This I Believe

Rachel - Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
Entered on November 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe that to be a magnificent person, you don’t have to be the best in the world. You just have to be your best.

Some people in our world today try to always be the best and try to always be better. With all the peer pressure, and competitions, and cliques, it’s easy to compare yourself to other people. It’s sometimes hard to be confident with our own achievements. I have to admit, I can be a bit of an over-achiever myself. My friends and I sometimes even compete to get better scores on tests in school.

Lots of people are really athletic, or musical, or artistic. Plenty of people try to be all these things and more, but when you really stop and think about it, what’s the point? I mean if you are already the best you can possibly be, why struggle to “beat” everyone else?

Sometimes I catch myself comparing my achievements to other people. I’ll think, “Why can’t I be as good a soccer player as she is?” or “Oh, why can’t I be as smart as her?” But deep down, I know that these questions are pointless. I know that my personal best is all that I can contribute. I realize that here is no need to feel bad about myself.

My sixth grade teacher is always telling my class that she won’t compare you to any other student; she will only compare you to yourself. She says this whenever she’s going to hand back a graded test. She wants us to know that even if we get a poor grade, it’s only going to be compared to our other grades. My teacher also tells us this because we need to know that even if we get the highest score in the class, it doesn’t give us any more credit because it’s not being compared. I think this is a very important statement to keep in mind.

I believe that if I want to be confident in myself, I first have to be my personal best. If my personal best isn’t the best in the world, then who really cares?

Life isn’t about beating others; it’s about simply being all you can.

This I Believe