Growing up, in all the phases of my life I’ve been surrounded by people who have the same high ambitions as me. Whether it’s which university we aspire to go to, or where we saw ourselves 10 years in life – everyone I’ve been surrounded by has been a dreamer.
We teens are supposed to start proving ourselves worthy of our dreams now. So all my friends have set off getting their black belts in martial arts, securing their positions in the top 10 ranks of their chosen sports…. And I seem to have no obvious achievements.
Some summers, people in my class would do volunteer work in a village while their families vacationed, and I would travel to the southern-most city of the world – Ushuaia, Argentina, and worry about cultures of the world dissolving into nothingness.
As a result, I’ve always been extremely insecure of my development and capabilities as a person. The lack of medals and trophies in my life make me constantly reconsider if I’m actually capable/worthy enough to achieve the same level of dreams as my peers.
For everyone who feels the same way as me (I know I cant be the only one), I’ve come to realize that we undermine our raw experiences too much.
I haven’t had time in the summer for 3 years of continuous social work, but my travels have given me a global perspective, and lent to my ability to empathize. In 16 years, Ive moved across the world twice, and switched schools thrice which might have broken my continuity in dance; but I have amazing abilities to adapt to a new environment, less fear of change, people-skills – and these are the skills that we need in todays global world, right?
Please don’t get me wrong – tangible achievements are most definitely worth celebrating too, and you should work to have them. All I want to put out there is that the intangible experiences are also something to be proud of, because they’ve given us extraordinary qualities and skills too.
Most of our parents don’t have pages of achievements – it’s a relatively new culture to spend your teen years building statistical evidence of your capabilities (thanks college) – and they turned out pretty successful didn’t they?
These great qualities that we foster because of these raw experiences lend to who we are far more than our achievements do.
Shout out to institutions like Challenge Success, who are trying to encourage the same idea in society, because I really shouldn’t need to constantly remind myself that my ability to pick myself up every time I’ve failed is an achievement equal to a gold medal – and neither should you.
What do you think? Whether you agree or disagree with my perspective, let me know in the comments!
Until next time x