You’re Out of Your Mind!

Gaby Regan

Your mindset is what can influence reality. 

It takes thoughts and feelings to make a change for each individual and the world around us. Everyone’s reality is different from the next and the same can be said about mindsets, where my idea of the future could be worlds apart from the person standing next to me. That’s what makes this world spin. We need those people who make impactful decisions and take risks by blurring the line between what is there and what is not because otherwise, we would never move forward. 

This being said, initial beginnings can be illusions of reality. They can elude the mind to what can be achieved, not always positively. Illusions can shade us from the reality of a situation, putting us in circumstances which we had not expected. This mindset can be heavily influenced by popular culture. Books, movies, social media and so much more can form a world in our heads that is nothing but fiction. Distinguishing what is possible for ourselves can be difficult and can make us wonder whether it is possible to see your illusions in reality. 

Just like our own individual cultures, pop culture is influential in defining our identities. Characters from various aspects of popular culture can guide us to unravel what we are interested, in addition to discovering who we want to be. Acting almost as role models, these icons have increasingly become a major part in changing and defining mindsets, especially those of the younger generations, as they think about their futures.  

My desire to work within the fashion industry has stemmed from these sources, creating a connection between myself and those of the same interests. Just like setting goals for ourselves, we can use elements of popular culture to build an image of fantasy in our minds of things we want to see, achieve and own as well as characteristics we wish to adopt. For example, alongside iconic fashion creatives, powerful women, in general, have made a strong impact in moulding my persona. In most cases, these women are fictional and are simply actresses or characters. However, their stories, successes and struggles are a real insight into what life can be like and teach me what character I want to play in my own life story. 

After finishing these great books or movies, my mind is left to run wild. Concocting the most extravagant ideas and plans in my mind about my own future, based on the people I have just learnt about. Some of these goals are achievable, but others leave one asking, are you out of your mind? Can you really be like those characters you look up to?  

@that_there_asha

My fascination with the lives of others is what inspires me to do what I do. Both factual and fictional circumstances give me a great deal to think about but they both also add to the dreamworld in my mind that continues to grow as I develop my future vision. However, it can often be disregarded that these sources of popular culture are typically exaggerated for the maximum audience effect. Creators want you to feel a connection to specific characters and storylines, to pull you further into their narrative and in today’s young generation, social media influencers want you to believe their ‘perfect’ lives even though many have admitted that they don’t really live how their accounts portray.  

This can leave us with a sense of confusion about where we can look for direction and interests as it could result in our mind becoming delusional about what the ‘real world’ is like and whether we are creating unreasonable targets. I have aspirations to be like the people I see on my screen or read about in books, but is this my own ambition or the replica of that of someone else? Illusions can either benefit our progression as they push our minds to great limits, but they can also distract us from what is really possible and in an ever-changing society, we should adapt to fit with how the world works in this period of time.  

On the other hand, when considering the career path I am taking as a creative, artist and communicator, I don’t think it’s possible to form the best ideas without seeing something beyond common reality first and exploring its true potential. Seeing illusions doesn’t have to be a constant negative when we understand what is truly possible in reality. As creatives, illusions can be the best starting points for our mind, thinking about what things could be or looking from a different angle. We can then put these into practice, creating a reality of the illusion.  

An illusion is simply something that isn’t there. Not something that can never be.

Words: Gaby Regan, Storehouse Content Team, @gabriellemariaregan

Illustrations: Asha Wilson, Storehouse Content Team, @that_there_asha

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