I Want to be the Best | Teen Ink

I Want to be the Best

May 20, 2022
By jennychip PLATINUM, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
jennychip PLATINUM, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
25 articles 12 photos 0 comments

I go to practices like everyone else. Athletics, school, homework, repeat. Nothing I do is extraordinary. My days followed a linear path, the same path everyone else’s days followed. But I work hard, maybe harder than everyone else. Yet never did I feel as though I was doing enough. While I was training every day for hours at a time, others were going on to win international Olympiad medals, become state and national champions, doing incredible things and acquiring new accolades. Meanwhile, I was racing back and forth, unchanging with my progress close to stagnant.

In moments where everyone else is achieving the impossible and I am static, unmoving, and unaccomplished, the will to push is one of the hardest mental blocks any person can encounter. The feeling of defeat, even when you were undefeated, because your defeat lies in the hands of others’ success. When they win, you lose. The days drag from joyous and optimistic to pitiful and self-loathing. The desire to be the best is the most strenuous desire. When your success is minimal to others, the success feels like a failure. Disappointment in yourself and the fear of disappointment from others creates fear. Fear of wasted time and wasted efforts when all the precious time could have been invested into something more worthwhile. If I am working hard, why are there no results? 

Giving up often is not from a burnout, nor is it from a lack of motivation. Rather, it is from feeling motivated and hopeful, but feeling disappointed after you fall short of your expectations. Maybe the expectations were aloof or maybe they were realistic. Either way, being competitive and always wanting to be the best pushes you to be better, yet this also causes you to lose that drive when disappointment arrives. 

The voices around you may cause external conflicts, yet there is always a way to escape. But when the voice inside your head scolds you and cries, there is nowhere to run. No way to flee from the inevitable disappointment or the mental hurdles that make giving up feel like the only option. The only way to overcome these barriers is to push past yourself. To find a feather of hope in a pillow of stress, pain, and fear. 

The time was not wasted. You are doing enough. Your time will come. 

The author's comments:

This all comes from personal experience. I am a very competitive person in everything I do. Athletics, schoolwork, EC's, etc; yet I always feel as though I want to do more. This will of doing more is dangerous when unmanaged and can easily cause burnout and disappointment. I hope this helps others who understand that other's go through this and you are not alone. You are your greatest barrier. When success isn’t immediate, it will come in time. 

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