This week is my last block course at university for the year. As always it is refreshing to step outside my daily routine and immerse myself in just being a student for a few days. It is great to meet up with my classmates and share experiences and when I am physically at the university, it helps me remember my overall goals- something I admit that I sometimes forget when I am grumpily working on assignments at home, struggling to balance studying with family life and work.
Yesterday we had to share posters on our recent essay topic- so mine was on the concept of giftedness. I was pretty proud of my work, until I got to university and saw the posters of my classmates…Some of them looked very professional and so much better than mine and I started to feel sick and panicky as person after person unrolled their work for all to see. My instinct was to feel ashamed of my work and to worry that it was not good enough: I was not good enough. Then I reminded myself of the words I use to guide me when I am struggling- try your best then let it go.. and I did just that. I reframed my shame and fear and chose to focus on the strengths of my work instead of focussing on what everybody else had produced. My research findings are explained with clarity, I love the colours I chose for the background and the conclusion conveys the key points I wanted to make about biculturalism effectively.
I have done a lot of work to get to the point where I am able to let stuff go like this and yet it was still a struggle yesterday. I wonder how many of my friends and family, the people I love and the people I spend time with everyday, face this same inner struggle to fight against the voices that tell them that their best is not good enough- they are not good enough. We might know logically that it is dangerous and counter-productive to compare ourselves with others but it is just so tempting. The problem is, of course, that when we look for validation in this way, when we see our own value or the value of our work only in comparison with other people and what they accomplish, we miss the point. What other people think of us and how they perceive our work is none of our business because it should not matter and it does not matter if we are brave enough to remember that our best is always good enough and that we are perfect just the way we are.