Growing up, it was easy to compare yourself to the other kids in the class. We can all remember the kid who was exceptional at art or could read before everyone else. It was easy to measure ourselves on a scale of others’ successes. We all wanted to be the best, smartest, fastest kid on the room or on the playground. These were the characteristics that we saw others succeeding at in the classroom, and we planned how we could be like that as well.
Throughout our childhood and young adult lives we often learn how to measure our success by comparing ourselves to the person next to us. We think to ourselves, ‘well they got an awesome scholarship or internship, now I need to get one.’ Though some competition is healthy, the way we learned to measure our own success to the success of others is not.
Success should be measured on a scale of self-improvement over time, not on a scale of how well others are doing in a similar situation. How are you measuring your success? How does society measure your success? And should society’s version of success even play a role in your life?
While trying to figure out what topic to use for this blog, I googled different ideas surrounding the word “success” and they all provided some kind of list of what success is or should be. As I continued my research, I thought to myself, ‘why is there a list of instructions saying how I or anyone else can succeed.’ Success should be individual. It should not be based on power, money or comparing yourself to others. It should be about how hard you have been working to reach a goal and how close you get to reaching said goal.
Succeeding shouldn’t be about how smart you are compared to the person next to you. Success should be based on where you were and where you are now. Take what you know about the world and how you grew success while growing up and disregard it. Take time and reflect on what success is to you. Next time you start comparing yourself to someone else’s, stop and think about how far you’ve come.