There have been many instances where I’ve felt as though I’ve failed when in reality that wasn’t the case. Looking back at my university career, the times that I have been at my lowest are often because I was comparing myself to others. I would get a midterm or final exam mark back and feel happy with the grade I got because I studied so hard and tried my best, but then I'd find out one of my friends got a higher grade than me or the class average for the exam was higher than my mark. In that moment of comparison, what once was a feeling of happiness is now washed away and replaced with a feeling of failure. Questions such as, “Why didn’t I do as well as them”, “I studied so hard why doesn’t my grade reflect that”, or “Am I not smart enough” run through my mind and I start to doubt my abilities. My feeling of accomplishment is drowned out by comparing my success to someone else’s.
The idea of comparing oneself to another occurs in many aspects of an individual’s life. Whether you compare your academics, social life, body image, potential career opportunities, or lifestyle to that of others, know that everyone does this and it is normal. However, it is important to not let yourself become overwhelmed with the comparisons or dwell on all the expectations that you believe you’re not living up to. Live your life the way you want to live it and do things at your own pace.
In moments where you feel like a failure, it is very hard to recognize that success for everyone is different and shouldn’t be compared. Don’t take your own accomplishments away from yourself, no matter how small those accomplishments may seem. That is not fair to you. In those moments, take a step back and remember everything you’ve been through to get to where you are because everyone’s journey is different. Remember all the challenges you’ve overcome and know that you will also get through them in the future. Remember, that this one moment, which seems like a failure, is just that, a moment.