No matter how pretty you think you are someone will always be prettier and no matter how smart you think you are someone will always be someone smarter. I pride myself on being a pretty smart young lady. But regardless of this I am no where near the pretties or the smartest. A few years back when I was in my Master’s program, myself and a couple of friends went to Hooters to get something to eat. While we were there I ran into some guys, one guy in particular, were we talked and he bought me a drink. He seemed to be very interested in me until about an hour and a half later when another student from my Master’s program walked in.
Suddenly, the guy I was talking to attention quickly went to her. He kept complimenting how beautiful she was (she was beautiful), how wonderful she looked, her skin, and her hair. And in case she did not hear him. He said it over and over again. RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. Literally I was sitting right next to him. He noticed her so much that he forgot about me.
It was then that I learned a valuable lesson. No matter how pretty you are there is always someone prettier. And normally I would say to myself “well at least I am getting my Master’s” and then even if the girl was prettier then me, I could still feel good about myself for being more educated. But of course with both of us being Master’s level students, this was not the case. I quickly learned that if I wanted to stand out, I needed to work hard. I needed to be the best of the best at what I did.
After I finished my Master’s program I enrolled in my PhD program. Not because of what happened in Hooters, but because I wanted to. But yet a similar lesson would come to me in my PhD program. Among many of my friends I am the most educated and often times the most well-read. Making me look the smartest. But among other PhD students, I am at the bottom of the totem pole. Many of them are smarter than me. So not on top of not being the prettiest I cannot even be the smartest either. Lesson number 2. No matter how smart you think you are, there is always someone smarter.
I know what you are thinking. Where is this post going, because I am depressing you telling you that there is someone out there better than you. But that is where you are wrong. Even though someone may be prettier than you and/or smarter than you. You are you and you do not have to give your power away. I do not care who you are, you are not going to be me.
Let’s go back to the story in Hooters. After “the guy” began coming on to this other girl right in front of my face. I had a “who cares” moment (read my blog here on the who cares girl). I did not fight for his attention. I did not get mad at her nor did I get mad at him. If he could not see how awesome I was and wanted her then let him go over there to her. Because knowing that someone may be prettier than me does not mean that I am going to think less about myself. And it does not mean that I will allow a man’s opinion of me define how I feel about myself.
Now let’s move on to the PhD moment. While I have been struggling in certain areas, my classmates have been excelling. In this case I did not have a “who cares” moment. I had an “I am going to light the fire under my butt moment.” At the end of the day, even though they are smarter than me. I know for fact that I would be willing to worker harder, read more, to catch up to where they were. I did not let the fact that I did not know as much at them defeat me. I allowed it to motivate me. And not only did I catch up to where they were. I finished my PhD before they did. So what does it matter if they are smarter than me. I have the ability to work hard to get where I need to be, which is something about myself that is unmatched.
“There are a lot of people out there who may be more talented than me, may be better looking than me, they may be stronger, taller and faster than me, but they’re not going to work harder than me.” –Terrence J
I am not the most perfect person. Not the prettiest, not the smartest, do not make the most money. But one thing I can guarantee is that I am focused, I am a hard worker, and I am going to get to where I need to be. AND I am willing to move heaven and Earth to get what I want out of life.
So although I may not be the best. And although YOU may not be the best. Take a note out of my book. I still come out on top because I am willing to work at it. I am willing to work harder than most people are at it. How you feel about me is something I cannot control but how hard I work and how I feel about myself is something I can.
So if you are one of those people who are always down on yourself because someone is always doing something better than you. The world has billions of people in it so whatever talent you have, there is someone that is going to be better at that talent than you. BUT, they are not you. You have to find a way to take what you do and bring it to life. Do you think that Taylor Swift or Beyoncé are the best singers in the world? No they are not. I can name plenty of people that are better singers than them. But what we can all agree about both of them is that they work hard! Beyoncé has been around since she was 16 years old for a reason. There are plenty of singers who can sing and who are one hit wonders wondering where their fame went. They forgot to work. They forgot to keep going. They forgot to keep working so hard that they leave everyone else in the dust. And that hard work ethic is what you need to succeed in life. It does not matter if someone is prettier, smarter, a better singer, writer, actor, or dancer. Do not let them outwork you. Because your hard work will lead to success.