Dear teen: Keep looking straight ahead. Stay in your lane.
I know it’s tempting to look right at the girl who may have fancier clothes or look left at the kid who got a better grade, but keep your gaze straight ahead.
Keep your eye on YOUR prize.
Try not to compare yourself to others. You didn’t start in the same place. You probably won’t end in the same spot either.
Comparison is not a measurement that is ever accurate. It never tells the truth. It is a thief–of joy, of satisfaction, of peace.
You’re going to feel envy sometimes. It’s only natural. You’ll feel it when you see that photo on Instagram or hear of that accomplishment someone else received.
But don’t let it define who you are. Don’t let it stop you from celebrating someone else’s success. Don’t let it hold you back from chasing your dreams.
Social media is like throwing gas on a comparison flame. it exponentially increases the information about people that we’re exposed to and will force you to assess against a situation where you don’t have context.
Don’t let someone else’s highlight reel tell you who you are.
Keep your eyes straight ahead, dear teenagers.
Keep working on your best self. Keep doing what you love, even if you’re still learning, even if you’re not the best, especially when you’re not the best.
Focus on relationships that nourish you. Seek out people who encourage you. Find groups that share your deepest beliefs.
And remember, a stable sense of self comes from thinking about who you are absent any feedback. That means no amount of likes or grades or achievements defines how you think about what type of person you are.
Keep your eyes straight ahead, and be grateful for what you have. I know it’s hard.
But the path to happiness and joy and peace will never be on someone else’s road.
You have to learn to get there yourself.