Guys, its comparison. It’s the worst and we all need to stop doing it. I really struggle with this a lot but I’ve found success using two specific tactics. They’re really two sides of the same coin:
A: Build up your own sense of self. No matter which program or discipline you’re in, you will never meet someone exactly like you. Take some time to think about five things that are so quintessentially *you.* It sounds cheesy and it sort of is! In fact, I started doing this by imaging that I was a title character in a rom-com with a perfectly *me* storyline. Try it!
B: Turn every single person you meet into a friend. Every. Person. Kill them with kindness, offer to buy them a cup of coffee, attend their conference presentations and compliment them on their work. Find something they’re interested in and read the first thing that pops up on a google search of the topic. You’ll likely find a few people who become you’re really good friends and even if not, you’ll earn yourself a reputation as a kind person and a solid academic to work with. These are incredibly important traits to have an be known for.
These two practices build on each other. You’ll find yourself less focused on proving your worth and more interested in promoting your friends. Trust me, even if you go into this thinking “meh, that’s not me,” you will quickly find that the habit changes you.