Do you have a competitive spirit? Do you find yourself comparing with others?
Since childhood I have had an insatiable desire to win at everything. Constantly comparing myself with others, I would take on anyone who would compete with me. Running, jumping, chess, board games, pick up sticks – whatever. It’s now obvious that this need to compete and compare is based on some underlying self esteem issues. The need to constantly prove myself stemmed from self doubt and lack of confidence.
Competitiveness begins as comparison. Obviously, we are constantly comparing one thing against another. That’s how we weigh up the benefit something will offer our lives. This is good, it helps us to make great decisions and stops us from making mistakes. Comparison ensures that we are satisfied with the decisions that we make.
Where comparison does not serve us well is when we need to compete and compare ourselves with others.
The number one thing on my list of all things important is to love your life. By eliminating the need to compare myself with others or compete I have found a whole lot of peace and a grateful heart.
5 Danger Signs of Comparing:
- Jealousy – it’s simple logic that there are people in the world who have more or can do things better than me. Dropping envy and studying people who have great results with an open happy heart allows me appreciate others, their skill sets, their attitude to life and to learn from them. Having a jealous heart shuts down possibility thinking. Being genuinely happy for what others have and achieve lifts the lid on my own potential.
- Putting Others Down – The need to put someone else down stems from feeling “less than” thus the need to elevate yourself . Whenever I have seen someone achieving results faster and better than me it’s tempting to think that they are taking shortcuts or getting an unfair advantage in some way. Everyone has their own path, sometimes that path is smooth and sometimes bumpy but everyone faces challenges in life. It’s easy to judge from the outside without seeing the full picture. Every life has a story, everyone is a package.
- Complete not compete – I used to try to compete with my Husband. He has a Masters Degree in Education, speaks well and is well respected. I would interrupt him and butt into conversations in an attempt to be valued. It took me a long time to realize that we are very different and that I too add value – just in a different way. I joke that I am the light relief but I know he values my input and that I view things from a different perspective to him.
- Edify Others – this is the opposite of bagging someone. When you speak well of others you open the doors for all kinds of goodness to come back to you. Finding something good in someone and then speaking it feels great and brings joy.
- Don’t believe your own press – My husband knows how to edify me. I hear him saying the nicest things to others about my amazing skills and virtues. I have learned not to totally believe, maybe just enough to feed my self esteem a little but not totally.
My top 5 strategies for beating the need for comparing:
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt. I surround myself with people who talk about great ideas. I read books by people who inspire me to think at another level.
I look at others who are achieving and consciously think “a rising tide lifts all ships” and look for ways for everyone to win.
I unfollow or block people on social media who spark negativity in me . I believe social media can be used for good and I deliberately guard my mind. I also hide posts in my feed which spark negativity, uneasiness or make me think badly of people.
There are fish. When I see others getting the results I want, it proves that it can be done. If someone else has caught a fish, I know there are fish.
Eyes in the boat. I learned this phrase from a champion rower. If a rower looks at their competition they steer their own boat off course. When I am tempted to compare myself with others I tell myself to keep my eyes in the boat.
Life is so much sweeter when you can enjoy the gains, accomplishment and wins of others with an open, happy heart.
Do you have a competitive spirit? How do you stay focused on your own path?
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