Silly post maybe, but I am really intimidated by people who are very bright and high achieving and can't help but compare myself and feel inadequate. I'm talking about for example the Rhodes Scholar or Fullbright scholar types, or those with university medals and doing a PhD while also making outstanding contributions to the community and founding and directing their own charity organisations and working at a very high level. Does anyone else also feel this? How on earth do I feel adequate when I struggle just to get through the Phd?! I think they are just people who are at a whole other level beyond me... :s
Those people are very driven. They have a certain set of life experiences which drives them. You might look at someone and think they have everything; they might only be doing these things because they are deeply unhappy and feel nothing is ever good enough. Or they might be driven to succeed and make a difference because they feel powerless at the problems in the world. Perhaps they have simply been brought up to believe that unless they do EVERYTHING, they aren't good enough. A lot of this is mindset, and in my experience often either a rather self-important, or completely panic-driven, one.
Don't envy those people; they may be deeply unhappy. If you are really upset by this, try listing all the qualities that you have, which those people you feel inadequate to don't possess. Why do you want what they have? How can you make the most of those qualities you do have? Are there areas you could do realistically improve, in your current set of circumstances? Are you upset because you really want to make a difference, or just because you feel sidelined and lonely on your PhD? Is there something you wanted from your PhD that you feel you're not getting? Look at the reasons why you feel the way you do, and see what the real cause is for this jealousy.
I think it's quite ironic for someone doing a PhD to talk about high achievers as if you weren't one of them! Remember that Sparkles! Try not to compare yourself to others. These 'high achievers' may have no life beyond work and may be trying to fill their time instead of having to deal with the real world.
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I think we all feel a bit like that from time to time. Before I decided to do the Masters and try out for research-after quite a few years of being a teacher and just bringing up my children, I used to look at people who had careers and lives that I envied- especially the academic ones. I remember thinking how on earth do you have this big house, these kids, all of these degrees and now you are getting your OA for this marvellous cure or this social project or whatever.
However, after some years and now on the pathway to the Phd, I can see that to some people, my own qualifications and job, could seem pretty good (not all-its pretty ordinary really). My house is still a renovation project and while I have a good position in my workplace and it is managerial as well as teaching it is certainly not the highest status in my workplace (and it is only secondary teaching) but compared to where I was many years ago, a struggling single parent with no degree at all and a lot of debt, its pretty good. Lots of people in my workplace have much nicer houses, cars, etc. But it is only when I think badly of myself, that I really truly envy them. I also understand that they prioritised other things sometimes to get those really nice houses and some people were just a little bit luckier as well.
Finally, I think it is really important not to assume that people who have the most marvellous achievements and things, are necessarily unhealthily driven or unhappy or not nice people. Some of them are super achievers, have worked hard, are, in fact, brilliant (not like those of us who are just ordinarily smart and hard working) and they often do deserve to be where they are.
There is something healthy and liberating about accepting oneself as being quite good enough, and still being able to admire those people who just can and do achieve a hell of a lot more. We all have a right to walk this earth-we all have a place and contribution to make-and doing a PhD is no mean achievement, even if it isn't discovering the cure for _______(insert whichever disease you want in this space!).:-)
I used to feel intimidated by high achievers but not anymore. Simply because appearances can be deceptive, I'm not competitive and am not overly ambitious. I want to feel content, secure and don't feel either at present and so it is the people that have these that I envy but they don't intimidate me. I honestly don't feel a PhD has anything to do with intelligence but has more to do with application, hard work and endurance
I think that we're all high achievers, so celebrations all round! Seriously though, don't feel intimidated by those you perceive as being super intelligent or amazing multi-taskers of goodness. You've doubtless heard the old saying, 'there's always someone smarter'... Well, there is! The rest of those high achieving, academic dynamos just work insane, anti-social hours to outshine (even if they outwardly deny it) others.
why would you want to ruin perfectly nice Fanta :p
I'm not intimidated by these people - they may be shiny on the outside, but they probably cry into their soup at night because they have no soul.
I know someone who is an all round perfect person - looks, grades, slim, great career, earns loads and on the face of it is very nice too. I like to think she's crap at DIY, or has no common sense, or perhaps is a psychopath - makes me feel better
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