Own the Competition: A Different Approach
Is your neck sore?
I know, weird question.
But I mean it. Is your neck sore from all that looking, turning, and straining from side to side? Oh, I know you do it too. I know you’re guilty of the occasional (or frequent) horizontal search for someone who’s doing it better, faster, and more creatively than you. It’s that futile attempt to judge your own adequacy against another’s in every area from looks, career, creative success, parenting skills, material wealth, physical fitness, social life, and committed relationships.
I’ve had a sore neck more times than I can count along the way. If we’re being really honest, I often struggle with competing with other’s success in a way that leaves me feeling completely inadequate, if not frantic. And the worst part of it is, often times they are women I know and love dearly! What the ?
This soul-sucking behavior NEVER helps me get ahead. In fact, it leaves me feeling frustrated face-down in a dust pile, questioning who I really am in the first place.
Can you relate?
My hunch is, you can.
I’ve spent the last ten years of my life listening. Listening to the stories of incredibly brave people who want more for their lives. What I’ve learned is part of their programming, just like mine, is to hold their worth and value up against the performances of those around them. It tends to create this stuck loop, or broken record, of “not enough.” This is old programming, folks.
Why? Because we go about it from a place of scarcity as opposed to abundance. (If the word abundance feels a bit indulgent, use “enough” instead.)
Competition with others is not all bad. I’ve always had people in my life I refer to as “pacers” whose work I admire and who motivate me to keep showing up no matter what. We need a little healthy competition to keep us motivated and hungry. However, when we compete with others from a place of lack instead of abundance, we forfeit the truth and power of who we are. We start wearing shoes that don’t fit. We start playing really small.
If there were ever a day to take back the power of your essential self and quit playing this small, scared game, it is now.
I believe there are two sacred steps to firmly ground us in the confidence of our own garden:
Know your “me.”
We so often confuse our personality, ability, and the culture around us with our true, authentic self. This is a huge reason we develop sore necks. We look to various extensions of preference and perception to define the pure essence of who we were created to be.
The self-discovery journey is the most valuable trip you will ever take because it directly affects each and every thought, feeling, and action that builds out the picture of your life.
This is one of many reasons I adore the Enneagram.
It’s a roadmap for self-discovery; for finding your “me.”
The minute we start to look inward for answers, we can stop looking side to side for them. What a relief!
Compete with your former self.
The reason competition with others can be debilitating is we will always be proven inadequate if that’s what we’re setting out to find. Any time competition’s motivator is scarcity, we’re looking for proof that we’re not enough.
A more abundant approach allows for healthy competition with our former selves. Don’t confuse this with unhealthy striving. Here’s a good litmus test, or indicative question to ask yourself, “How can I live into my best, most authentic self today?”
If I actively decide to embody all that I’m created to be, day after day, I don’t need to look around for proof that I’m enough. I get to bring to the world that which only I can bring and in doing so, celebrate the unique beauty in others without feeling threatened. Boom.
Perhaps it’s time to loosen the reigns of striving this week. Get softer, more curious, as you sit with you. Give that lovely neck of yours a rest and listen in to the conversation of your soul. What does she need to thrive? What does she desire and dream about?
There’s your ticket. It’s what sets you apart.
Love & Gratitude,
P.S. (Stay tuned for Thursday’s TruthBite! I’ve got a power tool for your tool belt that will help you connect to your most authentic self every single day. Get excited!!)