You're Not Another Piece Of The Venn Diagram

You're Not Another Piece Of The Venn Diagram

We all wonder if we'll ever be as tall as the other trees.

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Let us take a look at the scientific method, starting with the question, are you better than the person next to you? Take some background research about what they are good at. Look at your hypothesis, if they did better than me at this, then they are better than me overall. Now, through your experiment, you will go through life and the failures you have and compare them to the accomplishments they have. After analyzing, you result in feeling like you have lost some self-worth.

Why do we compare ourselves? Social psychologists came up with the Social Comparison Theory, which states that "in the absence of objective measures for self-evaluation, we compare ourselves to others to find out how well we are doing." Psychologist, Dr. Williams, says "we come to know ourselves by comparing ourselves to other people, and we compare ourselves to others to learn about our feelings, traits, and abilities." It's not terrible to compare yourself because that way, we can motivate or even feel better about ourselves, but sometimes, comparing ourselves can cause us to lose self-worth. It is astonishing how one number can affect your mood.

But NUMBERS are incapable of measuring all of the EFFORT, TALENT, and CAPABILITIES we possess. Anyone can be talented, anyone can be smart, but why let a simple number define how talented or smart you are? How good you are at something is not solely based on talent. Everyone has talent, but talent is nothing without hard work and dedication, skill develops from the time we spend on perfecting that talent. And after all, a number can't measure your willpower or determination. Ms. Halvorson, the author of "Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals" states that "we should think about why we were seeking the information. Upward comparison can be punishing and make you feel terrible… but you can also look upward to learn." Don't just feel inferior about performing badly, or even looking bad, especially when you are giving your best. What more can you offer to yourself other than your best?

We are constantly looking at the person next to us rather than focusing on ourselves. We see ourselves every day, the same image and we know what we are capable of doing, so it's easy to avert our attention to others and their strengths and compare their strengths to our weaknesses. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, the author of the study and associate professor of economics at Dartmouth College says that people "influence what you think is a normal lifestyle." You have these standards and this ideal image that everyone strives to be, but while in the midst of trying to achieve that goal or standard for yourself, you start feeling like you have lost self-worth.

You start to lose yourself.

All of us want to be the best, but the most important thing is to be the best of your OWN capabilities. You will be successful either way. What matters the most is to make the difference for yourself and to do what makes you happy. You do not need to be better than everyone else, but be better for your own satisfaction. It is hard for all of us to just accept how we are now and how much effort is put into everything already when there are so many people in the world that are "higher" than us, comparing your life to someone else's is always a losing proposition because there will always be someone who will appear to be doing a better job or living a better life, you can not always be at the top.

Every person in this world is stuck in this box. We are constantly surrounded by the walls that close in on us daily. On one side is the expectations people set for us that we are expected to hold, the next side is the kind of criticism that we face. Coming down from the top is the failure that could come crashing down at any moment, and the bottom is the bottomless pit we are all stuck in. We are in this box because we are constantly beating ourselves up inside and out, wondering WHY can't we be as smart as them, WHY can't we be as good looking or as nice or cool as the next person?

But we always fail to ask this one question: WHY can't we just seem to accept ourselves the way we are now?

If we know that we, ourselves can do better, then do better! All it takes is hard work, and if hard work doesn't take you to where you want, then push a little harder and satisfy yourself and no one else around you. Talent is what we possess but skill is gained every second, hour to a day worth of time to carve. No one has fallen down yet, and those who have, have failed to realize that they are only one step closer to success. On the road to success, you will always pass by failure.

We are all tiny plants stuck in this giant forest with trees towering above us, unable to reach the sunlight we need as the shadows cast upon us, wondering when we'll ever be as tall as the other trees. All of us. How will we ever grow to be that tall? We are all like different seeds, some of us are capable of growing that tall and some of us have a limit to how much we can grow, but still be as beautiful and magnificent as the other. In order to grow and develop into the plant that we are, we must be planted, watered, and given enough sunlight or fertilizer. You can't only have water without all the other elements, because that way, you can't grow.

Just like water, numbers itself cannot define you and it does not make you grow with itself. You need sunlight and clippings, and fertilizer and much more than just water to help you grow, to help to get where you want to be. Like plants, too much water and too little of everything else will kill you. It will kill your happiness, and fog up the whole picture of ourselves that include all the other qualities of ourselves and cause us to think we are failures just because of one, single quality. You don't need to be like those trees, you just need to be like you, the plant you are with your own qualities. Grow from your soil, and admire others and look up to them, but you will never be them like they will never be you.

Now let us plug in another question into the scientific method. Does one quality define who you are? Our research or background information is what you are good at. Look at your hypothesis, If I am good at all of these things and I start to realize it, then I do not need to worry about trying to be better than someone else. The experiment is working hard at what you do best and trying to be the best you can. Analyze by looking at all your achievements, and future goals and current accomplishments. Conclude that you are a unique individual who is different from anyone else, and you do not need to achieve what they have in order to realize that you are good at what you do, and who you are as a person.

Grades, ranking, and looks may all be important, but when you look in the mirror, you don't see a mere number, you see yourself. In that reflection, you may not be able to see all the other qualities you have, but remember, you see the person who has weaknesses, but also strengths. The person who does not only have an image on the outside to define who they are but the person who has more on the inside to complete who they are.

