The one thing I tell myself everyday
When I was doing sales and investment work back in 2014, everyday was a rush. There were quotas to meet, clients to call, and managers to answer to. A huge part of the daily grind was talking to people on the phone, and as an introvert, that was a huge struggle to endure 5 days a week.
It got to the point that the pressure was too much to bear. My skin was so bad because of the stress, that my self-esteem dropped — which affected how I spoke to clients and proposed ideas, and ultimately the investments we sign.
Looking back, I was very hard on myself. It was a year of, ‘have to’s and ‘need to’s with barely any compassion towards my well-being. There were unnecessary comparisons between my struggles and other people’s success that I lost sight of what was happening in front of me. I was too focused on the future that I wasn’t able to appreciate the fact that I survived every single day in an environment that demanded so much time and energy.
Lessons have been learned since then, and as time passed by, the one thing I learned to tell myself everyday is simply this: “Just be better than who you were yesterday — that should be enough for today.”
In this fast-paced world where everyone is struggling to come out on top, it’s really easy to get lost in a sea of achievements and insecurities. This can affect physical, mental, and emotional health if we are not mindful. Of course, we all strive to be the best — what’s the point of working if we choose to remain mediocre? But thinking about how your new colleague or old classmate is achieving much more than you not only is unhealthy, but is also a disservice to both parties. (Who knows what they had to go through to get where they are now?)
Success doesn’t simply happen overnight. Kindness to yourself in the midst of hard work is a balance we often overlook. There’s nothing wrong with constantly working, but there’s also nothing wrong with not answering calls once you leave the office and getting enough sleep for the night.
The world is not going to end if you exert just what you can today. You don’t need to be the richest person tomorrow or receive a promotion every 6 months. We place these pressures on ourselves because society tells us we can’t slow down. But we can. We can still strive for excellence while taking it easy and taking care of ourselves. Everything will come in its own time.
Just be better than who you were yesterday — that should be enough for today.