Recently I had lunch with our Sales & Marketing team from work and obviously we were having 10 different conversations at the same time. The restaurant was owned by the parents of one of my colleague. So, we were trying to guess who was family or not among the restaurant staff. Suddenly, I see at the bar a guy who looked just like my colleague and I ask him if that was his brother. He said yes and what stroke me the most was that they both had the same hairstyle. I jokingly said: “Dude, you copied your brother!”. To my surpise, he naturally answer:”Yes, of course, I copied my brother, he alwasy does things better than me!.
I immediately got sad and a bit angry when hearing his words. I just don’t believe in these comparisons, I hate these low self-esteem reactions. I think it’s also because I didn’t feel not good enough when I was a kid. I was in primary school (7 – 11 years old) no matter how hard I worked and how hard I studied my marks were always mediocre. I was so frustrated that my hard work was not sufficient.
Long story short, when I got to secondary school, my hard work finally paid off. I was considered among the best and respected by my different teachers. Afterwards, when I met my primary school teacher I told him straight up that I was now good as well, that I finally had great grades and that I was proud of myself. I know now this is silly, but I realized that I was angry at him and at me. At him for not valuing me as I deserved and at me for letting myself believe that I was mediocre and that I cannot be part of the best.
I think that was the moment when I started resenting words like “not good enough”, “she/he’s much better than me”, “mediocre” and so on. Don’t get me wrong I’m not delusional and I do have an objective view of reality, but least try not to make it tough for me. So, coming back to my colleague, the second day at work I had a chat with him and told him that he should stop this stupid comparison for a number of reasons:
1) It’s unhealthy. One thing is to feel inspired by another person and a totally different thing is to copy them thinking you’re not as good.
2) I feel it’s like giving himself a reason not to be the best he can be at what he’s talented at, because his brother is better than he is anyway
3) WE ALL ARE UNIQUE AND PRECIOUS! This is my strongest argument, as we have all been designed uniquely and have individual great traits. I’m pretty sure he is better than his brother at many things.
So, next time you have a wrong image of yourself slap yourself really well and try to look at yourself objectively. A practical thing you can do is to just write down everything you’re good at and focus on them and be proud of that.
I’m thankful for all those precious people out there who are encouraging and sensitive to people’s talents and uniqueness!