One question I got asked a lot when doing an open forum for "stuff I've learned after living for 25 years" was 'how do you not let other people's accomplishments affect your self-worth' and 'how do you cope with jealousy.' Well this is actually a question I can answer:
To preface I grew up in an environment where I was constantly compared to other children. I think at some point my mom even would cry over 'why couldn't XXX be my kid instead of you', teachers and coaches compared me, people in general compare, etc. It's not escapable
But when I was still trapped in a place like that, I was miserable. I couldn't even like how I looked, how I'd perform, because there was always someone better and it felt like, even if I put my best foot forward, people only care about the best. Literally everything I did
where I approached that task with that mindset, I started disliking the task itself. I found it hard to be friends with people, especially with competition on my mind, and I had extremely low self-worth. Overall, I learned this way of thinking was hindering my progress for what?
I thought if I stopped looking at how others did, I wouldn't know what was going on and be out of the loop. I thought that if I didn't constantly compare myself, I wouldn't know where I was in terms of progress. That was a mistake. Eventually, there was something that I loved
doing and I wanted to go into it with the right mindset because damn. It would have been soulcrushing for me to fall out of love with what I wanted to do as a kid. I then focused on defining success based on accomplishable things WITHIN the task I was doing, instead of milestones
Instead of making my goal, "I want to win the senior design competition and beat out those kids who've been gunning at this since freshman year" I made it my goal to "design the best vehicle I PERSONALLY would feel proud of showcasing with the best performance specs"
Instead of making my goal, "I need to score 100 on this exam", I made my goal, "I want to learn as much as I can about _subject_ so that if anyone asked me a question, I could reliably answer them. And know these cycles by heart." Here's what's different about this thinking:
Scores and "beating people" aren't scalable. They last as long as that exam, or as long as you know that person. Knowledge is scalable, which you use in your mental toolbox to solve problems. Knowledge --> skills, and it's guaranteed self-improvement, instead of dependent
on someone else and their performance. I also realized that jealousy would get in the way of friendships. People do bad shit when they're jealous. I've seen people shit talk others just to feel better, steal work, copy others, cheat, anything to get a leg up. It's tempting
As someone who's been a victim of all of that and can see where that line of thinking begins, I would have to distance myself from others if I started feeling jealous. And I really hated that. I hated the mentality that it's me vs the world when I've learned that to do an amazing
job at anything, the key is WORKING WITH OTHERS. I can't stress this enough. When I used to do assignments on my own/ was too anti-social to talk, I scored/learned much worse than when I started working with others, sharing knowledge, and having to work less for a better result
Collaboration feels so much better than competition. When you 'beat' someone, you're just kind of left with the emptiness of, oh. I'm better than you. You don't like me anymore because of how I treated you to get there. To have a friend that you constantly work alongside
and motivate each other? You will always have that bond. And it feels great. I love that part the most out of everything that I do, that this feels like a community, a team sport, and we're all just trying to be the best versions of ourselves.
Also if you think about it- people will always be out there doing something. When you stop doing your own thing to stop and look at how someone else is doing it, and feeling too miserable to progress, that hurts you instead of motivates you.
Now it's important to see what other people are doing in general, but if you see someone doing something GREAT. Look at them for inspiration, admire them, take note at what they're doing, and then keep going your way. Be happy for them AND want better for yourself.
On top of that, once you base your self-worth off matters completely out of your control (what other people are doing, things you can't do no matter how hard you try), it will only hurt you in the long run. It's vital to shut out that thinking, because it can paralyze you.
I think that it's a hard world out there because jealousy is literally one of the biggest motivators no one wants to admit and comparison/competition is such a big aspect of our society, but I've personally found it damaging. These are lessons I've learned myself that have
made me personally feel and do better that I hope can help other people stuck in this rut. The people around me have called my way of thinking "weak" sometimes (since they're firm believers in competition making society better) but
funny enough I've become someone people get irrationally jealous of now to the point that I have to give talks like this to people who want to for whatever reason, do better than me as their goal. (Not being conceited here, just have seen it.) So I think my way works for me haha
Anyways it's funny to publish something like this on Oikawa's birthday but you will find that working with a team, looking straight at what's in front of you, and focusing on polishing your own skills independent of what others do will make a world of difference. I BELIEVE IN YOU
I'm always not sure about publishing thoughts like this because it's really individualistic and I hate telling people what to do since they know themselves better than I ever will, but this is the mindset that really helped me move forward with my life and do a better job
Also the world is not a level playing field. I learned this a lot when I was estranged from my family when I was 17 and paying for my own expenses, teaching myself things from the beginning, and being in the same classes as brilliant people with brilliant families and lots of $$
So don't be hard on yourself if that's what you're surrounded by. I found that the more I thought about the differences between us though, I'd be less motivated to succeed. I tried not to think about it at all, because once I let it intimidate me, I wouldn't progress forward

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More from @kurapikasdad

17 Jul
kenhina AU where hinata is in a dating show trying to win kodzukens love where he has a moment where hes staring at a camera and yelling. "I'M FIGHTING FOR MY LIFE OUT HERE, KENMA, ON THIS BATTLEFIELD OF LOVE!"
the announcer is kuroo like in total drama island and hes just vibing and coming up with the craziest stunts

"If I win this, Kodzuken can pay for my sister's college tuition. I love you Akane-chan everything I do is for you!!"
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