You are your best competition

There are times that we all feel that we are not living up to “expectations” or that aren’t doing enough. A feeling we have where we tell ourselves that we don’t deserve what we have or that we need to do much more to be “accomplished”. It’s a feeling that I have pretty often, like every other week. About a month ago, my friend told me that she got an internship at a company and the CEO was so impressed with her application that he wanted her to lead the internship and do so much more for the company. When I heard this, I was genuinely very proud of her and happy for her. She worked hard to get the position and she deserves it. But 10 seconds later, I felt that I need to do something too. I felt that I wasn’t doing enough. I even went to search for more internships, volunteer positions, or anything else that I can do to add to my resume and make it look “accomplished”. This thought was at the back of my mind for a few days until I wondered why I should even feel that way. I have an internship. It may not be a lead role or something amazing like my friend’s, but I still worked hard to get it, right? I am working to get a job. I have decent grades in school. I have a blog and Stories Behind Success. Why should I feel that I am not doing enough? Yes, I need to work hard but that doesn’t mean that I am not already doing so.

This idea branches off my other post, “It’s okay to take a break!“. I talked about how when we see others continuously working hard, we feel that we have to do the same thing. We feel that we should always keep working hard because society seems to be doing so. Just because someone else accomplished something, doesn’t mean that you have to too. You are your only competition. You are the only person that you should compete against. Are you better than you were yesterday? Do it for yourself and your personal satisfaction. Not for others or for society. Who cares what others are doing? All that matters is that you are doing your best and you are happy. We each have our own background, reasons, goals, and motivations. Comparing yourself to others is not fair both for ourselves and for them because where they are coming from is so different from where you may be coming from. All that matters is that you are happy and you are doing what you love. This is commonly referred to as imposter syndrome: the feeling that you need to do more just because others are doing it. We all have our own path and our own journey. Just follow your path and chase your dreams. Be curious and keep pushing, but don’t feel that you are not doing enough just because others have accomplished something amazing.

For the past 2-3 years, basically since the start of high school, I have always done everything for college. “What will make my college resume and college application look good and what will make it look bad?”. About 3-4 months ago, as I was finding internships to add to my college resume, I realized that I shouldn’t be doing this to make my college apps stand out or for me to get into a specific college. I should find an internship because I want to learn and grow as a person and as a professional. My perspective on finding your passion and chasing your dreams completely evolved and changed after this thought. I kept thinking about all the choices I made throughout high school for college and I realized that it’s not the right mindset to have. Instead of doing things for something else, do it for yourself. More importantly, when you do things for yourself, don’t compare what you are doing with what others are doing. Use their experiences and journeys as inspiration and as ideas to maybe do something similar for yourself, but don’t compete with them because there is simply no point.

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