I have to attribute this post to my parents, my mom especially for being such a role model of a healthy, confident woman. Thanks mom. This post was inspired by a conversation Mr. Wonderful and I had about a recent opportunity and the possibility of a friend getting it instead of me, and our outlook was, we hope that if I don’t get it, she gets it.
I didn’t grow up as an athlete, I mean look at me. I’m a bit gangly and dainty. But I was on a dance team and have participated on dance competitions, won a few pageant titles and competed, and of course entered several newspaper journalism competitions. I’ve won, and I’ve lost, and I’ve placed.
We have all participated in competitions, seeing our competitors and some are better than others, but if you get really down and think about it – the competition isn’t really AGAINST other people, it’s really us gearing up to be our best, and letting the judges/audience decide what they liked best. There’s nothing you can really do to make yourself better if you’re the best you can be at that moment. Winning people over is a matter of opinion and skill, it’s a tough thing to decide who the winner is. Most importantly, you do not compete with your friends.
I say this because I think some people create competitions and enemies in their mind, isolating themselves from a great supportive community, and possibly ruining relationships and the well-being of their businesses. Being competitive can lead to bitterness and an unhappy heart for those who are too busy focusing on themselves. It’s a very lonely road to be on.
Of course we are all human and we battle our flesh that comes out, the part that makes us human, feelings get hurt, we can’t control our emotions, we’re trying to hard to be good at what we love or are trying to make a living doing, but there will always be others who do it better, or get the job we’ve always dreamed of, or the life we’ve always wanted. Since this is my blog, I’m going to allow myself to be honest to not only you, but to myself because I’ve been there. Get over it. Get over that this life will not hand you everything you want, you won’t be #winning every time, and sometimes, you need to concentrate on your own blessings instead of others. Be grateful gosh dang it. This is a big world, a big internet, a lot of opportunities out there (not all that one person can claim) and there’s room for everyone to have their own slice in it – to inspire others, to encourage, to put themselves out there. If you’re afraid of the competition, don’t be – there’s only one you and you should be you and do what you’re passionate about.
I have friends who do very similar things to myself. And by doing, I mean, earning a living – perhaps not all exactly, but some exactly. The way I look at it is this – let’s try a dating scenario – you are single with single friends and some guy comes up and he seems very eligible. All the ladies want him. Instead of picking you, he picks your friend. Do you wish that you didn’t bring her? No, because as fate would have it, you didn’t want to be runner up to that and you can’t force things that aren’t meant to be. So now let’s go back to a working scenario – if I’m up for an opportunity and a friend is up for it too, if I lose out, it’s not because my friend beat me. It’s because she was what they were looking for and guess what else? I’d much rather my friend get it than a stranger. Maybe some of you might disagree, but that’s how I look at life and what I’ve been given and what I have not been given. If I get it, fantastic, I’m thrilled and honored, if I don’t and my friends get it, I’m even happier for them because they are my friend and that’s how I feel about my friends, I want to support them in all that they do. Plus, I want to hear the details!
I know this might sound crazy, but you know what I tell client inquiries? “If I’m out of your budget, please let me know, I would be happy to refer you to friends of mine who may be a better fit.” I do this because I have a lead and if I can fish that lead out to a friend, I will. Crazy? I don’t care, I know a good opportunity when I see one and I want others to prosper from them.
If you’re a mom, I want to tell you something that influenced me about my own mom. First let me show you what she looked like growing up.
I show you this to show you that while my mom was and is still beautiful, and she was famous for it (professional model and singer overseas in the Asia markets). She didn’t flaunt it, and she didn’t have to pretend she was confident to mask any low self confidence. She simply was a woman who just loved her life, who she was, and how others were.
Growing up my mother never ever ever ever said anything bad about the other contestants who competed with me in the things I entered. In fact, my mom has never picked apart any woman’s clothing, looks, style, hair, or anything. I never knew what low self esteem was until I entered junior high and girls started picking themselves apart. I had never done that to myself because I never grew up in a household like that! My mom never criticized others, and was a woman of class and confidence. She simply concentrated on her own life, praised us when we did well, and if we didn’t do as well as we hoped, she said, try harder next time, good job! She never showed bitterness, or mentioned what others had and she didn’t, she primarily praised people for their, “Big beautiful house with the nice gates!” or their “Smart son with a scholarship,” and not in a comparison way, but a genuinely happy for her friends and their own life. My mom never gossiped, she never looked two-faced, she was always full of joy and thankful for what she had. So if you’re a mom, be aware that the way you hold yourself, and your conversations about others can really influence your daughter and her outlook. You can make it healthy or you can make it toxic.
This is a longer post than I expected. I just wanted to get the point across that wherever you are, you are there for a reason. What you have, what you don’t have, it’s your life, where you are, and what’s been given to you. Find contentment in everything else that you have, and especially if you are a Christian, be content in the Lord and what Christ has done for you. We should encourage and spur each other on and have a healthy outlook to turn a “competitor” into a friend we can support. Be happy that you’re not on a journey alone, so if you have a buddy who is doing the same you can help each other out when times get tough. If you feel someone is being a bit too competitive with you, make sure you aren’t making it up in your own mind, but if they really are, let them run that race alone, you didn’t even enter that one.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Diana Elizabeth has often tried to convince friends to enter pageants and go to career fairs with her because she didn’t want to do it alone and also help a friend. Being a former journalist showed it really is about who you know for opportunities so helping with connections and being open is a good thing to do.