I'm A Loser

Question:

I am a college student and am on the school’s basketball team. I have always done my best during training and my standards are of the same level as most players. However I am very depressed that I am always the bench-warmer and even if I am allowed to play in a match, it will not last more than 10 mins. I try to tell myself I am just not good enough but the feeling of depression just cannot escape my mind and a just feel I am such a loser. How to overcome this kind of feeling?

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Answer:

How we feel about ourselves is very influenced by who we compare ourselves to and what our standards for success are. You are comparing yourself to a select first-string group of your teammates and your standard for success is probably being a first-string player. Naturally, you – as someone who is second-string – will fail in the comparison process. Of course you feel bad. Now – do an experiment with me for a moment. Imagine that you never even made the team in the first place because you were born with one leg longer than the other, too short, were in a car accident and had brain damage, etc. Imagine that you still thought that success was only possible if you were a successful athlete. Imagine yourself looking at anyone on the basketball team with envy (first and second and third string players all) because you can’t even hope to get on that team but you want to so much. Now that you’ve imagined this person – compare yourself to him in your mind. Feel grateful for what you have. What you are doing is something that many people do which is to always compare yourself to persons who have more of something than you do and feel a failure as a result. Millionaires compare themselves to billionaires and feel inadequate. Beautiful women compare themselves to models on magazine covers and feel inadequate. All of these people are making the same thinking mistake – which is (more or less) : If you want to feel better you have to focus your attention towards what you have got now. not what you want but don’t have. You have to reset your idea of success to an attainable level – something you are capable of accomplishing. You need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. You need to feel adequate as you are because you understand inside that you are good enough. Until you do this you will be a slave to your feelings of insecurity.

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