Disgusted by myself

I am a 15 y/o currently studying in a neighbourhood school. Next year I will be taking my o lvls and determining my future plans. However, this fact unsettles me because I am very lost in my life…

Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t even be complaining at all. My conditions are much better than my peers. I am a high achieving girl, top scorer in my cohort for the past 3 years, Student Council President/Head Prefect, have a reliable family and financially stable. I have more opportunities than my peers. I represent my school for competitions and participate in educational programmes. However, I just feel more and more lost as years go by as I realised I do not actually know where I am heading to. All my peers tell me I am perfect, but I am not. I have my own insecurities too.

Sure, I have hobbies, have ambitious dreams of becoming someone big, someone that can leave a legacy and impact others in need. To get there, I have a goal to get into top schools, top unis. But I am not so sure now.

I compare myself to others A LOT. I’ve been reminding myself not to do so (I understand it’s mentally taxing when one keeps comparing one’s life and feels inadequate, even though everyone has different life circumstances) I set expectations for myself. Die die exams must A1. Die die must be top scorer. If not how to get into top school? How to even do well and fit in well? I am already at a disadvantage by being in a not well known neighbourhood school.

Are those my own expectations? Or I have someone lived into others’ views of me being ´perfect girl’?

Most people like to be look up to, to be praised, to receive awards, to be the star. I feel like I had too much of these to the extent that I feel insecure that if I do something wrong, if I don’t set the new best record in my school, I will be forgotten, not longer the star. Yes, I am addicted to people’s affirmation. This is to the extent that I get jealous and upset when my best friend (also a top scorer) does better than me. I began to viewed him more of a competitor/enemy but he’s still super nice to me. Sometimes I am disgusted and ashamed of my thoughts. What leadership does that show when I don’t even know how to prioritise other’s (or majority) over my selfishness?

I try to distract myself by keeping my schedules booked. Out of kindness, my teachers and peers keep reminding me to rest— they are scared that I tire myself out. I did enjoy having schedules booked, but now I do feel tired, but I am not sure whether that was influenced by what others think of me. Isn’t she tired? We must offload her! Perhaps give others the opportunity to (do something) instead?

My desire for excellence has driven me until the top, but it seems to be the root of all my problems and insecurities. People feel pressured by me. My ExCo members broke down because of me. I did learn, I became patient. Then it feels like I am not making up-to-standard progress as a SC President as compared to my seniors. It feels like I am failing all my peers and juniors who look up to me. It feels like I am not ready to lead.

I keep my social circle small too, too tired of pleasing others and trying to fit in (I don’t play games, don’t watch TikTok, don’t know latest trends, don’t do Gen Z slang) it feels like I belong to a different generation!! I am aware of being left out because of who I am. I am aware of being left out because I am too afraid to try open up a conversation, for fear I will make the other person feel uncomfortable. I’m becoming more introverted, less willing to share my thoughts and feelings. I know that’s wrong too, because reaching out would be better than holding all these toxic in my body. But what would my friends think of me? Me and my selfishness? My best friend has a larger social circle than me, he’s a natural with people! What would he think of me? I don’t want to cause any harm to people. I should be a source of positivity, an inspiration, not negative energy.

I tried to read up on self care and self growth but the points mentioned just can’t sink into me…

Back to the topic of being lost. I don’t know what I want, or what is a good direction for me when I grow up. I wanted to be a doctor since young. It’s definitely a stressful job but I don’t mind. What I am afraid is the competition. How will I change my mindset and garner enough strength to push myself forward instead of focusing on all my insecurities? I am a messed up person in a ‘perfect’ shell. Sometimes I hate myself.

So sorry to take up so much time, I understand that you could be spending this time more meaningfully with your loved ones instead of reading someone else rant about their life. Thank you so much for your patience!


Hi @user925

Thank you for taking the time to share with us your story, your courage to be authentic is really inspiring and I commend you for that.

I want you to know that your feelings and struggles are valid, and it’s okay to express them. I can see that despite your achievements and the positive aspects of your life, you’re facing some internal challenges that are causing you distress.

Firstly, I want to acknowledge that the pressure you’re feeling is a heavy burden, and it’s okay to seek support. It seems like you’re carrying a lot of expectations, both from yourself and others, and that can be overwhelming. I affirm you - it’s okay to have dreams and ambitions, but it’s also important to find a balance and not let them become a source of constant stress.

Comparing yourself to others is a common struggle (happens to us therapists too!), but I’d like to gently remind you that everyone’s journey is unique - yours too! Please know that your worth is not solely determined by your achievements or how others perceive you. It’s okay to ask for help, to not have all the answers, and to take breaks when needed.

The desire for excellence and the fear of not meeting expectations can indeed be stressful. It might be helpful to explore the root of these expectations—are they truly yours, or are they influenced by external pressures? Reflecting on this might help you gain a clearer understanding of your own values and aspirations.

Jealousy and competition can be challenging emotions to grapple with, but I’m glad to hear that you recognise them in your life - not many people can have that level of self-awareness, so I commend you for that too. I’d like you to know that it’s okay to feel these emotions, but acknowledging them and working on understanding their root cause can help you manage them more effectively.

Taking care of yourself in this period is so important, both mentally and physically. It’s definitely not selfish to prioritize your personal well-being! For example, setting boundaries, even if it means saying no sometimes, is really important for maintaining a healthy balance. What are some ways you can set boundaries in your life?

As for your future plans, I assure you that it’s completely normal not to have everything figured out at 15 :slight_smile: It’s a process that takes time, and it’s okay to explore different paths. If the idea of being a doctor is causing stress due to competition, perhaps you could consider other fields that align with your interests and values.

Remember, you’re not alone, and seeking support from friends, family, or a counselor can be beneficial, as they can provide guidance, a listening ear, and help you work through these challenges. For example, you can approach a trusted adult or even a counsellor at a nearby Family Service Centre to talk about your stress.

Last but not least, you are not a “messed up person.” You (and all of us!) are a complex individual facing challenges, and it’s okay to be kind to yourself during this journey. If you ever need someone to talk to, whether it’s a friend, family member, or a professional, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to support you.

Let us know how you’re coping, hear from you soon.

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Hello there @user925! Firstly, I would like to say that I see YOU beyond your achievements. I see someone considerate of others. I see a person trying to be a good role model for others. I see an individual trying her best to make the most out of this life we have. And finally, I see someone with much strength and tenacity. You are much more than your accolades. That’s perhaps what your close friends and teachers see in you to have placed you in their social circle and in leadership positions.

It is ok to be lost. It is part of the growing up process and it is really part of being human. And it is ok to walk your own path in life and figure out what’s right for you. You will make mistakes along the way and that’s ok. It is part of learning and figuring out who we are and how we want to interact with the world.

I encourage you to try new things especially things which you are not familiar with and yet enjoy. Rock climbing? Pottery? Volunteering to give tuition to disadvantaged children? Finding ways to give to others is often a good way to learn about ourselves and connect with others. I hope you will continue this journey of self-discovery and let us know how you are doing along the way :slight_smile:

Sharing this poem with you. It reminds us that just because someone likes to explore doesn’t mean they are lost. And that those who lost their way can still bounce back in life.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring