Why the “We Live on a Floating Rock” mindset is NOT IT.
How we Alter our Reality to See what we Want
By Racheal Dionisio
Photo by Andrew Burke-Stevenson
I am definitely a glass-half-empty type of person - even when I try not to be. However, I’d like to consider myself more of a realist than a pessimist. For example, when opening an email that has my potential fate for the summer in the form of an internship decision, I expect disappointment. When I do experience the disappointment I anticipated all along, I recall and evaluate two options to cope with the news:
1. Drown in my own sorrow for two hours and then allow my self-esteem to drop exponentially as I crumble into a miserable ball of self-doubt.
2. Tell myself that it wasn’t my fault or in my control to justify my lack of interview preparation or to make myself feel better about not having a stacked-enough resume.
It’s a tough decision to make, but my fear of being in denial about my actions usually leads me to choose the first option, even though I acknowledge it is not the most self-empowering solution. If I were to choose the second option, I would fall into a mental spiral of jumping hurdles to justify everything wrong that happens to me. If I can’t ever take responsibility when I flunk a midterm or fail a task, then how would I ever be able to move forward? Therefore, I choose to blame myself rather than an external force. Blaming the floating rock we inhabit as a method of comfort can only go so far in my experience.
You’ve definitely heard it before. The “We Live on a Floating Rock” mentality has completely overtaken TikTok this past year, which essentially is just a mindset to justify your wrongdoings or disappointments because nothing really matters. We are just microorganisms living on a floating rock, stationed in the universe. Nothing in this silly, little life makes sense. The positioning of a ball of fire determines whether we wear a coat or not. Living on this rock we call home is a miracle in itself. Why sweat the small mishaps of your own life when you mean so little to the bigger picture? Looking at the concept of life from the inside out is a common coping mechanism, but I’ve theorized that this robust strategy won’t bring you ultimate success long-term.
When you go to extraneous lengths of finding mental potholes, you fail to hold yourself accountable. You start to alter your own reality to see what you want to see instead of what is real. You fall victim to confirmation bias, which surfaces when humans only look for positives out of a negative circumstance to support their own expectations rather than acknowledging the outcome for what it is. When you poorly perform on exam after exam, how much longer can you try to justify your faults through this bias? Will it really help you score better next time if you can’t accept how your repeated actions lead to the same outcome? In my experience, owning up to your mistakes and creating a full-fledged plan on how you can improve is the only answer to success.
Trust me, I understand that people tend to use the floating rock mentality ironically. It may be a comprisable way to ease the pain after receiving discouraging news. However, if you find yourself leaning on this strategy time after time, how much denial would it take until you melt into self-deprecation? The pile of every bullet you dodge will tip you over to rock bottom at some point. The floating rock philosophy will not ease your anxiety in the grand scheme. It will not always be there as a fallback to avoid your feelings. I can assure you that as humans, we need to feel our disappointment. We need to evaluate where our actions fell short. We need to acknowledge how we failed in order to reach success the next time around.
Sure, we are insignificant. Our problems, no matter how excruciating or overcoming they may seem, don’t even amount to the pain that is in the world. The floating rock mentality can definitely be used to navigate life’s uncertainties and to find order in our priorities and values. However, when it is used as a coping mechanism for your own faults, being honest with yourself when you wrong yourself is the most promising strategy. I am working on not being so hard on myself, and I acknowledge my flaws in this intense take. Nevertheless, I am a firm believer in respecting your own morale and acknowledging the whole picture in order to reach your greatest potential and come back stronger next time.