Healthy, Happy Competiton

From the desk of Grace Lange, 

Competition can make or break us, our organizations, and our friendships.

I recently read this passage that stated:

“Rivalries and the subtle hatreds they spawn are all around us and at the root of gossip, pettiness, and our inability to get along with each other. It takes a radical turnaround to get out of the habit of struggling to be number one. That turnaround can begin when we are able to see the true value in our neighbor – not just the value he or she has in measurable areas of competition – but the value that clings to every human being because God cares about each of them. When that true value is seen, that person will no longer be seen as just a competitor, but as a partner, sharing equally in the grace and forgiveness of God.”

The need to be the best or be number one can be completely destructive to ourselves and the people around us.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to be the best and I know everyone around me wants to be the best at what they do, but there is a healthy way to go about doing so.

MY STORY

Competition is a very, very familiar word to me. 

Growing up, everything I did was a competition. Whether it was sports, school, the way I looked, my involvement, having the cutest boyfriend, or even little things like how fast I could run the mile in gym class. 

This mentality of needing to be the best has been completely destructive to my life and my ability to be happy. 

I fed myself thoughts of unworthiness, because I was not doing enough or I wasn’t the best athlete, or all the boys didn’t want to talk to me…

This led to anger towards other people. 

I thought – Gosh, that girl has it all. I do not like her, because she is better than me, and I will not stop until I beat her at something.

As I reach the second half of my college career, I have had a chance to reflect on this competition. 

I would love to tell you that I have had a radical turnaround, but competition is something I still struggle with on an everyday basis. Though, now I’ve realized that the root of all of this comes from an unhappiness and an unawareness of my true self, my true talents, and my true value.

MY SOLUTION

The fact is, you cannot be the best at everything you do. 

Each person was gifted with specific talents and skills that can be improved and mastered over time, but everyone has different talents and gifts….

As much as you try and push yourself to extreme limits, you may never truly be the best at that specific task, but it is in how you understand and apply that realization that makes the difference. 

Are you constantly looking that friend, colleague, sibling, or even your past self and thinking, gosh how are they so good? 

Why can they do it and I can’t? 

What do they have that I don’t have?

I do not think a radical turnaround is a practical thing to reach for, but I do think a daily, conscious reminder of your own value and truth is essential to happiness with yourself and your life. 

I challenge you to look to that person that you constantly compare or compete with, and look to them as a friend, an asset, or a partner – not the person you want to be or to beat. 

I hate to break it to you, but you will never be them, and honestly you may never beat them. 

Instead, use that friendship or partnership to help you grow. What can you learn from them? How can they help you be the person you want to be?

If you write down your own values, you may come to realize that what they have doesn’t really make any sense for you anyways. 

Oh and – God will always open the right door and give you the opportunity you need when you are ready. Just ask!

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