly perfect images posted by influencers and compare what they choose to present to the world with our own ‘mundane’ lives. Channeling our own Main Character Energy is a way to take back the control that has been eroded in the vacuum of social media.
But it’s not going to happen on its own. We need to take an active role in the pursuit of our own happiness. Offleash’d is in the business of relationships, but the relationship that is most often overlooked is the one we have with ourselves. Building up our self-confidence and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones are necessary steps in the journey toward truly loving ourselves. Whitney Goodman, a licensed psychotherapist and author, spoke with SELF magazine about the concept of self-love, reminding us all that “we often define love in this fairytale sense where everything needs to be perfect and then apply that same pressure to self-love, which isn’t realistic.” Just like with any kind of relationship, it takes work, and it takes acceptance.
A survey conducted by YPulse found that more than half of respondents who think of themselves as the main character of their lives actually feel like it has helped them be their best selves. They feel more confident, more appreciative of what they have, and over a third of those surveyed stated that this mindset has helped them discover their passion. What if channeling our own MCE is a step towards creating a more fulfilling life? Maybe it’s the little nudge we need to finally pursue that dream career. Maybe it’s a mental shift in viewing ourselves with a little less judgment and little more self-love. Maybe it’s that moment when we give ourselves permission to post that photo, to take that trip, to send that text.
Many of us have heard the saying, “Confidence is sexy” at one point or another. Though usually phrased in terms of appealing to the male gaze, the underlying message of this saying rings true. We as humans find ourselves drawn to people who seem to have it all together, an ingrained behavior hearkening back to humans seeking out the strongest warriors and following the most charismatic leaders all in a desperate bid for survival. Confidence is appealing and it’s hard not to be drawn to those who believe in themselves (as long as we don’t cross that very fine line into egotism and toxic narcissistic tendencies – it’s all about balance, after all).
So, consider this post as a sign to start living out your own main character storyline. Give yourself permission to prioritize your needs so that you may better live your life, and in doing so, become the best version of yourself for those you care most for. Because only when we love and accept ourselves in all our beauty and for all our flaws can we truly create deep and lasting relationships with those around us.