Advice on not comparing yourself to talented smart people.
Something I've always struggled with as a student and person in general, is comparing myself to others. Whether if it's looks or intelligence, I always seem to find a way to compare said person and myself. The colleges I want to get into are extremely competitive, so when I can't do something, I always think, "kids at MIT/CalTech/etc could do this easily. You can't do it like them, so maybe you should rethink your college choices", "what makes you think you can be like them? What makes you think you can take a school with people much smarter than you?", or something along the lines of that; maybe the classic "you're not good enough for Computer Science, they want people who can solve or make an algorithm like it's the abc's". When this happens, I try to redirect my thoughts or take a deep breath. Recently, I've been working on focusing on myself, but it's easier said than done. I was wondering if anyone had different strategies that they use and if they would like to share them.
Here is one thing about human nature I have learned: most people are not naturally talented or "smart". We are all capable of learning and applying that knowledge. Does it take some people more or less time than others? Yes! It took me longer to study in college than my peers. I recall studying 16 hours over three days for my first Lit test. I aced it. Guess what? My recall and deep understanding is still with me. I KNOW the content well. Many people learn quickly, ace a test, then "dump" what they learn. The goal is to learn deeply and apply it---THAT is what most people cannot do well and how you will stand head and shoulders above the "competition".
My advice: Know thyself. And your question indicates that you do! Just know that self-doubt is normal. Don't let it scare you. With daily actions toward your goal you will discover ways to work around your real, or imagined weaknesses. A weakness, for example, may be a soft skill like learning to talk to strangers or a "hard" skill like math. Both kinds can be learned!
Lori recommends the following next steps:
At the end of the day, what I would suggest is to just focus on yourself and not compare yourself to others. Set goals for yourself that don't involve comparing yourself to others so you can objectively track improvements in what you want to achieve. Whether that is getting better at computer programming, exercising, or setting aside time to pursue hobbies. That was you can focus on yourself (because at the end of the day, all that matters is how you feel about yourself) and see how you are slowly improving in the areas you want to focus on.