If you’re reading this, stop blaming yourself. Take a moment to pause and give yourself a high five, because you deserve it.
I am the greatest example of a self-blamer. Whenever something goes wrong, I’m quick to think, “What did I do wrong?” or “What could I have done better?” I’m all for self-improvement, sure, but I knew I was taking it too far when endless, anxious days turned into long, sleepless nights. People were always commenting, “I don’t know how you do it all!”, when in reality, it didn’t feel like I was doing it all. It didn’t feel like I was doing enough, for that matter. I thought I deserved the constant feeling of stress and anxiety; that it was a sign that I needed to do more to make up for what I hadn’t yet done.
The competition with yourself can be one of the most grueling and exhausting battles you may ever endure, because no matter how much you do, it will never seem good enough.
It’s easy to put blame on yourself. It’s easy to think that you’re not doing enough. Not achieving enough. Not excelling enough. Not being enough. I totally get it. I told myself to just put a smile on and fake it til you make it. But here’s the thing – faking it won’t make the sleepless nights go away.
Stress isn’t something to be taken lightly. Sure, everyone says that stress is normal for college students, but knowing when to take a step back to look at the big picture – to see what you have done and all that you have accomplished, instead of what you haven’t done or could’ve done - is so crucial to winning your own competition with yourself.
Because at the end of the day, you are doing enough. You are achieving enough. You are excelling enough. You are you… and that is enough.
Kayla B., University of Virginia