I hate it. I've never been one who handles it well. I don't perform under pressure.. to compete with the girl in the lane next to me... it's not in my nature.
I refuse to do it.
I am constantly surrounded by women who live in this space though. Some make it their mission to compete and destroy their "competition". They chase pavement intending to hit a mark that is supposed earn them their stripes I suppose. They are focused SOLEY on making it to the top before someone else. They don't realize that showing up the girl next to them does NOTHING for their reputation... in fact the whole thing is damaging in my book. Women who want to bury other women... need a wake up call. Other women just fight to keep the pace...they don't wanna outdo anyone.. they just wanna keep up... and when they can't it damages their spirit... and they lose heart. That is EQUALLY disturbing... to see women trying to keep up with a life that isn't theirs.
Again. I HATE it.
I think back to when I was a kid and I HATED competitive sport. I never played one... because I was so scared of being judged based on skill...and I had little skill so there was ALSO that ;) I also played sick anytime I was supposed to complete the mile during gym class or if it was my turn to argue in debate... I HATED being put next to someone else and graded based on comparison.... it's just NEVER been in my genes. I bow out.
Recently I was placed in a situation where it was assumed I would do whatever it took to compete for a title... a position... and I refused to take the bait. I don't operate well there and will not step into that ring just because others choose to. I am PERFECTLY fine staying on the outside. I prefer that actually. I can't tell you how many times I step out of relationships when I feel the edge of competition spring up... If it feels like a sport... I quietly escape the situation. I need community... NOT competition. I need to feel like I am surrounded by people who live and breathe and cry like me. Women who struggle and celebrate TOGETHER... I need to work through the losses as often as I celebrate a win.
Over the years I've built a skincare business.. and we now have a team of thousands... but I've NEVER been the leader that pits her team against each other. I preach staying in your lane and focusing on... ONE THING... Beating YOURSELF. I actually would prefer that Sally doesn't know where Sarah sits on the board... I need Sally to focus on her own goals...not on Sarah. I don't need her stressing over beating the girl in front of her. Her growth has NOTHING to do with the "competition"... REAL growth begins on the inside... self development CANNOT be based on the superficial.. it's gotta start and stay focused on what's within. Does this make me a better leader than one who preaches competitive sport in order to grow? Nope. It makes me different from her... that's all. And that is ABSOLUTELY OKAY. We do NOT have to be the same.
Anyway, I guess that's where my head spends it's time. If I'm gonna beat anyone... it's the girl I was yesterday. I realize I have SOOO much in my own life that needs tending. I don't have time to worry about someone else's garden. My worth isn't determined by a title I hold or a position I am given. I just wanna be stronger and more graceful than the girl I was last week.
I was once told a story about a swimmer. She had trained for years to compete in the Olympics. Focusing in on beating her best time... she poured herself out... day after day after day... and FINALLY gained a spot on the Olympic team. She had risen to the VERY top of the sport... WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT...When it came time to swim for the gold... the day she had been waiting on for YEARS... she jumped in... focused and determined to WIN. As she swam she could feel the water move in the lane beside her... she was ACUTELY aware that the swimmer next to her was in CLOSE proximity... this caused her stress... and she began to focus on beating the girl in the other lane... in doing so...she forget to keep her eyes focused on what was in HER lane. The ever-so slight movement of her head to try to gain sight on the other swimmer... cost her a hair of a second... and she lost the race.. losing her chance at the gold medal. UGGGHHHH.
When this story was shared with me I was told..
"Erica... the world you live in is HIGHLY competitive and over-dramatic... STAY IN YOUR LANE. KEEP YOUR EYES only on what's in front of you... allowing yourself to step into THAT world...the world of comparison... could cost you EVERYTHING."
That person was right. I watch friends who are stuck in this vicious cycle and they have lost their joy. They have lost their peace. They think they are of little value... they don't feel celebrated. They don't feel supported if they lose... because their relationships are tied ONLY to wins. They can't form REAL relationships with the "competition" because the relationship is grounded in "I have to keep her pace".
So today I just wanna say...
If you wanna compete with someone... look in the mirror. Take a hard look. Make a list of the areas YOU can improve on in YOUR life... focus on what can't be measured.
You work YOUR business..
You build YOUR dreams... the same way you build yourself and the rest of your life.
YOUR race begins there. No one else is running it but YOU.
Set your goals.
Do NOT deviate.
Don't let circumstance or time beat you. THAT is your REAL competition...
Circumstance... and Time. Not the girl in the other lane.
So out-think it. Work around it. Overcome the obstacle. Overcome the YOU that holds YOU back. And if another woman comes into view...
CHEER HER ON... for the LOVE of GOD. CHEER HER ON. It's YOUR responsibility as a fellow woman to cheer and make noise for HER. Remember... what goes around comes around... so the more love and support you give... the more you will receive when it's your turn to turn up the heat and race to your OWN finish line.
And last... remember....
SHE doesn't define YOU.
YOU define YOU.
STOP competing and comparing...
YOU are PERFECT. and YOU are doing AMAZING.