I recently watched an episode of Jhalak Dikhlaja(India’s version of Dancing with the Stars). Shamita Shetty, the sister of the famous Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, was teary eyed as she said how she wanted to use this platform to carve a niche for herself and break away from the identity of her sister.
Being some one’s Shadow… to be constantly compared to someone else. Is there any fixed solution to detach oneself from another’s identity? How does this constant comparison affect a person? This very comparison need not happen only at a macro level, where the children of famous Bollywood/Sports stars or Politicians are being compared to their parents. It can happen even at a grass root level. Every time my parents went for my sister’s parent teacher meeting, her teachers would keep comparing her with me. “Your elder daughter was such a bright, outgoing and studious student. But your younger daughter isn’t like her at all.” At that moment I failed to understand what my sister went through.
Probably because I was on the other side of the coin, it was easy to tell her to be more out spoken and do well in studies like me. It was simple to compare her grades with the ones I used to get when I was of her age. But I understood the difficulty she went through; when I realized that at the end of the day we are two different individuals with two different identities. The only way to get out of one’s shadow is not by trying to be better, in the same things as one is in, but to embrace the differences and grow with them!! My sister may not be as good in academics as I am. But she is definitely a much better cook than me!!! It’s extremely important to not let the comparisons dictate you.
There will always be people who will compare you to “Rahul the extra talented neighbor” “Lakshmi the far off relative from Chennai, who scored 97%” “Raj the guy who did MBBS”. Know your strengths and always stand by your individuality. Let your unique attributes speak for you. The world would be such a boring place to live in, if everyone was equally successful and efficient in the same field.