My family, immediate and extended, has raised my generation in a very competitive environment. From a young age, we were compared to others: strangers, family friends, second cousins, classmates, each other, etc. We had to be the best in everything we did. If we weren’t, why weren’t we? Why weren’t we as good at playing piano as that cousin? Why weren’t we doing as well in class as that student? I remember that getting an A in a class is not enough; it has to be the highest A. What I don’t remember is when I began to internalize that bad habit. Even today, i compare myself to others, academically and otherwise. I know it’s not the healthiest of habits, but I don’t know how to stop doing so. I compare myself to my friends, and as much as I try not to, I keep doing it. I pick out all their better traits and wonder to myself at night, why aren’t as I good as them? Logically, I know that everyone is better at something else, and that I could never be the best in everything. But it’s just hard to internalize the idea that no matter how hard I try in calculus, for instance, there will be people my age that are already far advanced and will do better with much less effort. I was smart in high school, but where I am now, I am just average. I understand that there are phenomenal people out there, but then where does that leave me? What can I do? At my lowest points, I feel like I can do nothing. I just feel inadequate. Inadequate in everything. What was I thinking, taking this class load onto myself? I don’t know that I will do well. I will try my best (and thank goodness for my loved ones who support me, no matter what), but that doesn’t actually guarantee anything. Someone teach me how to stop feeling inadequate. Please.
And if inadequacy wasn’t enough, it also brings up melancholy and insecurity, and if that’s not a bad combination… I don’t know what is. I don’t know how to stop this cycle. I try to push through it and think logically, but I end up crying to my friends. What am I doing?
That is not to say that I am ungrateful to my friends. No, they are wonderful people, but it is hard to internalize their beliefs when my beliefs run so deep.
If insecurity is my boogeyman, then inadequacy is his sneaky sidekick that hides in the closet while he hides under the bed. I’ll beat them eventually. (Ironic. I never was afraid of the dark as child, but I am afraid of the darkness in myself…)