Competition is a very interesting thing.
I believe it is meant to make you better. You, meaning: you a person, you an organization, a team, a company. It pushes you further, to think creatively, to grow beyond where you are today. That is the positive side of competition.
The competition I see among women bothers me. It bothers me when girls/women think that it is a reason to tear someone down. To win. To be the best. To be the most attractive. I think that kind of competition is, at its heart, pure insecurity. Lack of confidence. A shortcut to a means that is fully achievable through belief in yourself, in your group, in your values – if you would just take the time to recognize and cultivate it.
I recently read a blog post of a friend of a friend where a mom was encouraging her daughter to push another girl during a soccer game. This lovely kindergarten teacher/mom approached the Aggressor Mom about her behavior, and Aggressor Mom just had a bunch of excuses and was in denial of her lack of sportsmanship (wow, sound familiar Duck fans?). It was brave of this woman, not only to confront the Aggressor Mom, but to try to rationalize with her. The problem? Crazy ain’t rational. Crazy turns the rational into crazy. Thankfully Kindergarten Mom walked away before letting herself get sucked into the crazy.
It is just sad to see these ‘role models’ encouraging this aggression/unhealthy competitive behavior at a young age… it’s telling the girls a message: you aren’t enough the way you are, you need to step up your game and knock others down to be good enough. It bugs me.
The other place women drive me nuts when it comes to competition? Men. Dudes. Dumb a$$ dudes.
I remember going to an event with a ‘friend’ of mine a few years back. Mind you, we are absolutely nothing alike. Physically, personality-wise, mentally. I am 5’5″ half-asian, pretty funny, cerebral, and extroverted. She was a blonde, blue-eyed cutie; 5’2″, European, more introverted with a sweet disposition. Seriously, you couldn’t get more opposite. We met a couple of guys and one of them, she told me, she really liked. I was happy for her. But he wasn’t into her. He was into me. I tried to brush him off, which of course, by laws of physics, made him want to talk to me more. Meanwhile, chickie was stewing mad.
Dude asked for my digits and I politely declined. “I’m taken,” I said.
She was fuming at this point. “I told you, I liked that guy,” she spat out. “I can’t believe you.”
“Seriously? I was trying to pass him off to you?!” I tried to reason with her (remember, rational don’t be workin’ with crazy, yo).
In my mind’s eye- I am no one’s competition. I am beautiful, amazing and talented in my own way. And so was she. And I’m not everyone’s bag of tea. And neither is she. So if a guy likes her and not me, I don’t feel like there is anything I can do. Guys like what they’re gonna like. They just are. It’s not you. You can go get a hundred things done to yourself, and it won’t matter- because you are you and that is going to attract those people who want you.
Now, my bff from high school? Back in the day, we got this. If we both liked the same guy- it was really up to the dude. And we thought “he wins” either way. We were both confident in ourselves to know guys are gonna like one of us for us. If they liked her- awesome. If they liked me, awesome. If they liked me then her? Ha ha…. awesome and some swapping of stories. We got it. There was no competition.
I think the point is – don’t get down on yourself if you ‘lose out’ on something. If a guy chooses another girl over you. Or if someone gets the part in the play over you- or whatever. It has nothing to do with you. It has to do with what THEY want. Don’t change yourself. Don’t beat yourself up.
You could be the most talented gorgeous thing on the block – and they go for homely Helen- because homely Helen is just a better match for them. There’s no need to compare. You don’t need to tear anyone down to get there. You are unique. There is no one else like you on the planet. Use competition to become a better you – not better than someone else. Focus on being the best you and that’s all you need to do!