Say no to the other you
Have you met your "other” self? No one likes to admit they have one, but I am starting to become well-acquainted with mine. Lately, she has come alive in 3D and is stronger than ever. Perhaps school stress led my mind to build theories that betray me. I’ll describe her in more detail, and maybe our "other” selves will identify with each other.
She is strong-willed. When I am debating whether to hang out with friends, she is the one reminding me, "Laura, focus on your work, these social moments pass. You are working towards something bigger."
She is insecure. When she sees others succeed, she begins to compare me to them. I begin to question myself. MIT is a humbling place. What’s my purpose in life? What am I good at? Will I be able to get a summer internship? Will anyone want to hire me? Is my start-up idea any good? Am I cut out to be an entrepreneur?
She is destructive. She makes me forget all of my successes and worth. She reduces me to zero, and I drown. She reminds me of painful past memories that I would like to block. I impulsively repeat negative and unproductive behavior patterns.
She is afraid, so I lose my confidence and the anxiety creeps in. I want to stay in bed all day, watch a movie, and forget I exist. I don’t want to be acknowledged, so I walk around campus with my head down, looking at the pavement.
She is selfish. She makes me feel that if I give, I lose. She questions everyone´s intentions. She reacts impulsively. She doesn’t want to share. Favors make her feel uncomfortable. She doesn’t deserve them.
She makes me feel that everyone is against me, but how could that be? I realized I sounded paranoid. I wanted to this struggle to rest; it had pushed me to the edge. So, I followed advice from the very best, the CEO of General Electric, Jeff Immelt. He says he sometimes goes to bed feeling like a failure, but he has a private ritual. Every morning in front of the bathroom mirror, he gracefully says to himself, “Hello handsome,” and is reborn.
The day after I learned about this ritual, I started wearing a bracelet in an attempt to remind myself to say no to my “other” self. I also found my "happy place" on campus: the lawn between Kresge Auditorium and the Student Center. It’s a place that reminds me where I really am. I am at MIT, my dream school. MIT is a demanding place, but also transparent, open, and warm. I look up at the dome, carrying a cup of coffee in the morning, ready for class. Hello gorgeous, IHTFP!
Laura Facussé is a first year student at MITidm.