One of my biggest struggles in life has been balancing my anxiety and my fear. It was not until a couple of years ago that I discovered where the root of those inhibitors was grounded.

Over the years, I realized that most of my insecurities came from comparison. Almost everything that I did, I did because everyone else was doing it and I merely wanted to fit in. I also held back from doing things that I loved because I feared to be different from my peers. I found myself with a lack of confidence in my abilities and my talents. I had a fear of standing out. I had taken on a bad habit without even noticing it. My anxiety and fear came from a desire to be perfect and good all of the time. And to no surprise, I failed over and over again at this feat.

However, I learned something from those failures, and from my successes. From my failures, I learned that trying to be like everyone else and worrying about what everyone else was doing would get me nowhere. I refused to acknowledge the things that made me a unique individual. On the other hand, the times that I did not compare myself to others and rather just focused on the race that I was running, I got farther and I succeeded in my own way. In the end, I was successful because I had confidence in myself. I did not need the fact that I was like everyone else to validate me.

Comparisons are toxic. It causes you to be self-absorbed, it chips away at your self-esteem and makes you believe that everyone else is more worthy and capable than you are. Each person's journey is their own, with struggles and victories alike, no two are the same. Comparing your successes or failures to another person's is completely pointless and degrading of your own self-worth. Rather, appreciate others for what they are doing and acknowledge their differences.

So now, I challenge you and I encourage you, even though I know that it is hard, to not compare yourself to others. Focus on your race because you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were given your talents and abilities for a reason, so use them for good!