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12 Things Only Low-Maintenance Girls Understand

I promise we aren’t lazy, just easy going.
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Sometimes low-maintenance girls are looked at as lazy or sloppy. But in reality, I think low-maintenance girls are just so confident in who they are that putting in that extra effort isn't important to them.

Here are 12 things that only low-maintenance girls understand:

1. Leggings or sweat pants and a T-shirt is your normal everyday outfit

Why spend the day uncomfortable in some tight jeans or mini skirt when you can lounge around in some comfy clothes? We aren't here to impress anyone, we are just trying to sit back and chill.

2. Makeup is a special occasion

If you catch a low-maintenance girl with makeup on, take it as a compliment. We are trying to touch our face and rub our eyes as much as we'd like without makeup getting in the way. Not to mention, we wouldn't dare spend over $15 on some foundation.

3. We would rather stay in with a movie then go out for the evening

Something low-key and low stress always sounds better than spending the time, and the money, for a night out. I am perfectly content with taking advantage of my $7.99 monthly payment for Netflix.

4. You're always the first one ready

While your friends spend hours doing their hair, makeup and then finding the perfect outfit, you sit around and wait. Your 10 minutes thrown-together-look gives you time to nap while everyone else takes their sweet time.

5. When you say you "don't care what we do," you really don't care

Seriously, a date night off the McDonald's dollar menu is fine by me. I am not expecting you to wine and dine me on a big extravagant evening, I'm just trying to get a Big Mac in my mouth.

6. Your messy bun isn't a fashion statement, it's actually just your hairstyle

We aren't about to spend time curling or straightening our hair everyday. Every day is a good day to throw your hair up into a ponytail or bun.

7. The extent of your jewelry collection is one pair of earrings and maybe a necklace

Who needs more than one pair of earrings? Diamond studs match everything… right?

8. And your shoe collection is even smaller

Should I wear flip-flops or Converse?

9. Shopping isn't exactly your favorite thing to do

Who has patience for finding the perfect designer brands or finding the best fit? I am perfectly content with my T-shirts and leggings. One size fits all.

10. Your favorite gifts are the sentimental ones, not the expensive ones

A homemade card or a small gift that makes someone think of you is forever better and more meaningful than an expensive present. I don't want your money, I just want to know you thought of me.

11. You don't put in the effort to chase after a guy

I'm awesome and I know it. If a guy is worth it enough to be in my life, he can come after me. I am not down for any games or players. Just someone who embraces my low-maintenance qualities.

12. You are always the first person to help someone out

Giving your friends a ride or lending them two dollars isn't a huge deal. Just helping someone out gives you peace of mind. Everyone should have time to help a homie out.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.cosboots.com/sale/christmas/christmas.html

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Dear Girls, You Are So Much More Than Your Jean Size

Even when it feels like you're not.

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Trust me, I know how it feels. I know what it's like to constantly think about food. I know what it's like to be driven insane trying to follow a ridiculous diet. And I also know what it's like to feel beyond guilty that 80 percent of the time I do eat that piece of cake I promised myself I wouldn't. I know how it feels to stand in front of the full-length mirror in your bathroom and choke back tears because your thighs look way too big in the new shorts that you were so excited to wear. I've felt insecure, I've felt hopeless, and I sometimes have a hard time holding my body confidently when I walk into a room of strangers.

We've all felt it.

But there are times when some of us feel it so strongly we just want to burst. Times when we simply can't handle the thought of being inadequate, unattractive or not enough. These feelings can lead us to desperate measures, and we do things we never thought in our right minds we would do. Insecurity holds great and ugly power, and oftentimes it can twist the truth. Sometimes, it can even twist us.

The first day my best friend called me and told me she had made herself throw up, I cried on the phone. I knew this girl inside and out, had grown up alongside her for the past 14 years. This wasn't her, this just wasn't something she would do. Yes, of course I knew this girl.

But at the same time, I had no idea what she was dealing with.

I didn't understand what it was like to have people telling me each successive day that I wasn't enough. That I would never make it unless I lost 10 pounds. That I didn't have the right "look" to be an Olympic-level athlete.

Day in and day out, my friend was degraded with these words and notions conceived from nothing but the expectations of society and the culture of a brutal sport.

The first words I said to her and the only words I can really, truly offer to any girl struggling with this are, "It's not worth it." Because it just isn't. Compromising your physical, mental and emotional health is not worth being the best at your sport. It's not worth becoming a prima ballerina, fitting into size two jeans, getting boys to like you, becoming part of a sorority, being a model or looking great in a bikini.

What is worth it is you.

I know that sometimes as a girl it is so hard to realize that you are more than just a body. But you are. You are more than just skin and bones. You are a million stories of where you've been, a million visions of where you want to go. You are the kind words you've said to strangers passing by, you are your favorite books, and the quotes hung up above your bed frame. You are the songs you play over and over again till the lyrics are second nature. You are the tattoo you've always wanted to get on your forearm. You are your mother's daughter.

Don't simplify yourself to just a body. You are so much more than that.

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