DURING THIS PAST SCHOOL YEAR, the tendency to compare myself to other students in my class seemed to take over my thinking. Thoughts about who was a better student, more engaged in social or extracurricular activities, or even who was better at practicing Christian Science, would frequently cross my mind. Even though I felt uncomfortable with these feelings of competitiveness, they remained in my thoughts on and off for several months and began to wear away at my own sense of value.

This competition was especially true with one of my friends. It seemed like she excelled at everything she did, from academics to extracurriculars. One day during the last school year I began to envy her leadership style. Not only was she able to connect quickly with everyone around her, but she was fantastic at managing tasks and working efficiently. Why did I lack these leadership skills? I wondered.

During the school year, I began to notice that this mindset of comparison was causing me to feel insecure and hesitant in my relationships with other people. I felt I was not being a sincere friend to people I dearly cared about, including the girl I was feeling jealous of. The connection between my thinking and the lack of friendship in my life seemed obvious, but even though I tried to pray to correct my thinking and value myself, the competitive spirit persisted. I felt envious about my friend's abilities, and judgmental of myself and my own worth. My friend seemed to be superior to me in all aspects of life. Not only did her academic skills seem far superior to mine, but also her ability to connect with others and make sincere friendships. I felt isolated and frustrated.

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July 19, 2010

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