I am constantly comparing myself to other people. Peers, friends, family, strangers…you name it. I always size myself up in comparison to someone. Did somebody get a promotion? Or win the scholarship I wanted? Or do anything remotely amazing? My first instinct is to be happy, to congratulate them.
But some deeper part of me, the insecure part of me, cowers. Jealousy is not the problem. Sure, it would be nice if I won the thousand dollars or if I got a prestigious award or landed a promotion. But it’s not that big of a deal, not in the grand scheme of things. Logically I know that my life isn’t bad. I have what I need, and I have friends and family who love me. I am not worthless.
But I still cower. Because there’s a child inside of me, a child that says they achieved something you didn’t. You are worthless because you didn’t achieve this. You are less than. And above all, you are not worthy of being their friend.
My deepest fear is that my best friends are going to look at me one day and think I’m a loser. That they’re going to start ignoring me and decide I’m not worthy of talking to. Not worthy of loving. But that is not true and that type of mindset is not the path to happiness.
1. To Follow Your Passion
Do you have a passion for cooking but your parents insist you have to go into finance or business? Happiness in oneself may not be the direct result of doing what you love to do, but it is certainly not the direct result of pursuing something that is meaningless to you, simply because others approve. If you can find meaning in your life, you have a greater likelihood of seeing yourself as significant.
2. To Claim Yourself
It is your life to succeed, and it is your life to fail. If you don’t live your life to measure up to other people, then you can live your life to measure up to yourself. Be proud to be you. So, you’re not where you want to be in life. But you’re headed somewhere. So what if you make bad choices? You are learning.
3. You Are Good Enough
The person you are in the inside is good enough. So what if you don’t have a high paying job or you’re not majoring in advance biomechanical engineering? YOU are beautiful.
4. People Have Issues
Nobody’s life is sunshine and rainbows. We all struggle. It may not seem like it sometimes, but we do. We are all fragile and often lost in life. But we’re lost together. People may love you even more because of who you are. My younger sister recently discovered that a girl she thought was practically perfect hated herself and landed up in the hospital for a suicide attempt. We are in this together; we are struggling together. And loving people, not despite their flaws but for them can be a beautiful thing.
5. Your Happiness Is Important.
YOU DESERVE BETTER. People are not going to abandon you because you are different. There are people out there who will embrace that, and will love you all the more for it. And if they don’t, guess what? That relationship is toxic. Find people who care about you and make you happy because you deserve it.
I finally realized something. At the end of the day, I need to be proud of myself and where I’m going in life. Because even if I’m not the best at everything or even anything, I am not the bane of society; and no matter what the monster inside of me claims, I am not a terrible person. And it is time for me to accept myself. I hope you can do the same. Because, in the end, you’re the only one who can live your life. And the only one who can make you proud is you.