To stop wanting to be famous, be aware of all the downsides of being famous — such as vulnerability, attachment, and less privacy — and realize that fame per se does not equal happiness. Most importantly, learn to be whole and complete in yourself.
In the future, everyone will have fifteen minutes of fame. Followed by fifteen minutes of legal problems, fifteen minutes of ridicule from late-night TV hosts, fifteen minutes of obscurity, and fifteen minutes of “where are they now?”Dan Piraro
Why fame can be alluring
There are many potential reasons why you may want to be famous — just like there are many reasons we want to feel loved and appreciated.
As social animals, our desire to be famous could stem from our most primitive instincts and needs, such as safety and the feeling of belonging.
In our mind, fame is this entity that protects us and gives us more opportunities, therefore the thought of it can be alluring.
However, I’d like to offer a different, perhaps easier interpretation, which is: in general, we want to be famous because that’s what everyone else desires.
Think about it — isn’t it true that the majority of people out there follow certain trends, have certain hobbies and interests, know everything about a certain topic…
Purely because that’s what everybody else does? You may call it conformity. Or copying others. Vadim Zeland takes it further and says it has to do with invisible information structures.
The truth is that if we were to look at things like fame and popularity objectively and consciously, they wouldn’t be that attractive anymore.
The same way some of our unhealthy habits e.g. spending hours on social media wouldn’t really appeal to us if others stopped doing it.
Speaking of which, I guarantee social media has exacerbated the issue. Nothing wrong with social platforms per se — it used to be, and still is, an amazing tool.
But haven’t you noticed how nowadays everyone is obsessed with likes, follows, retweets, comments, swipes… you name it?
What if the desire for fame is now ingrained in your brain, not because that’s what you want, but because everyone’s been hypnotized into having the same desire?
Pros and cons of being famous
Visibility and popularity can be great because…
- You have more opportunities. In terms of your career, connections, and even your social life. If no one knows you, how can they even contact you?
- You have more influence. Not just in business, but also and most importantly when it comes to promoting values and the “right things”.
- You are not as lonely. Although loneliness comes from lack of connection, not just lack of friends, being famous does make things easier.
On the flip side…
- Being famous = vulnerability. We see it all the time. Someone gets some visibility and all of a sudden they are bombarded with criticism and toxic gossip.
- Being famous = being “high”. Fame itself is nothing more than a high. And when you go back to a more normal state, you often realize it was all an illusion.
- Being famous = maintenance. Okay, you are famous; now what? You can’t just let go of fame, can you? You’ll cling to it, protect it, defend it at all costs. And waste so much energy and time.
How to stop wanting to be famous
1. Be your own source of approval
Unless you are a narcissist, you don’t really care about being the center of attention, because attention per se could be negative.
Instead — consciously or subconsciously — you want to be liked, loved, appreciated, understood.
However, once you learn to love yourself a little bit more, and become your own source of validation, the desire for fame naturally goes away.
2. Realize privacy is pretty cool
Think: the more people fall into the trap of endless social media scrolling, treating social profiles as if they were their extension, waiting to be famous at all costs…
The more privacy and even secrecy will become pretty amazing. Everything has a price. Being famous (online or in the real world) has a price too.
Vulnerability. Energy spent protecting it. Time spent chasing it. And just the fact that everyone knows everything about you. No, thanks. I’d much rather be free.
3. Be allergic to normality
Those who appeal to the majority of the population aren’t usually that smart, creative, or innovative. Or they may be, but hide it. Why?
Because to gain fame you have to establish some sort of connection with “most people”. And “most people” only hear what they want to hear; see what they want to see.
So if you’re the most revolutionary genius, or even just someone who tells the cold hard truth — how many followers are you going to have? Probably not that many.
4. Know what the threshold is
Money doesn’t buy happiness. Money doesn’t buy love. We’ve all heard it. It’s false. Money can, although indirectly, buy happiness and even buy love.
What we may not realize is that, even statistically, once you get to a certain level — once all your actual needs are taken care of — any extra amount doesn’t really mean much in terms of happiness.
Guess what — being famous works exactly the same. Once you have a circle of people that make you happy, that’s basically it. You may chase more people, and more fame, but your happiness will probably stay the same.
5. Be whole and complete
It happens to all of us — we spend months or even years chasing some type of emotion externally (chasing people, experiences, or material items) and then feel empty even when we “make it”.
This is because, to use an analogy, it’s not enough to have, you also and most importantly need to be. What you look for must be within you.
Sounds too complicated? It doesn’t have to be. It simply means that whatever fame gives you (e.g. a sense of recognition or power) can be found in you. Your only job is to allow that feeling, to give yourself permission to feel and to be.
Forget about being famous. Forget about other people’s opinions. Focus on the most important person — you.
Being famous never made anyone happy. Not in the long run anyway.
If you chase fame to be happy… wouldn’t it make sense to directly work on your happiness?
Thanks for reading and have a fabulous day 😉