Tuesday, January 18

Life is so much more than the pursuit of being the very best

The phrase “There will always be someone better than you” has haunted me, writes Kaisa Olivia Zullo (19).

To me, it feels like helplessly digging in quicksand.

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What do you wish you knew? we asked in this autumn’s big writing competition. This was one of the jury’s favorites. On Saturday we will publish the winners.

The phrase “There will always be someone better than you” has haunted me. I have the impression that many people think of this as a form of motivation or a goal to reach for.

To me, it feels helpless to dig into quicksand. Because no matter how hard I try, I just sink down. It is useless at all to think about getting out.

In the same way that it is useless to think that you will be the very best at something. And the older I get, the clearer this fact becomes for me.

Be the best

It started with having the longest hair in the class, the most Barbie dolls or the highest gear on the bike. As the years passed, long hair became the status of the school, Barbie dolls became friends, and bicycle gear became characters.

When we grow up, only the circle of people around us expands, then also things to be the best at. We get to know another person who sends us down the “best in …” lists.

Therefore, it is exhausting to live a life where the focus is too great on such rankings. It can sometimes feel like every human being is just something to be compared to. Life becomes a kind of competition where you have to top the “best in …” lists to have a successful and happy life.

Sounds like a cliché

I wish I knew that life was about so much more than this pursuit of being the very best. A younger version of myself was unsure of everything I could be unsure of, and rarely felt good enough. Much thanks to a society where one constantly had to be compared to others to measure one’s self-worth.

I’m not rid of that feeling today either, but I try to remind myself of one simple thing: “I’m best at being me.”

Even if it sounds like a cliché, it’s the truth. Because no one else knows what it’s like to be me and what kind of challenges my life has.

Fearless into life

I do not think that being the best at anything is about chance, luck and is only dedicated to certain people. On the contrary, I think the key is a huge self-confidence, the belief that you can do something.

That key may be inherent in some, while for others it takes a long time to find it. And I believe that another human being is the last place you get to cultivate your own self-esteem, it must be cultivated first and foremost in YOU.

It is so easy to feel small and powerless in a world of endless talented people. That’s why I think it’s terribly important to enter life fearlessly with the attitude: “I’ll take the south to show them that no one else is better at being me than just me!”

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