Senior struggles against low self-esteem, comparison to others

Seth Jarvis, News Editor

You know what one of the most unhealthy things you can do is? Well, it’s comparing yourself to others.
Now, this is something I have struggled with quite a bit in the past. I have had a great amount of trouble with looking at other people’s success, then looking at mine, and concluding that I stink.
It’s a weird battle for sure. It feels like no matter what you do, how hard you study, and how hard you train, you’ll still always end up behind for some reason.
This can lead to all kinds negative thoughts that make you feel even more hopeless about your situation. Sometimes, you feel like you may never succeed in life. I know that because I have felt like that many times in the past.
On the bright side for me, I have largely grown out of this unfortunate phase. Here is how I managed to break free from this incredibly horrible negative feedback loop.
One of the processes I have adopted to defeat this enemy is that I have tried to change who I compare myself to. Who is this person I compare myself to? Well, it’s myself from yesterday.
You can’t control how others are doing. Truth is that no matter what you do, there will probably always be someone who you view as ahead of you. That is a fact I had to learn to accept and it’s one you’ll probably have to if you want to break free from these poor feelings. But you know who you can always be better than? Yourself.
Energy that you spend thinking about how so-and-so is so much better than you, can instead be focused on working to achieve your own goals.
One of the things I started doing was journaling. I wrote down what went wrong in a day, what went right, and what needed improvement. By doing this, I kept myself and my own improvement in the spotlight.
This resulted in me feeling better about myself as I saw real development with my life.
On top of that, I always try to set goals and make a good plan to reach them. These goals can be as small as going for a quick walk around your neighborhood every day or as big as competing for a $10,000 national scholarship.
Focusing on these achievements, will ensure that you’re worrying about your own success rather than how someone else is doing. Little victories each day can go a long way in helping you feel better about yourself.
Now, these solutions probably aren’t going to make your comparing issues go away overnight. This isn’t a magic “flip a switch” solution that will instantly make you feel better.
Personally, it took me a few years to overcome this problem, and, even today, I still occasionally feel it slip back into my life. However, implementing these small changes can help with the pain quite a bit and start you down a more positive path.