In college, as in life, we are more productive and functional when we are in a more regulated emotional state. The more we can manage our anxiety, stress, and fears, the more productive and effective we can be. When college students compare themselves to others, it can be a frequent source of stress and do more harm than good.
For a lot of students, particularly those at high-achieving schools, they can sometimes be their own worst enemy. Often times, it is the comparisons that we make to others that can cause us to shut down, give up, or just plain feel bad about ourselves. This can cause school to be more difficult, and it can hurt students’ confidence and self-esteem. In a sense, students become their own worst critics. They wonder why they aren’t getting as good of grades as a friend, why they haven’t landed the fancy internship yet, or why they are getting B’s on tests instead of A’s. It is human nature to compare ourselves to others, but we must find a way to push through these thoughts and feelings we have. The more these comparisons happen, the more difficult it can become to escape this cycle. It becomes a suffocating pattern that students cannot break free from.
In working with a coach, a student can have a place to express these thoughts and to turn them into positive action. Students must understand that their inner doubts and criticisms are not a weakness but a hurdle. Students must learn to accept that they control their own fate and that they can achieve or reach the goals that they set for themselves.
Students, by way of their coach, can identify these thoughts and work on restructuring them into actions that will help them get back on the path towards success. Our goal in working with students is to always help them be as effective, productive, and independent as possible. In many instances, the way in which we view ourselves compared to others is a challenge that needs to be overcome. By conquering their inner thoughts, students can build more confidence, and, ultimately, become much more successful in college.