something i've really struggled with since coming into college is comparison. take a warning, if you aren't in college yet, comparison is going to kill you. suddenly you're surrounded by all these talented, beautiful people and everything you do seems just eh.
thanks to pinterest, we all know the quote "comparison is the thief of joy." (theodore roosevelt) and i've heard this quote a lot and i loved it (before it went viral on pinterest... then it just became ironic) but i never really practiced, let alone understood it, it until this year.
the other day i was scrolling through instagram and i happened on a cool picture by my favorite instagrammer. it read:
"Start competing against yourself--Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only -- yourself! You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break all your personal records."
and that struck a chord within me. from day one of college i've been told, "there's always going to be someone out there better than you." and that made me upset. in high school, you're bred to compete. we live in a world where you can have a 107 GPA and you define yourself by your achievements. i did that. i still do that sometimes. it's gross. it's burdensome. it's icky.
sorry for lack of a better word... but it really is just... icky.
when i watch others succeed and myself fail, or just... not succeed in the same way... i start to doubt myself and especially my creativity.
a couple weeks ago i got back this project that i had worked hard on and i got a good grade. i was so pleased and relieved. but when i found out one of my friends did significantly better than me i felt sick. i felt my grade was bad. the joy that i had was actually stolen from me in a split second. that quote... it's real.
i think we beat ourselves up on how we look, what we're involved in, our GPA, etc. i think it's time we give ourselves, and our friends, a break. i'm surrounded by cool, creative, fun, personable, successful people. why be threatened by their achievements or experience jealousy?
ever since i've worked to shut up my competitive nature against other people, i've found freedom. i'm not comparing myself, because i'm in a different place. i have other talents others may not have and vice versa. also, it's a waste of my time. why not just try to do better than i am right now.
celebrate yourself, practice, work hard for what you want, and beat your personal best. with this new mentality, i feel like i could conquer the world.
you try. i promise it's freeing.
happy humpday, and go get em tigers.