Why can’t we appreciate ourselves?

Hardik Oswal
2 min readFeb 20, 2022

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Recently, I found out that I received two summer internships for the next summer. I was literally pinching myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. After the initial phase, I realized I had really done it. I was grateful and proud of myself as both of the companies were amazing. After that, I started to think maybe I got lucky as I believed I was not good enough.

However, in some days I got even better news. I had passed the interviews for my dream company (Google!). At that moment, I felt that I had completed my goals I had set for myself and could achieve anything I want. But same as before, I just couldn’t be happy for myself. At first I thought that is probably Imposter Syndrome but soon I realized that is much deeper than that. I began to see that I had never been an advocate for myself. I felt that whatever I do is meaningless and I couldn’t contribute like others or be like them. People say that you should be always yourself but in practice I would say that it is one of the toughest things one can do. With so many role models who continuously share their laurels, it is normal that we would admire them and think we are nothing compared to them.

It took me a long while to understand it. It’s been almost 3 months since I started writing this draft. I just couldn’t finish it since I didn't have the answer myself. I still don’t. But, I woke up today and, I can’t explain this feeling, I was genuinely happy. I was smiling naturally and not the fake one for the camera. I was proud of myself and I gave myself a pat on the back. It was amazing and I wish that I could feel like it everyday but I am unsure if I am going to feel like that again.

As I said, though I don’t have the answer, I did do certain things which I believe truly helped. Firstly, I started going to the gym. It’s only been 3 weeks but I am sure that now I have the energy to continue and make myself healthy. Secondly, I was able to make more new friends this semester by being approaching and talking with them. Thirdly, I started listening to music and just get lost in it. I am not sure how it happens but when I play a song I really like on loop it’s like I am descended into another dimension where I can appreciate everything, start dancing by myself and laugh whole heartedly.

I sincerely hope that all of us can feel this way where we wake up and truly happy as there is nothing better than that in the world.

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Hardik Oswal

An avid chess lover and an international student looking for a new adventure