I have to work to remind myself that life is not a zero-sum game. Just because someone I know is successful in something I want to be successful in, doesn’t mean I can’t be successful in that same thing. If something bad happens to someone else’s family, it doesn’t mean my family is exempt from a similar fate. I tend to feel threatened and envious when I hear about people — especially people I know — accomplishing things I’d like to accomplish. On some level, I believe this diminishes the probability of me accomplishing the things I really want, as much as I hate to admit it. I really hate this about myself.
On an intellectual level I understand that life is not a zero-sum game, but emotionally, I have a hard time truly grasping the idea that there is no exact balance of gains and losses between people and between situations. Someone else’s success is not my failure, and someone’s loss is not my gain. This way of thinking often hinders my ability to be happy for people (unless their success is in a field I have no interest in), and I need to reign in this pettiness. What does it say about me that I have a tendency to feel this way? That I don’t believe in myself? That I don’t trust myself? That I have a weak sense of self? I want to be better than this; I don’t want my daughter to think this way.