compare or grow

Anyone who has ever wanted to do, or be anything is guilty of comparing themselves to others. It’s natural. And unfortunately because of media, it’s pretty much burned into our minds that it’s the right thing to do. You aren’t beautiful unless you look like Kendall Jenner; you can’t possibly be a good writer unless you somehow automatically measure up to J.K. Rowling. Forget being a professional athlete unless you can shoot like Steph Curry, score goals like Alex Morgan, or throw touchdowns like Tom Brady. Hell, forget even being a human if you can’t at least mock your idols every move, because if you can’t do what they do on a daily basis you’re obviously not destined for greatness like they were.

I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all felt that way more than once. There isn’t anything wrong with that. The process of understanding that you are your own being, regardless of what the greats do—and that you will NEVER be just like them—is a tough one. Who wants to accept that? Sorry if I just knocked your confidence. Let me try and help you see it in a different way. You shouldn’t want to be exactly like them. That’s already been done. Why would you want to do it all over again? No one is ever going to be able to write another Harry Potter- J.K. Rowling already did that. It’s been done. Kendall Jenner is beautiful, yes. But so are you. Just because she’s walking runways and on magazine covers doesn’t put her beauty on a higher pedestal than yours. Steph Curry, Alex Morgan, Tom Brady— yeah, they are all at the top of their sport. They all have their own technique and they all had a unique way of getting where they are now. Their stories have already been told.

Their stories have already been told…

You can still idolize these people. Idolize the hell out of them, but don’t try and become a carbon copy of who they are and what they’ve done. Strive to look at yourself in the mirror and see beauty no matter what. Strive to write something as successful as Harry Potter. Strive to be the best in your sport. Strive to write a hit song. Strive to preform in front of crowds. Strive for your dreams.

Comparing yourself to the people already on top will just push you further down. They didn’t just wake up one day with success. They started from the bottom just like you. They all made it a different way with a different story. That’s just fact. You can’t expect your story to be the same as theirs and be discouraged when it’s not. So look up to whoever you want, and work to be on their level one day. It’s possible if you just concentrate on your own growth and stop getting stuck on how much further ahead of you they are.

This point doesn’t just consist of comparing yourself to professionals, it’s also true with your friends, family or teammates. It’s true for everyone and everything. Your progress isn’t graded based off of how far ahead someone else is. Your progress is based off of every forward step you take.

-Kelsi

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