Self Esteem vs. Self Compassion

Self Esteem vs. Self Compassion

ERIKA ONG

In a society that is constantly evolving and changing, there is lots of pressure to keep up with the status quo of one thing: “success.” As young adults and longhorns, we are constantly striving to “change the world.” We take on second majors, we attend meetings every week, and make sure that we are constantly fit to the definition of a “successful student.” You walk around the 40 acres and you see students who are involved, dedicated, and...sleep-deprived. As we strive for success we put ourselves aside. We tell ourselves “If I really want to do well on this exam, I should study all night.” As successful longhorns, we tend to put self-esteem over self-compassion. Our whole lives, we were raised to think that we need to be the best. We were raised in a world that praised an A, and didn’t talk about the unsatisfactory C on our report cards. As we enter the real-world, we forget to take care of ourselves as we attempt to become even more and more successful. We all want to be better than one another, and somewhere in the midst of all of that we forget to take care of ourselves.

 

Feeling great about yourself is important, and that is something that everyone should be able to feel, but being good to yourself is even more important. Self-compassion means taking care of yourself, and being able to realize whenever you have taken on too much. Self-compassion is treating yourself the way you would treat a best friend. Self-compassion does not mean being selfish, preoccupied, or crazy about coping methods. In order to be successful, we must take care of ourselves first.


As we move into this year, challenge yourself to be better to the most important person: you. Try to take a breather here and there. Remember that tomorrow’s Organic Chemistry exam does not come over a good night’s rest. Remember that tomorrow will always come around, even after a bad grade. What starts here changes the world, and what changes the world can’t happen without self-care.

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