As I enter yet another year of school, I often become overwhelmed with all that is ahead of me and I ask myself, "Are you sure you are good enough for this? Everyone else seems so much smarter than you, are you sure you are capable?" No matter how many things I have accomplished in my college career or how successful I have been, there is always that voice in my head questioning what I am able to do.
This is no different for graduate school, if not worse.
However, as I have grown older and hopefully more mature, I have learned some ways to quiet these doubts in myself. One of the main reasons that we often have uncertainty in our capabilities is because we are so apt to compare ourselves to those around us. Comparison often consumed my life when I was growing up, especially in high school. In the world of GPA, sports, and competing for scholarships, comparison is difficult to avoid. One concept that I have come to realize is that we are all comparing the aspects of our lives to those around us. Even the person next to you, whom you think is perfect, has their insecurities. When I begin to hear myself comparing myself to another person, I have begun to reframe my thoughts. Instead of automatically assuming that the person next to me is better in all aspects than myself, I remind myself that we all have our struggles. Whenever I think of this concept of perspective, I always am reminded of a particular Nicholas Sparks quote from his book Dear John:
Realizing that nobody is perfect and that we all face our challenges and insecurities makes it so much easier to realize that you are good enough.
“When you're struggling with something, look at all the people around you and realize that every single person you see is struggling with something, and to them, it's just as hard as what you're going through.”
Another way in which I remind myself that I am "good enough," is by reminiscing on the past several years of my life. When I am feeling down on myself, I will often think about all that I have accomplished over the course of the past few years--no matter how big or small those things might be. I also think about all of the people who believed in me along the way. For example, earlier this week, I was feeling a bit nervous about graduate school. However, I reminded myself that I wouldn't be here, at Illinois State University, if the dietetic internship selection committee hadn't seen something special in me. The same concept goes for the people who wrote my recommendation letters for the program. Sometimes we must take a step back and examine our lives from the eyes of the people around us. Often the people in our lives believe in us even when we don't believe in ourselves.
Finally, my faith is always there for me when the above techniques fail at times. One of my favorite Bible verses comes from Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you" says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."While God's plan for each and every one of us can be confusing at times, it can also be quite comforting. I take comfort in knowing that the adversities and struggles that I face each day are all a part of God's plan for me. We are always good enough for the plan God has set forth for us.
So as these thoughts of "Am I good enough?" flood your mind, remember these things:
- Everyone compares themselves to others.
- Everyone faces challenges and insecurities.
- Someone believed in your capabilities in the past...So you should too!
- Have faith in God's plan for you.
And always, always remember that you are good enough.