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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Constant comparison corrodes self-confidence

Julianna Eveland
Julianna Eveland

As young adults we try our best to become the smartest, strongest, healthiest or most accomplished versions of ourselves.

Naturally, we look to other people as examples. Following that, we tend to compare ourselves to them.

The compulsion to self-critique is said to come from one’s comparison of themselves to celebrities or people in magazines and social media.

I think it’s more than that. I’ve formed a bad habit of comparing myself to others. It’s not something I do intentionally. Like I said, it’s a habit.

I moved to Saudi Arabia at the age of 13 because my dadworked in the oil business. Studies say moving at that age puts teens at higher risk of suicide, but that is definitely not the case for me. In fact, I feel that living abroad shaped my state of mind for the better.

I did struggle with figuring out how to fit in, which perpetuated my habit of juxtaposition. I find the need to be in the same league as others for several reasons, but here are my main two:


I’m not going to lie; this is definitely the biggest insecurity I’ve had since the fourth grade. I feel like every person struggles with this more or less. Whether they are too big, too skinny, too muscular or too scrawny, it’s almost always a problem.

I would constantly feel like being chubby meant I was secondary to other girls. I had so much frustration and jealousy built up from being unhappy with my weight. It was like an epiphany when I realized, “Oh, I don’t like this about myself? I can change it!”

Since coming to Chico I have become much more proactive about finding ways to feel good about myself. Although I’ve conquered this insecurity for the most part, it brings me to my next inhibition.


Let me just say I don’t really date. It doesn’t seem like any person I would be somewhat interested in having a relationship with is ready for “the next level.”

Illustration by Rachel Dugo.
Illustration by Rachel Dugo.

I didn’t understand why all the other girls in high school got “picked” and I remained, feeling undesirable.

I decided the combination of my weight and “friend-zone” personality was the reason I was never chosen by the guys.

They say confidence is key. I know I’m confident. They say guys like girls who are laid back. I’m pretty laid back. What am I missing?

I wrestled with my mind over what I needed to fix or change to be like other people in happy relationships.

Now I just laugh because I realize all I see is the present moment. Happy relationships don’t usually happen easily, and what I’m seeing isn’t the whole picture.

I don’t need that sort of burden in my life right now, so why hold the candle up?

Although, there are times when some good can come from trying to match up with others. Seeing other people reach their goals can motivate and encourage me to reach mine.

When I take away the need to measure up to others, I replace that need with self-love, self-admiration and self-confidence. I have to remind myself that there’s always going to be someone better and there’s always going to be somebody worse.

I try to see it from the other end of the spectrum and recognize that some people may compare themselves to me. They may think I’m prettier, smarter or more involved than they are, but that’s just the predisposition of humans — to judge themselves by the likes of others.

Julianna Eveland can be reached at[email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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