I know what you are thinking, I’m not so sure about this one just because of the title. But give me a few minutes to express why this is so important to talk about! And when I’m done, feel free to make your opinions, but hear me out please.
I want to first say, there is nothing wrong with being successful and celebrating your accomplishments. I think the problem lies when we create our identity in what we can do and accomplish. Let me give an example to help illustrate my point.
Growing up, I was praised for my good grades in school or parts I received in musical productions (like most kids probably were). I don’t think in any parenting book does it explicitly tell you to praise your kid when they are doing something wrong or aren’t as successful at gaining their reading points than other kids (honestly, not sure because I am not a parent, but still.) And in no way am I bashing on parenting styles, I am saying that we have been conditioned from a young age that when we do something “good” we will receive praise for said actions.
So, as I personally continued to excel in school throughout high school and college, with the exception of my freshman year bio class, the feeling of success and praise began to wear off when I would receive it. I had not known much different than doing well in school, therefore when I began to succeed in other aspects of life, the feeling of success was missing. (Let me reiterate that I am not sharing this to flex on anyone, I don’t need to throw celebrations or pity parties for myself, just sharing my experiences).
As I joined my sorority, there was a large emphasis on our academic accomplishments, which I should say is a GREAT quality to have in a group of young women. However, when there is so much pressure put on one part of a person, we tend to overshadow the other amazing things about them.
For example, we are all so concerned with whether we have the best grades, are the best on our team, have the hottest boyfriend, best wardrobe, or most “put together” life. Go back are read that sentence again and let me know if you see anything that isn’t an outside feature. Nowhere in that list did it say anything about the qualities and traits that the person has. For example, where is the genuine spirit, the joy, the love, the servant heart, the gentleness? As a society, we get caught up so much on the earthly material aspects of life that we completely forget the things that truly matter about each other.
Again, I am not saying it isn’t amazing for people to recognize your academic, athletic, work, or life successes. But I think when we spend so much time focused on what we see on the outside, we begin to minimize the beautiful values we hold on the inside. We have been created so intentionally as completely different beings, yet all we can recognize is the physical side of what sets us apart. And I’ve never heard someone compare themselves to others for wanting someone’s heart of service, but I seem to always hear how we want to look like someone else. If we can flip the script on how we view each other and what we view as successes, we may just begin to love ourselves and those around us more.
Maybe the reason why I have become numb to the successes I have in the material world is because I can see how many beautiful traits we each hold inside ourselves. I know when I succeed I am accomplishing something, yes, but there is so much more to me than a grade on a paper or how I look on a Friday night.
So, to the girl who is more than her accomplishments, look for the qualities within yourself you love, not just what you can accomplish on the outside. Because, if we were to work as hard as we could, we could probably all match each other in the worldly successes. I challenge you to point out the traits and qualities you see in others and tell them how much they mean to you. We all know nothing is better than someone saying how much a part of your personality has impacted them, especially when your intentional actions go unnoticed. Continue to excel at all aspects of your life, but don’t get caught up in the drama of today, because there is so much greatness within each of us that tends to go unseen.