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Does anyone else feel like their lives would be so much better if they could just stop comparing themselves to other people?

On the one hand, I struggle immensely with pride. It comes with the territory of being told how wonderful and special you are your whole life, and being generally pretty good at school- which, up until you enter the real world, is a substantial part of your life to excel at. I can’t understate how much of an impact being an IB graduate has had on my self-esteem either. I am one of the few, the proud, the IB, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t still fall back on that identity four years after graduating from the program. I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit to how nasty of a person that has made me, judging others for not living up to these arbitrary standards that I’ve imposed on them without their knowledge (I’ve MOSTLY moved past this, and am ashamed to admit I ever did it. But it’s relevant to the story).

On the other hand, I struggle even more with a crippling sense of self-doubt. I see my peers going on to become lawyers, doctors, globe-trotters, engineers, and who knows what else, and I feel a need to keep up with the Joneses that I have never felt in regards to material possessions. I want to be seen as someone whose life is enviable too, unable to accept that the truly enviable life is the one that is driven by your own passions, not the fear of mediocrity or need to impress others.

So I swing between a despicable sense of superiority and a depressing fear of even mere adequacy, and I want very badly to stop in the middle and just be. To embrace who I am, what I love (no matter how often that changes 😉 ), and where I would want to go in life if I were the only person whose opinion on the subject mattered. Because, in the end, that’s how it should be.

I know that, as soon as I can accept myself, flaws and all, and not in the context of someone out there is inferior to me and therefore that makes me valuable, I will be happy. Because, in reality, I’m just being incredibly unfair to the people I’m holding myself against, as well as to myself. Comparing yourself to others is a shallow, petty way to gain self-worth while simultaneously setting yourself up to always fall short.

I can only imagine what sort of decisions I would make if I stopped caring where that would put me in this imaginary race of Life I’ve created in my head. But I don’t need a whole lot of imagination to know that I would be a much happier person.

Does anyone else struggle with this?

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