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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

I have had this feeling that whenever something “bad” happens to me, or when something doesn’t go along with my initial plans, that it only happens to me. That I am the unlucky one, and everyone else around me is successful, radiant, energetic and just so put together. I guess you can call it a pity party. I have come to the point that I am sick and tired of this feeling. I know for a fact that many others have had this same experience. Did I lack the confidence I thought I had? Am I just doing something wrong mentally? Am I just not working hard enough to achieve my goals and be like everyone else? The answer is no. The answer is that I diminish my self worth and achievements and fall into the dark cycle of comparing myself to others. But that is okay, because the truth is that a lot of us can feel this way.

Letterboard - "Be proud of how hard you are working"
Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production from Unsplash

Honestly, it all comes down to changing your mindset. This is a very hard thing to do, and it takes a lot of mental energy, but that does not mean it is an impossible task. It is the transition from thinking in an irrational, negative way about yourself to having a mindset of forgiving yourself and making yourself feel stronger. I recently got into the habit of journaling all my thoughts: the irrational ones, the gut wrenching ones, the ones filled with optimism and hope and even the logical ones. It helped me to visualize my thoughts, see them on paper and come to the rational conclusion that most of my inner demons and darkest thoughts are merely creations of my own mind. I make myself feel low, I make myself feel anxious by thinking too far into the future and I make up the story line that everyone else is so great; poor little me never has any good luck. But what about my own achievements? Journaling has taught me that I am successful and achieved more than I ever thought I could during my time at UCLA, both personally and professionally. If I no longer want to feel so down about myself, then I will put in the effort to change my mindset.

I guess it all comes down to “making your own destiny” or “making your own luck.” I find these sayings frustrating, and at times even irritating, but the truth is that there is some validity to these sayings. I am the type of person who has really high expectations of myself, and sometimes, that is not necessarily a bad thing. This trait has allowed me to never give up, to work even harder than before and to remind myself that I am pushing towards my goals for a reason. But sometimes, I must admit, the line between having high expectations and being too hard on myself begins to blur. I take my achievements for granted, and I beat myself down over the smallest failure. I have come to learn that it is not about having high expectations of the result or the outcome or the end game of my goals, but rather it is about having high expectations for the process of getting to my goals. Once a goal is achieved, another one will pop up, and this cycle will continue. There is joy and accomplishment in merely surviving the journey of reaching your intended goals. I keep this in mind while I remind myself to be proud of what I have done so far.

Woman Sitting on Chair While Leaning on Laptop
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

I also need to work on coming to terms with the fact that I cannot compare myself to everyone. What we see online, what we hear from the mouths of others and what we assume are all purely surface-level. We can never truly know anyone’s hardships, and believe me, everyone has them. Picking up this new perspective is difficult, but it is necessary. At the end of the day, all of our plans will unfold, and what is meant to happen will happen, as long we focus on ourselves, make improvements, forgive ourselves for the tiny mistakes or the things we view as failures and remember it is not worth our mental energy to compare ourselves with others.

Yasmin is a second year student at UCLA. She is majoring in Psychobiology and minoring in Global Health. Other than being involved in Her Campus, she does research at the Semel Institute in Los Angeles and is a member of Flying Sams. She loves reading, binge watching Netflix shows, and painting (even though she isn't great).
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